EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS A STUDY OF DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT ABRAKA

Abstract

The study investigated the effect of social media on the academic performance of students in delta state university Abraka, to which four major questions serve as a guide. The survey design for the study was based on the used of 16 item questionnaire, distributed to 130 respondents in delta state university. The derived were analyzed with simple percentage. The study find out that respondents spend more 6 hour of their time per day on social media, most of the respondents use social media site to connect with friends, it showed  that the respondents use social media site to connect with friends, that social media contribute to the academic excellence of the respondents because it helps them to discuss assignment with friends, that there is a significant relationship between student academic performance and social media usage, it revealed that the respondent use the social media for information searching, finding also showed that social media affect their academic performance and finally finding showed that social media influence the respondent positively. Based on the findings the study recommended that; Social networking sites should be expanded and new pages should be created to enhance academic activities to avoid setbacks in the students’ Academic performance; the students should create a balance between chit-chatting and academic activities. More attention should be directed to research.  The management of the Delta State University, Abraka should create an accessible internet café or expand the bandwidth of her wireless internet connection so the students can cut down on private internet charges; Students should be conscious of the time they spent on social media sites in order to have more time for their classroom activities and homework; Students should be conscious of the time they spent on social media sites in order to have more time for their classroom activities and homework; Parents should encourage and monitor students to use educational social media sites that will help them to maximize their educational attainment and keep them away from harmful influences. Policy on access of students to social media should be such that encourages educational and useful information rather than uncontrolled access to the internet that may be harmful to students’ social and intellectual development.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The use of the Internet in the educational environment has enabled easy access to many resources, and information sharing has, therefore, significantly increased. Moreover, the prevalence of this sharing has brought additional benefits in that these resources can be used in any location and any time. Although the efficiency of this technology, it is evaluated with use of proportion of the desired results in student achievement does not exactly come out and is difficult to determine. Hence, much research has been conducted over time to understand the reasons for this situation (Sahin Y. G., Balta S, and Ercan T. 2010).

 

The invention of the internet brought a new dimension to the media landscape. It marked the beginning of technological transformation and socialization with a higher desire for information about everything. This slowly developed into social media, which essentially is information about people (Samuel Olaniran, 2014).

The internet has taken the process of information dissemination to a higher platform thereby going beyond being a mere medium of socialization or information seeking and has become something much more. With this development, users are driving content (Dominick, 2013) in ways never seen before. This has led to the transformation in not just one medium; there is more to come as new trends emerge continually (Samuel Olaniran, 2014).

Shapiro, cited in Croteau and Hoynes (2003, p. 322) argues that the ―emergence of new, digital technologies signals a potentially radical shift of who is in control of information, experience and resources. Crosbie (2002), in explaining new media, described three different kinds of communication media. He saw interpersonal media as ―one to one, mass media as ―one to many and new media as ―individuation media or ―many to many. New media is a term meant to encompass the emergence of digital, computerized or networked information and communication technologies in the later part of the 20th century. Most technologies described as ―new media‖ often have characteristics of being manipulated, networkable, dense, compressible, interactive and impartial (Flew, 2008). Neuman, cited in Croteau and Hoynes (2003) adds that new media will alter the meaning of geographic distance thereby allowing for a huge increase in the volume and speed of communication. It will also provide opportunities for interactive communication and allow forms of communication, previously separate, to overlap and interconnect.

Social media, an offspring of new media, typify these features as they have eliminated geographical distance in global communication (Carley, cited in Flew, 2002). Information sharing or interaction moves at the speed of light thereby making it near impossible to quantify volume of communication that occurs at different locations simultaneously. Kaplan and Haenlein (2010) sees social media as media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. It uses internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many).

