Social Media and Academic Pursuits of Students

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THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC PURSUITS OF STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTION IN KADUNA STATE

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this research study is to examine the influence of Social Media and Academic Pursuit of Students in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Five Research questions guided the study. To achieve this, the descriptive survey research design was adopted. The study focused on Ahmadu Bello University hence, population consists of all the 35,000  students. The simple random sampling technique was used to select a sample of 396 students. A four point Likert Type Rating Scale Questionnaire type, titled: Social Media and Academic Performance of Students Questionnaire (SMAAPOS) was used to collect data from the respondents. The descriptive statistics of frequency counts and percentage, were used to analyze the demographic data. Research findings showed that a great number of students in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, are addicted to social media. To this end, the researcher recommended that social media should be used for educational purposes as well; Social Networking Sites should be expanded and new pages should be created to enhance academic activities and avoid setbacks in the students ’ academic pursuit; and Students should be monitored by teachers and parents on how they use these sites. This is to create a balance between social media and academic activities of students to avoid setbacks in the academic pursuits of the students.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

The improvements in communication technology have broadened the scope of communication through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Modern Technology in communication no doubt has turned the entire world into a “Global village”. But as it is, technology like two sides of a coin, bring with it both negative and positive sides. It helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping abreast with world developments. Technology exposes mankind to a better way of doing things. Social networking sites include: Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Whatsapp Messenger, 2go messenger, Skype, Google talk, Google Messenger, iPhone and Androids. These networking sites are used by most people to interact with old and new friends, physical or internet friends ( Asemah and Edegoh, 2016). The world has been changed rapidly by the evolution of technology; this has resulted into the use of technology as the best medium to explore the wide area of knowledge.

The evolution of internet technology has led to its use as the best medium for communication. Whereby, two-third of the world’s internet population visits social networking or blogging sites, thus serving as a communication and connection tool. Social networking sites (SNSs) are online Communities of Internet users who want to communicate with other users about areas of mutual interest, whether from a personal, business or academic perspective (William, Boyd, Densten, Chin, Diamond & Morgenthaler 2015). The millions of social networking sites have transformed the thought of global village into a reality whereby billions of people communicate through social networking sites. Numerous benefits have been obtained through distant communication through the use of social networking sites.

Academic pursuit plays an important role in an individual placement, be it in the academic institutions or job placement. Due to this, many students are concerned with the ways they can enhance their academic pursuit in tertiary institution. The emphasis on academic pursuit which is also prevalent worldwide has encouraged many studies about the conditions promoting it. (Kyoshaba, 2015).

Academic pursuits , which is measured by the examination results, is one of the major goals of a school. Hoyle (2018) argued that schools are established with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills to those who go through them and behind all this is the idea of enhancing good academic pursuits .

Academic pursuits of students in tertiary institution is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Academic pursuits  is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important, procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts (Annie, Howard & Mildred, 2019).

A direct relationship exists between Social media usage and the academic pursuits  of students in tertiary institution. However the darker side within technological evolution has resulted in dilemmas such as the setback of real values of life especially among students in tertiary institution who form the majority of users interacting through the use of social networking sites. Online social networking sites focus on building and reflecting social associations among people who share interests and or activities. With so many social networking sites displayed on the internet, students in tertiary institution are tempted to abandon their homework and reading times in preference for chatting online with friends. Many students in tertiary institution are now addicted to the online rave of the moment, with Facebook, Twitter etc.

Today most youths and students in tertiary institution possess Facebook accounts. The reason most of them perform badly in school might not be far- fetched. While many minds might be quick to blame the poor quality of teachers, they might have to think even harder, if they have not heard of the Facebook frenzy (Oche & Aminu .2017). Olubiyi (2016) noted that these days’ students in tertiary institution are so engrossed in the social media that they are almost 24 hours online. Even in classrooms and lecture theatres, it has been observed that some students in tertiary institution are always busy pinging, 2going or Facebooking, while lectures are on. Times that ought be channeled towards learning, academic research and innovating have been crushed by the passion for meeting new friends online, and most times busy discussing trivial issues. Hence most students in tertiary institution’ academics suffer setback as a result of distraction from the social media. In (Obi, Bulus, Adamu & Sala’at 2016), it was observed that the use of these sites also affects students in tertiary institution’ use of English and grammar. The students in tertiary institution are used to short forms of writing words in their chat rooms; they forget and use the same in the classrooms. They use things like 4 in place of for, U in place of You, D in place of The etc. and this could affect their class assessment.

Social networking sites although has been recognized as an important resource for education today, studies however shows that students in tertiary institution use social networking sites such as Facebook for fun, to kill time, to meet existing friends or to make new ones (Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe 2019). Although it has been put forward that students in tertiary institution spends much time on participating in social networking activities, with many students in tertiary institution blaming the various social networking sites for their steady decrease in grade point averages (Kimberly, Jeong and Lee, 2015), it also shows that only few students in tertiary institution are aware of the academic and professional networking opportunities the sites offered.

According to Kuppuswamy and Shankar (2017), social network websites grab attention of the students in tertiary institution and then diverts it towards non-educational and inappropriate actions including useless chatting. Whereas on the other hand, (Liccardi, Ounnas, Massey, Kinnunen, Midy, & Sakar. 2019) reviewed that the students in tertiary institution are socially connected with each other for sharing their daily learning experiences and do conversation on several topics. Tinto (2020) argued that extracurricular activities and academic activities are not enough to satisfy some students those who are suffered by social networking isolation. This shows that social networks are beneficial for the students in tertiary institution as it contributes in their learning experiences as well as in their academic pursuit. Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels (2015) noted that the Internet is no doubt evolution of technology but specifically social networks are extremely unsafe for teenagers, social networks become hugely common and well-known in past few years. According to Cain (2015) social network websites provide ease of connecting people to one another; free of cost and after connecting one can post news, informative material and other things including videos and pictures etc. Wiley and Sisson (2016) argued that the previous studies have found that more than 90% of tertiary school students in tertiary institution use social networks. In the same way Ellison et al (2019) stated that the students in tertiary institution use social networking websites approximately 30 minutes throughout the day as a part of their daily routine life. This statement shows the importance of social networking websites in students’ academic pursuit in tertiary institution. Lenhart and Madden (2019) revealed through a survey that students in tertiary institution strongly recommend social networking websites to stay in touch with friends to keep informed and aware.

