THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE LIFESTYLE OF STUDENTS OF DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, ABRAKA

Abstract

As social media use among the youth increases, it causes a wide scale realignment of their leisure behaviour. Young adults have consistently been the heaviest users of social media The use of social media among students has reached high levels and has affected their lifestyle in so many ways such as their dressing, study time, poor grammar and wrong spellings when socializing on social media as well as diverting their attention from their studies. The study adopted Technological Determinism and it that state that media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how the society operates as we move from one technological age to another.The research design used for this study was the survey design. The population of the institution was estimated to be above 36,000 (in the 2007/08 session). The current population as estimated by the institution registrar is about 16,900 population in the 2015/2016 academic session.The sample size for this study will made up of 150 subjects drawn from the various faculties in the university. In selecting the sample for this study, the simple random sampling techniques was used. The structured questionnaire was used to collect relevant data from the respondents.  The study concluded that Delta State University students have been influenced positively to a great extent by the social media because they use it to improve their social life and for information finding, social media has taken the process of information gathering and sharing, socialization and learning by the students to a higher platform thereby making the site more than a mere interactive social networking site, Social media such as Facebook, Whatsapp, are the preferred social media site  which provide them the opportunity to express themselves and connect with like-minded people and or meet new friends and great amount of time is spent on social networking sites by Nigerian undergraduate. The study therefore 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, students should create a balance between chit-chatting and academic activities. More attention should be directed to research, Telecommunication network providers in Nigeria must improve their services, especially within the University community as poor internet connections discourage students from being active on social media and 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.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the study

The use of social media among students has reached high levels and has affected their lifestyle in so many ways such as their dressing, study time, poor grammar and wrong spellings when socializing on social media as well as diverting their attention from their studies (Ndaku, 2013). Young adults spend much of their useful time on social networks than on other profiting endeavor such academic (Sandra and  Nizam 2016).

The word “Social Media” means collection of applications (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, or YouTube etc.) and websites that link people to share information and aware people about any event through social networking. From the beginning of the 21st century, social media is in progress. People belonging to different age groups use social media. Social media plays a vital role in life. Information Technology (IT) changed the living standard. These tools provide several ways of interaction and different opportunities to learn foreign languages through worldwide. The world become a global village due to social media. Users can connect with other people within seconds and share their ideas and give comments by video conferencing. People of different culture can also talk on any issue. Social media links  people to their culture by showing different documentaries. People also use social media to get information about other countries. Social media influence adolescent’s life, it has both positive and negative impacts. Students use social media for learning purpose, for entertainment, and for innovation.

Swist Teresa, Collin and McCormack (2015), Social media can be defined as a set of web applications that (a) rely on the participation of mass groups of users rather than centrally controlled content providers, (b) aggregate and remix content from multiple sources, and (c) more intensely network users and content together (O'Reilly, 2007; cited in Ahn, 2011).

 Social media can now be accessed via multiple platforms (eg Twitter and Youtube) and mobile devices (eg smatphones, tablets and laptops). They are also increasingly integrated with traditional media (eg. television, newspapers and radio) for re-broadcast and intermixing with ‘newer’ media. In this way, social media offers new expectations, interactions and activities – such as user-generated content, remixing and dissemination (Bruns, 2008). This is associated with the rise of ‘participatory culture’, which shapes children and young people’s expectations as active agents in media practices and the world around them (Jenkins et al., 2006). Social media can thus also be understood as a ‘cultural mindset’ towards the diverse production, use and purposes of digital communications (boyd, 2014).

As social media use among the youth increases, it causes a wide scale realignment of their leisure behaviour. Young adults have consistently been the heaviest users of social media by a substantial margin, and today that’s even more true: a staggering 90% of them use social media, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center study. That’s a 78% increase from the 12% who were using social media back in 2005. Another Pew study found that 82% of young adults that are online use Facebook, and about 55% of this crowd uses Instagram, says the Pew study. Rounding out the mediums covered by the report is Twitter, used by about 32% of this population.

Social media integrates technologies, social interaction, and content creation to collaboratively connect on-line information. Through social media, people or group of people can create, organize, edit, comment on, combine, and share content, in the process of helping agencies to better achieve their mission goals. It is fair to say that human race have wholeheartedly embraced social media. Social media have changed the way we interact significantly, but it is possible that we are not taking enough time to step back and take stock of what is happening to us.

 

This study therefore takes a broad look at how the social media is influencing the lifestyle of  the students of Delta state university.

1.2       Statement of the Research Problem

Social media is quickly evolving in front of our eyes and it is almost impossible to reject and hide from this new form of media. It is becoming an important part of socialization within peer groups and acts as a communication device that helps users  find and share information. Most websites offer communication through the use of Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and many various blog formats (Rideout, 2010).. With new apps on smartphones and photography and video made digital, media can be created, edited and shared quickly and once it is in this new digital cloud it is not yours anymore.

Social networking plays vital roles in broadening social connections and information acquisition. The problem of this study therefore is to find out whether social media has a role to play in the lifestyle of young adults.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To find out why and how university students use social media.
  2. To determine the preferred social media sites for students.
  3. To ascertain the frequency of students use of social media sites.
  4. To find out how students access social media for social life.

1.4       Research Questions

This study will be guided by the following research questions;

  1. Why do university students use social media and in what ways?
  2. What are the preferred social media sites used by students?
  3. How frequently do students use social media sites?
  4. How do students access social media for social life?

1.5       Scope of the Study

This study is limited to Delta State University, Abraka. The university runs a multi-campus system i.e Abraka, Oleh and Asaba campus. The university had students of over 16,900 as at 2016. The university offers a range of programmes, from the full-time certificate, diploma and pre-degree programmes to part-time evening and weekend post graduate programmes.

1.6       Significance of the Study

This study will be significant for a number of reasons and they are;

First, it is expected that findings from this study will help the government, religious leaders, educationist and also policy maker to know the extent at which the social media as a new feature of communication can bring about drastic change in the lifestyle of young adults and how social media can serve as a tool for cultural importation.

This study will help educate young adults on the need to use social media in the right direction  and create cognizance among them that proper use of social media can  become a solid tool to educate, inform and groom the mentality level of youths. Social media can refine the life style of public especially the youths.

1.7       Limitation of the Study

The study is limited by the following factors;

Time factor: This was a significant limitation to this study.  There was not enough time to extend the study to other areas which would have helped in fulfillment of the study as the researcher had to combine this research work with other academic activities  particularly the final year examination.

Finance: limited financial resources for gathering material and generating of questionnaire to get information from the respondents was also a limitation for the researcher.

The researcher also encountered some challenges in trying to get relevant material such that will be important to this research topic.

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