The study examines the perception of students towards Social media (Instagram) nudity. The study was anchored on the theory of Social Cognitive which concern with the social relationship and communication among people. The research work was carried out using the survey design method with the population size 140 drawn from the department of Political Science and Mass Communication, and the sample size of 103. The same administered questionnaire was returned by the respondents, the simple random techniques which gives the sample equal chances of being selected was employed and the data from the questionnaire was selected, collated and analyzed. The study concluded that students affirmed that they frequently visit Instagram platform at every 30 minutes with average of five hours daily during their leisure time. Students think that social media strategy for political participation is just a mere political activity. The study concluded that nude contents are irritating and a way of amusing user’s attention. Ladies show more of their bodies than men and those users that post nude contents are deviants. The study recommended that students should cultivate the habit of balance the use of Instagram with social activities to enable them use it for educational purpose, students should understand that nude contents they post Instagram have a way of exposing their personalities negatively and they should ensure that they review their posts at any given time and female users should learn from their men school mate on how they post good contents about them.
1.1 Background to the Study
Communication is very important in human relationship. It goes with information about things, place and people from both distance location and closest location. Every moment, new technological discovery is brought to the experience of the people. The world of Information and Communication Technology is yet to experience something more phenomenal than the phenomenon of social media. According to Nche (2012), social media currently seem to take the centre stage in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). 22
Social media have become integral part of modern society. Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have created new ways to socialize and interact. Users of these sites are able to add a wide variety of information to pages, to pursue common interests and to connect with others (Idrus & Hitam, 2014).
In the same vein, Adaja and Ayodele (2013:65) observed that one of the breakthroughs in information and communication technology in the 21st century was the discovery and emergence of the new media which have facilitated the creation of the different platforms for social interaction. The interactions are most of issues of entertainment, education, society activities, environment and the rest. The curiosity that exist among the youth in this advent of social media technologies can be attributed to the globalization of the society; the case is now of information overload.
Social media are platforms by which communication is shared among friends in order to keep close relationship beyond inter-face with each other. Kaplan (2010) defined social media as group of internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web which allow the creation and exchange of user generated content. One aspect of social media definition is that of speed. People prefer to use a channel that has high frequency of delivery to the people.
They refer to the internet-based social websites like the Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. which allow users to interactively communicate with one another. Social media can also refer to those “web-based and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue between organizations, communities and individuals” (www.wikidpedia). The media allow users to meet friends, exchange ideas, images, audios, videos and most importantly stay connected. Since their invention, they have become increasingly popular in different countries across the globe.
Hence, Verster (2010) observed that social media are fast becoming the default internet mode of interaction, communication and collaboration”. In Nigeria, for instance, social media sites especially facebook, have apparently become common, especially among the youths. Prior to the invention of this phenomenon, communication over a distance was comparatively difficult. However, the advent of the social media has made the erstwhile impossible become possible, as one can conveniently communicate with anyone at anytime irrespective of geographical barriers and distance.
The relationship between what people search and post in the social is that of social activities. Umekachikelu (2013) has expressed that it is amazing that with a click one passes information to thousands of people in a second. This is the power of social media. It has made business, politics and social life effortless and easy. This is further accelerated by the fact that these social media sites are accessible with mobile smart phones, anywhere and at any time.
Social media have been a sociological as well as communication matters. However, amidst all sociological benefit, social media have regrettably contributed to moral degeneration and decadence among youths in several countries, including Nigeria. This, no doubt, stems from the gross obsession with and abuse of these social networking sites. (Idrus & Hitam, 2014).
According to Kamaku and Mberia (2014), social networking sites such as Istagram, Twitter and Face book have become a raging craze for everyone nowadays. Youths are the most users of social media. They are fascinated with the great features of the social media and this makes the youth vulnerable to the risk associated with the social media. There are a number of risks associated with social media use, specifically, negative effects on mental health, cyber bullying, texting, dangers of sexual solicitation, and exposure to problematic and illegal content and privacy violations (Barak, 2005).
Nnamonu (2013) aptly expressed that while the internet is the chief host of social media sites, the youth are the most predominant clients. This is seen in the manner at which youth are caught in the social media. Nche (2012:19) has observed that in the manner of a wild fire in harmattan, the phenomenon of social media (networking) has spread to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria, engulfing a large number of her youths. Social media usage has become so common among the youths, that it has become unfashionable not to engage oneself at least in one of the social networking sites.
This issue is looked from the moral aspect. Some persons believed that morality is lacking on the social media platform. Morality states the way a society supposed to be in socio-economic and political. Morality refers to the principle of right or wrong behaviour. It has its etymological origin from the Latin word “mores” which means “conduct or custom. Ezekwu (2008) has therefore noted that morality is used to denote a generally accepted code of conduct in a society or within a subgroup of society that comes to be regarded as essential to its survival and welfare. These accepted norms or codes of conduct in any society often appeal to the moral nature of man for the human nature is a moral nature, and the moral sphere is exclusively the human sphere, (Omoregbe, 1993).
Some moral issues are the exposure of nude contents by youths especially students. The position here is that social media are not the bane for social malady but the way youths transfer physical social malady to the social media. Remarkably, the issue with social media is that of viral transmission of contents than in the social world. People have used these sites to cause some potential harm to society as students become their victims more often than anyone else. This is because of the reason that when they are studying or searching their course material online, they get attracted to these sites to kill the boredom in their study time, diverting their attention from their work, (Kowalski, 2011).
