1.1 Background of the Study
The world is today celebrating the improvements in communication technology which has broadened the scope of communication through information and communication technologies (ICT) (Asemah, Okpanachi, and Edegoh, 2013). Modern Technology in communication no doubt, has turned the entire world into a “Global Village” (Osharive, 2015). It helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping abreast with the world developments. Technology exposes mankind to a better way of doing things.
Information and communication technology is a very broad term, which refers to various gadgets that aids in communication such as computer, mobile phone, and satellite communication. Information and communication technology is a tool that helps in improving communication among people. According to Okwuchukwu (2015), information and communication technology has given rise to unlimited access to information in almost all spheres of human endeavor. Issa, Uzuegbu and Nwosu (2014) also noted that ICT can be seen as the aggregate of computers, telecommunication gadgets, multimedia resource and other related technologies that are applied and utilized in the total process of information management and dissemination. Talukder, Alam, and Apu (2015) state that educational institutions adopted ICT-based teaching method and offering ICT related academic programms, impacting the students with skills of using different smart devices and internet to have access to information, which is of supreme importance’s to Academic. According to Ntui (2014), ICT has been regarded as an important tool to leverage the economy and society, thus mastering basic skills and concepts of ICT has become one core part in education, beside reading, writing, and numeracy. ICT skills are necessary prerequisites for information literacy and life-long learning.
According to Hasnain, Nasreen, and Ijaz (2015), social media is a phenomenon developing in a rapid pace. Social media is the fastest growing web application in the 21st Century that depends on computer, mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms, through which individuals can share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. It introduces substantial and pervasive change to communication between individuals. Al-Rahmi and Othman, (2013) note that the driving factors for adopting of social media are progressively ubiquitous access, convenience, functionality, and flexibility of social technologies.
Onah and Nche (2014) observe that in the manner of a wild fire in harmattan, the phenomenon of social media (networking) has spread to all nook 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. Prior to the invention of this phenomenon, communication over a distance was comparatively difficult. However, the advent of social media has made the impossible become possible, as one can conveniently communicate with anyone at any time irrespective of geographical barriers and distance. According to Umekachikelu (2013) it is amazing that with a click one passes information to thousands of people in a second. Social media are new technologies which are used as channels of information dissemination to heterogeneous audiences without the constraints of time, space or distance.
According to Onah and Nche (2014), defined social media is a group of internet based application that builds on the ideological and technology foundation of the web which allows the creation and exchange of user generated content. 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. Ictech (2014) Technologies such as smartphones can potentially make users more efficient and productive when they use them in an adventageous manner instead as a distraction. (Sinan, Brynojolfsson, and Alstryne, 2007) Smartphones are no different from desk top and laptop, other than size and computer power. The undergraduate student in this study are also known as, “Net Generation” those born between 1980 and 1989, who are in use of social media technologies. Undergraduates of Ambrose Alli University use the social media, for one reasons or another. It is of concern to know how social media has influenced the academic performance of undergraduates. As it is, social media like two sides of a coin brings with it both negative and positive impact. Undergraduates are expected to make the best use of social media to impact knowledge in a wide range, but some are found misusing it.
With the invention of technologies, knowledge management has been enriched. It is of interest to the universities that students should turn out to be good researchers, of which they could search with different source of information, such as paper based and data based information /digital libraries. This information source has their special qualities, but Undergraduates seem to depend more on databases /digital libraries which they can access on their personal devices because of time factor. Nwangwe, Yonlolonfoun and Omotere, (2014) note that most undergraduates running full time programmes in Nigerian universities spend more time on social media than on any other activity of the day, including academic work. Junco and Cotton, (2012) student has become addicted to social media; it split their attention, causing massive decrease in knowledge retention. Idubor, Elogie, and Ikenwe, (2016) believed that social media networks’ use is not only an addictive behaviour but also forms a collection of recognition and behaviour factors that leave people prone to addiction leading to a negative effect on the individual’s life. But, According to Dabbagh and Kitsantas (2012) social media can help facilitate the creation of personal learning environments, which empower students to take charge of their own learning by selecting , creating and organizing tools and resources that help in effective and efficient learning.
The increased use of social networking websites has become an international phenomenon in the past several years. What started out as a hobby for some computer literate people has become a social norm and way of life for people from all over the world (Bloyd, 2007).Teens can form online communities in order to plan for a project, have group class material, or use the social networking sites as a way to keep in contact when a student has been absent and needs to be updated on current academic information (Alexander and Salas, 2008).