According to Adelabu (2011), three components typify social media: concept (art, information, or meme); media (physical, electronic, or verbal); and social interface (intimate, direct, social viral, electronic broadcast or syndication or print). One of the things that make social media unique is its interactive capabilities. Like never before, social media are transforming the way in which people receive and share information. Ludtke, as cited in Adelabu (2011, p. 614) notes, ―One of the major attributes to social networking is its high level of interactivity‖ which adds value through its ability to facilitate meaningful conversation with, and between users. Picard also cited in Adelabu (2011, p. 615) asserts that social media and blogs provide an opportunity for users to express themselves and connect with like-minded people:

These digital tools provide an easy (little to no cost) way for members of the public to take part in discussion with larger groups of people and draw attention to issues and topics that traditional news media might have overlooked.... 

1.2       CONCEPT SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. Social media is defined as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Furthermore, social media depend on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. They introduce substantial and pervasive changes to communication between businesses,organizations, communities, and individuals (Kietzmann H., Jan; Kristopher Hermkens 2011).

These changes are the focus of the emerging field of techno self studies. Social media are different from traditional or industrial media in many ways, including quality, reach, frequency, usability, immediacy, and permanence. Social media operates in a dialogic transmission system, (many sources to many receivers) Pavlik & MacIntoch, John and Shawn (2015). This is in contrast to traditional media that operates under a monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers).

There are many effects that stem from internet usage. According to Nielsen, internet users continue to spend more time with social media sites than any other type of site. At the same time, the total time spent on social media in the U.S. across PC and mobile devices increased by 99 percent to 121 billion minutes in July 2012 compared to 66 billion minutes in July 2011. For content contributors, the benefits of participating in social media have gone beyond simply social sharing to building reputation and bringing in career opportunities and monetary income, as discussed in Tang, Gu, and Whinston (2012).

 

1.2.1    SOCIAL NETWORK SITES

 

Boyd and Ellison (2007) define social network services as web-based services which allow individuals to Construct a public or semipublic profile within a bounded system, Communicate with other users; and View the pages and details provided by other users within the system. The social networking websites have evolved as a combination of personalized media experience, within social context of participation. The practices that differentiate social networking sites from other types of computer-mediated communication are uses of profiles, friends and comments or testimonials profiles are publicly viewed, friends are publicly articulated, and comments are publicly visible.

Users who join Social networking websites are required to make a profile of themselves by filling up a form. After filling up the forms, users are supposed to give out information about their personality attributes and personal appearances. Some social networking websites require photos but most of them will give details about one's age, preference, likes and dislikes. Some social networking websites like Facebook allow users to customize their profiles by adding multimedia content(Geroimenko & Chen, 2007).

 

1.2.2    CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Social networking websites provide rich information about the person and his network, which can be utilized for various business purposes. Some of the main characteristics of social networking sites according to Ateeq Ahmad (2011), are:

  1. They act as a resource for advertisers to promote their brands through word-of-mouth to targeted customers.
  2. They provide a base for a new teacher-student relationship with more interactive sessions online.
  3. They promote the use of embedded advertisements in online videos.
  4. They provide a platform for new artists to show their profile.

 

1.2.3.   BRIEF HISTORY OF SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES

The first social networking websites was launched in the year 1997 Sixdegrees.com. This company was the first of its kind; it allowed user to list their profiles, provide a list of friends and then contact them. However, the Company did not do very well as it eventually closed three years later. The reason for this was that many people using the internet at that time had not formed many social networks hence there was little room for maneuver. It should be noted that there were also other elements that hinted at Social network websites. For instance, dating sites required users to give their profiles but they could not share other people's websites. Additionally, there were some websites that would link former school mates but the lists could not be shared with others. (Cassidy, 2006) After this there was the creation of Live Journal in the year 1999. It was created in order to facilitate one way exchanges of journals between friends. Another company in Korea called CY world added some social networking features in the year 2001.

This was then followed by Lunar Storm in Sweden during the same year. They include things like diary pages and friends lists. Additionally, Ryze.com also established itself in the market. It was created with the purpose of linking business men within San Francisco. The Company was under the management of Friendster, LinkedIn, Tribe.net and Ryze. The latter company was the least successful among all others.

However, Tribe.net specialized in the business world but Friendster initially did well; this did not last for long (Cohen,2003). The most significant Social networking websites commonly used by the people especially by the youngster include, Friendster, Myspace, Facebook, Downlink, Ryze, SixDegrees, Hi 5, LinkedIn, Orkut, Flicker, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, FriendFeed, BharatStudent and Floper.