The issue of sexual exposure and intimidation in the social media is becoming an issue in the society. Sexual cyber bullying can have many harmful effects on a teenager. Many teens begin to miss school or skip classes so they do not have to face their peers or they are afraid for their safety. Their grades can begin to suffer. Some students are removed from school and enrolled in a new one but because the image is public the bullying often follows the student to the new school. Some may eventually drop out of school, never finishing their education. Students can develop depression, anxiety, drug addiction, eating disorders and/or other mental health issues which have negative effects on their social and academic lives (Harmon, 2004). This study sought to establish how teenagers are sexually harassed through social media and how this negatively affects their school life and adult lives.
According to Cover (2015), all nudity representations on the social media especially Instagram operate as a context for the representation of nakedness in legitimated ways that defuse both vulnerability and obscenity. Despite the cultural legitimacy given to such representations of the body, the fact that charges of obscenity continue to come from more conservative quarters indicates that the representation of nakedness is not altogether exempt from differentiated reading positions. Cover (2015), there is an encroaching pattern in which nakedness as gazed upon is read correlatively with the sexual, and that zones, frames or contexts of naked representation that might once have been considered ‘nonsexual’ are more frequently sexualized or eroticized on Instagram.
The mobile app even has a full network of “feature” apps like Hyperlapse, Layout, and Boomerang, boasts an intuitive Direct Messaging service, and has developed a robust ad platform. Instagram Ads include photo, video, and carousel formats now, and marketers can gain insight into the business results they are achieving with these investments, from website conversions to mobile app downloads.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
Instagram is one of the social media platform that is highly appreciated by users especially the students of tertiary education. Many students have different purposes of creating Instagram account and these are for social posting of pictures, videos and hashtag. Instagram users generate leads that will make them have more followers. These are done for entertainment objectives but many people have beginning to make use of the Instagram for many other things. The social media is really uncensored. Most of the contents people post and share on social media are rather offensive. These include nude picture, videos and comments.
Cover (2015), there is an increased bodily and psychic anxiety about the self- naked under the gaze of others, this is not merely the result of contemporary cultural codes of the obscene, vulnerability and personal privacy, but of the ‘postmodern’ destabilization of contexts, frames and reading practices which formerly ‘protected’ the naked in certain sites from slipping into significations of the sexual.
Instagram is top-of-mind for any social marketer in 2017, and with a community of 600 million users (100 million of which were added in the last half of 2016), it’s no surprise that brands have been flocking to the rapidly growing network in droves. Instagram has gain ground in the social media world as becoming a photo and video display advertisement for persons. The photo-sharing network has evolved into a photo-, video-, and GIF- sharing network. It’s even become a competitor with Snapchat for live video with its introduction of Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, and a competitor with Pinterest with its recently released “Save” feature.
Therefore, this study seek to investigate the perception of student towards nudity contents of the social media with emphasis on Instagram to close knowledge gap as regards to objectives of the study and add to knowledge to existing literature and discovery. The problem of nudity in the social media (Instagram) prompted this study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to investigate the perception of students towards social media (Instagram) nudity while the specific objectives of the study to:
- Determine the frequency at which Delta State University students use Instagram.
- Determine the amount of nude contents viewed by student on Instagram.
- Ascertain the perceptions of Delta State University students towards nude contents on Instagram.
- Find out the motive behind posting of nude contents on Instagram by students
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the frequency at which Delta State University students use Instagram?
- What is the amount of nude contents viewed by students on Instagram?
- What are the perceptions of Delta State University students towards nude contents on Instagram?
- What is the motive behind posting of nude contents on Instagram by students?
1.5 Significance of the Study
There is need to research on this topic since social media have brought new dimension in the way people use the social media especially the Instagram. Many scholars have rule out that Instagram is more for celebrities and there are cases where celebrities post sexual contents of themselves or others just to attract followings. There has been issue of decency in posts on the Istagram.
The study will establish whether there are nudity contents on instagram by students, ascertain the perception of students in Delta State University, Abraka towards nudity posts on Instagram, and ascertain whether nudity post on Instagram influence the behaviours of Delta State University students in Abraka.
The findings from this study will provide scholars with knowledge for further research.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study focuses on students of the Delta State University, Abraka. The coverage will be restricted to two Departments in the Faculty of the Social Sciences, The Departments are Sociology and Mass Communication. The study covers 400 level students in the two departments. The reason for those level is that they are matured enough to understand and react to the subject of research. The scope covers 2018/2019 academic session.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Influence: This is the art at which a variable affect another variable in cause a change of outcome.
Instagram: This is a social media platform where users post videos and pictures for social activities so that their followers will see and make comments or share.
Nudity: This is a picture or video that exposes partial or full nakedness of private parts of the human body.
Perception: This is the feelings and attitude of people towards a particular thing or person or concept.
Social Media: This means social networking site design to create flow of information among users in their social quest. These include but not limited to facebook, whatsapp, Instagram, twitter e.t.c.
Student: This is a person who is gainfully admitted into the University or other Institution of higher learning for the purpose to acquire educational knowledge.