Internet is the great global virtual library, where anyone at anywhere in the world can secure access to the huge digital archive where knowledge, leisure and professional world converge in one’s space. It has changed the face of the lives of people, turning them completely into the modern and latest lifestyle with its developments, (Arua, Uzuegbu, and Ugah, 2014). The internet facilitates data exchange by allowing users of the interconnected computers of all types and sizes to communicate in real time. The availability of high speed internet broadband connection with massive use of desktop computers, laptops, e-reader ,tablets and smart phone enable millions of people including undergraduate to actively engage in social networking, text, message, blogging, content sharing, online leaning and much more (Nwangwe, Yonlolonfoun and Omotere, 2014). Today, instead of the print materials, undergraduates use the internet to access e-materials, in which the interactive nature of online environments has expanded with social networks. The social networking sites are being used in various ways like forming communities, chatting, blogging, etc. Academic performance of the undergraduate students is measured by the examination, which is one of the goals of the university to find out the students’ capabilities. According to Osharive (2015) citing Hoyle (1986), 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 performance.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since the advent of social media sites in 1990s, it is assumed in some quarters that the academic performance of students is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. There is a deviation, distraction and divided attention between social networking activities and students’ academic work. The idea of social media was to keep this global world more connected, but it has done more than that, it has become the fourth meal of the day. Baran (2010) argues that “technology can be used in ways beneficial and otherwise, technology is a double-edge sword. Its power for good and bad resides in its use”. The time spent on social media is not limited to free time; it impacts on all areas of one’s life. The emergence of social media as a result of advancement in technology and expansion in internet software has raised great concern of social media influence on academic performance of undergraduate students. Asemah, Okpanachi, and Edegoh (2013) argue that students at all levels of learning now have divided attention to studies, as a result of available opportunities to be harnessed from social media for leisure and recreation.
Youth have become fully involved in social networking all the time, therefore it is important to check on the influence of social media on their academic performances. Osharive (2015) observes that the manufacturing and distribution of equally sophisticated cellular phones has complicated the situation. Universities and the society at large are getting worried, notwithstanding, there are strict rules established by various school authorities on the use of these technological gadgets. Some researchers like: Helou and Rahim (2014) have already underscored a lot of importance of using social network by the undergraduate students. Other researchers such as Asemah, Okpanachi, and Edegoh (2013) citing Ndaku (2013) in an attempt to salvage the academic performance at this stage investigated the impact of social media use on academic performance and study of undergraduate students. However, little or no literature abounds on the Influence of social media on academic performance of Undergraduates’ in Ambrose Alli University, access of various social networking sites, use and how it has influenced their academic performance. Furthermore, the study will examine with the keen passion to suggesting recommendations that will guide undergraduates of different universities, University administration and general public on how to utilize social media.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To find out how often the undergraduate students of Ambrose Alli University go on-line.
- To find out the various social media sites the undergraduates in Ambrose Alli University are aware of and use
- To determine the numbers of hours undergraduates in Ambrose Alli University spend on social networking activities
- To ascertain the use of social media by Ambrose Alli University Undergraduates and how it influences their academic performances.
- To determine the reasons for the students’ use of social networking sites.
1.4 Research Questions
- How often do undergraduate in Ambrose Alli University go on-line?
- What social networking sites do the undergraduates in Ambrose Alli University are aware of and use?
- How many hours do undergraduates spend on social networking activities?
- How has the use of social media by undergraduates in Ambrose Alli University influenced their academic performances?
- What are the reasons for which undergraduates in Ambrose Alli University us social networking sites?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study seeks to unravel the influence of social media on academic performance of undergraduates. The study is focused on 200 to 400 levels, while 100level would be excluded in the participation of the study. In most cases the characteristics of undergraduates are generally similar, the research findings would be generalized to include all undergraduates’ of Ambrose Alli University.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will provide researchers empirical data on the influence of social media on undergraduates’ academic performances. It will be relevant in assisting the undergraduates to understand the diversity of social media and their effectual use in academic activities. The results of the study are likely to influence further scholarly research by other researchers who may be interested in this field of knowledge and initiate appropriate investigation. The findings could be used by academic advisers and counselors to proffer professional advice to the university authorities on how to regulate the use of social media network among undergraduates of Ambrose Alli University and other institutions of learning. Also, the findings of this study would provide facts that will enable the ministry of education and ministry of communication technology to know what arises from the use of social networking sites, so as to be guided on how to control social networking sites usage to enhance learning and research. It is also important to note that it would be of relevance to various people around and universities across Nigeria.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Academic Performance: The outcome of somebody’s efforts in education and extent to which a student has achieved his educational goals.
Influence of social media: The power of social media to cause change in the users without directly forcing such changes to happen.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT): A term that describes the general processing and communication of information of all kinds through technology.
Internet: A global digital infrastructure that connects millions of computers and people in what is often referred to as network of networks with cross platform compatibility that ease communication.
Social Networking site: An online platform that provides a virtual community for people interested in a particular subject or just to hang out together.
Social Media: A wed based and mobile capabilities, used to turn communication into interactive dialogue between organizations, communities and individuals.
Undergraduates: A student at a college or university who has not yet earned a bachelor’s or equivalent degree.