 

A. Friendster

Friendster began its operations in the year 2002. It was a brother company to Ryze but was designed to deal with the social aspect of their market. The company was like a dating service, however, match making was not done in the typical way where strangers met. Instead, friends would propose which individuals are most compatible with one another. At first, there was an exponential growth of the Comply. This was especially after introduction of network for gay men and increase in number of bloggers. The latter would usually tell their friends about the advantages of social networking through Friendster and this led to further expansion. However,

Friendster had established a market base in one small community. After their subscribers reached overwhelming numbers, the company could no longer cope with the demand.

There were numerous complaints about the way their servers were handled because subscribers would experience communication breakdowns. As if this was not enough, social networks in the real world were not doing well; some people would find themselves dating their bosses or former classmates since the virtual community created by the company was rather small. The Company also started limiting the level of connection between enthusiastic users. (Boyd, 2004)

B. MySpace

By 2003, there were numerous companies formed with the purpose of providing social networking service. However, most of them did not attract too much attention especially in the US market. For instance, LinkedIn and Xing were formed for business persons while services like MyChurch, Dogster and Couchsurfing were formed for social services. Other companies that had been engaging in other services started offering social networking services. For instance, the You Tube and Last. FM was initially formed to facilitate video and music sharing respectively. However, the started adopted social networking services. (Backstrom et al, 2006)

 

 

C. Facebook

This social networking service was introduced with the purpose of linking friends in Harvard University in 2004.

Thereafter, the company expanded to other universities then colleges. Eventually, they invited corporate communities. But this does not mean that profiles would be interchanged at will.

There are lots of restrictions between friends who join the universities social network because they have to have the .edu address. Additionally, those joining corporate network must

also have the .com attachment. This company prides itself in their ability to maintain privacy and niche communities and have been instrumental in learning institutions. (Charnigo & Barnett-Ellis, 2007). The current statistics of Facebook users stood at 1,390 billion active users as at December 31, 2014 (Wikipedia).

D. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the first mainstream social networks devoted to business. It is a business-oriented social networking service. Founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. As of 2 July 2013, Quantcast reports LinkedIn has 65.6 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 178.4 million globally, a number that as of 29 October 2013 has increased to 184 million. Originally, LinkedIn allowed users to post a profile and to interact through private messaging.

E. Twitter

Twitter was founded in 2006 and gained a lot of popularity during the 2007. Status updates have become the new norm in social networking.

There are also smaller social networks like 2go, YouTube, and blackberry chat for people to have access to. (Retrieved November 7th2012) www.google.com

F.WhatsApp

WhatsApp is an instant messaging app for smartphones that operates under a subscription business model. The proprietary, cross-platform app uses the Internet to send text messages, images, video, user location and audio media messages. In January 2015, WhatsApp was the most globally popular messaging app with more than 700 million active users,[4] with India alone having a user base of more than 70 million. WhatsApp Inc., based in Mountain View, California, was acquired by Facebook on February 19, 2014, for approx. US$19 billion.

 

G. Nairaland

Nairaland is an online community created by Seun Osewa in March 2005. It is targeted at Nigerians. Nairaland currently has over 1,300,000 registered accounts (March 2015), and is ranked as the 7th most visited site in Nigeria (and the most visited indigenous site) according to Alexa.com. Nigeria reportedly has over 55 million Internet users, corresponding to 32.9% of the entire population. With Nairaland having a considerable but unconfirmed number of users based in diaspora, this statistic suggests that a maximum 3% of Nigerian Internet users are registered on Nairaland compared to Facebook's 11 million Nigerian users which corresponds to approximately 20% of the Internet population.