Social information processing theory is an interpersonal communication theory which suggests that online interpersonal relationship development might require more time to develop than face-to-face relationships, but when developed, it has the same impact as face-to-face communication. This means, the more students in tertiary institution use social media, the more they impact their disposition to studies, given the fact that friends from social media will begin to exert impact on each other.

1.2       Statement of Problem

The world today is a global market in which the internet is the most important sort of information. Since the advent of social media sites in the 1990s, it is assumed in some quarters that the academic pursuits of students in tertiary institution is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. The educational system in Nigeria is faced with so many challenges which have certainly brought about a rapidly decline in the quality of education. There is a deviation, distraction and divided attention between social networking activities and their academic work. It is observed that students in tertiary institution devote more attention to social media than they do to their studies.

Students in tertiary institution’ addictiveness to social networks, students in tertiary institution’ frequency of exposure to social network, social media network that the students in tertiary institution are more exposed to and the impact of social media as a medium of interaction between students in tertiary institution has been part of discussion in recent times and which have imparted on their academic pursuits . Instead of students in tertiary institution reading their books, they spend their time chatting and making friends via the social media and this might definitely have impact on their academic pursuits , because when you do not read, there is no way you can perform well academically. It is a common sight to see a student chatting in sensitive and highly organized 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 students in tertiary institution no longer need to visit a cybercafe before they send and receive messages. Attention has been shifted from visible to invisible friends, while important ventures like study and writing might be affected in the process. This phenomenon has become a source of worry to many who believe in knowledge and skill acquisition.

In recent times social media have been a major stay in the minds of students in tertiary institution and the world at large thereby causing a lot of drastic measure by students in tertiary institution, teacher and even educational administrators at large. It is therefore of great importance to explore some of the trending issues facing students in tertiary institution’ academic pursuits  as a result of social media. Students in tertiary institution 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 impact of social media networks on the academic pursuits  of the students in tertiary institution in Kaduna State.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study generally is to examine The Impact of Social Media on the Academic Pursuits of Students in Tertiary Institution in Kaduna State.

Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. Examine the level of student addictiveness to social media and the impact on theiracademic pursuits.
  2. Determine the social media network that the students in tertiary institution are more exposed to and theimpact on their academic pursuits.
  3. Ascertain how the use of social media has impact the academic pursuits of thestudents in tertiary institution in Kaduna State.
  4. Ascertain the difference in students in tertiary institution’ usage of social media network by gender.
  5. Ascertain how age has impact on students in tertiary institution’ usage of social media network.

1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions were raised;

  1. To what extent would student addictiveness to social network impact their academic pursuits?
  2. Does the social media network that the students in tertiary institution are more exposed to impact their academic pursuits?
  3. How has the use of social media impact the academic pursuits of the students in tertiary institution in Kaduna State?
  4. Is there gender difference in the student’s usage of social media network?
  5. In what way do younger and older students in tertiary institution impact the use of social media?

1.5       Significance of the Study

This study is significant to the teachers, parents and students in tertiary institution.

  1. This study will help the teachers to know the impact that social media has on their students in tertiary institution, so as to assist them to enlighten and create awareness to the students in tertiary institution on the possible impact it has on them.
  2. The study is of significance to parents in the sense that they will know thepossible effects these social media usage has on their children, so as to serve as watch-dog to their children on the usage of the social networking site.
  3. The study will enable the students in tertiary institution of the senior level so that they will be aware that, apart from the social benefits of this social networking site, using the sites more than necessary will pose possible dangers to their health. It will be relevant in assisting students in tertiary institution in understanding the diversity of social media. It will provide relevance material for students in tertiary institution and other researchers undertaking similar research. The study will help researchers with more information on the Impact of social media on student’s academic pursuits.

1.6       Scope of the Study

The focus of this research work is to primarily study the Impact of social media on the academic pursuits of students in tertiary institution. The study will comprise students in tertiary institution in Kaduna State.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

As words may mean differently in different contexts, the following definitions are given as the words used as intended to be understood for the purpose of this study.

Academic Pursuit: According to Kuppuswamy (2017), it is concerned with achieving a purpose through study from books as opposed by a practical work.

Computer: A computer is a machine that receives or stores or process data quickly according to a stored program (Wikipedia, 2020).

ICT: Information and Communication Technology (Wikipedia, 2020).

Media: Are all those media technologies that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication. “They are messages communicated through a mass medium to a number of people (Webster Dictionary, 2019).

Social Media: They    are       forms   of         electronic         communication which facilitate interactive base on certain interests. Social media include web and mobile technology (Surowiecki, 2005).

Social Networking Sites: A website where people put information about them and can send to others (Surowiecki, 2005).

Social Networking: The use of internet to make information about yourself available to other people especially people you share an interest with to send messages to them (Olubiyi, 2016)

Students in Tertiary Institution: Someone who is Studying at a University or School. Someone who is very interested in a particular subject (Researcher, 2021).

Tweets: A short message posted on Twitter (a micro blog).  (Peter, 2016).

 

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