Nairaland, however, does have a considerable number of unregistered users, as registration is only necessary for posting. Figures published by Nairaland in June 2013 suggest that they had 16,668,654 visits (Wikipedia)

2go Logo

2go is a Social Networking Site, chat, and instant messaging (IM) application. It enables users to chat on their mobile phones free. You can meet users and 2go users as friends. Chat rooms on different topics are opened where you can join in the discussion and socialize with others and also, 2go have gateways that enable users chat with friends on Gtalk, Mxit, and face book. (Retrieved November 9th2012) www. Google.com.wikkipedia. (Research work).

One of the greatest points of 2go chat is its simplicity and light weight, making it available to lots of low-end phones. 2go runs on any java enabled phone, Nokia, LG, Samsung, and Sony Ericson. Blackberry users can use 2go on their Pc as part of an experimental service by the company and with it, they can chat anywhere and anytime of the day as they so please. (Retrieved November 9th 2012)www.google.com.

Blackberry Messenger

Blackberry is propriety internet-based instant messenger application included on blackberry devices that allows messaging between blackberry users. It was developed by the manufacturer of the blackberry research in motion (RIM); messages sent via blackberry messenger are sent over the internet and use the blackberry pin system, so communication is only possible between blackberry devices. (Retrieved November 10th 2012) www.mit.edu /people/mkgray/net.

Pinging allows you to connect to friends using a ping ID, something akin to blackberry pin but easier to remember because you can pick it yourself. Once you’ve shared your pin or found friends via email or twitter, you can send text, messages, photos, videos and voice memos. Pretty much anything you might want to send to a friend can be sent using pin. Messages are in real time over the data network and pushed to the recipient. Once a message is sent, a little S or D and a tick with an R indicating the message has been sent and read. Ping chat also packs group messaging and social profiles, which allows you to display a photo, status and some information about yourself to confirm contacts and through these, one is connected to the whole world.

 

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

It is a common sight to see a youth chatting in sensitive and highly organised places like church, mosque and lecture venues. Some are so carried away that even as they are walking along the high way, they keep chatting. The manufacturing and distribution of equally sophisticated cellular phones has complicated the situation, as youths no longer need to visit a cybercafé before they send and receive messages. Attention has been shifted from visible to invisible friends, while important ventures like study and writing are affected in the process. This phenomenon has become a source of worry to many who believe in knowledge and skill acquisition.

The emergence of social media as a result of advancement in technology and expansion in internet software has raised eye brows among academics on its (social media) impacts on studies. Students at all levels of learning now have divided attention to studies, as a result of available opportunities to be harnessed from social media. Whether these opportunities promote studies is a question that needs to be answered. Thus, the problem this study investigates is the effect of social media networks on the academic performance of the undergraduate students of Delta State University, Abraka in Delta State.

1.3       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

  1. To know if there is any relationship between student academic performance and social media usage
    1. To find out the reasons for using  social networking sites
    2. To ascertain why Delta State students used social media site for enhancement support
    3. To determine the influence  of social media on Delsu academic performance

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Is any relationship between student academic performance and social media usage?
    1. What are the reasons for using social networking sites?
    2. Why does Delta State Students used social media site for enhancement support?
    3. What is the influence of social media on Delsu academic performance?

 

1.5       SIGNIFICANCEOF THE STUDY

Principally this study will be relevant as it will contribute to the growing body of knowledge regarding identified linkages between the use of social media and students’ academic performance; and to provide policy recommendations for university officials to consider regarding adapting to educational changes associated with the use of social media by university students.

The study will also help researchers with more information on the effect of social media on the academic performance of students. It will be relevant in assisting students in understanding the diversity of social media. It will provide relevance material for students and other researchers undertaking similar research.

 

1.6       SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study is limited to Delta State University, Abraka. The essence of this research work is to primarily study the effect of social media on the academic performance of students. The research intends to focus on students of Delta State University, Abraka for easy analysis of data.

Delta state university Abraka is comprises different faculties including the College/Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Science, Faculty of the Social Sciences and Faculty of Pharmacy.

The university runs a multi-campus system with three campuses within a distance of about 200 km apart. With a student population of about 36,000 (in the 2007/08 session), the University offers a range of programmes from the full-time certificate, diploma and degree programmes to part-time evening and weekend degree programmes.    

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