The Impact Of Internet On The Nigerian Society

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science Education

The Impact Of Internet On The Nigerian Society


Abstract


This study as a matter of fact appreciate the splendid impact of internet in the life of Nigerians’ youths. The study examine the Impact of Internet in curbing the problem of Internet through its contribution in the youths life. Survey method of research was applied in the study. The study was very significant especially now that the whole world is now into internet and the whole world is embracing internet. And for the fact that Nigerian had suffered so much from the problem of internet together with the recent increase in cyber crime in the country. Moreso, the result of the study reveal that impact of internet in the life of Nigerian’s youths cannot be over emphasized. Adequate internet attention has been accorded to the said problem. The study also went further to reveal that internet problem in the country is at increase. Much is expected from the government to speed up the positive impact of internet and stop the negative impact of internet in the country. The study offered useful solution on how to find lasting solution to the problem of internet.


Chapter One


Introduction

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 the 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.

The world’s first commercial space communication company created by the United State Congress in 1962 was the communication satellite corporation (COMSAT). In 1964, the United State Government and eleven (11) foreign Nations signed a space communication pact. The partnership was known as “International Telecommunication Satellite Organization (INTELSAT). The internet known as the worlds “Information Super Highway” is a worldwide assemblage of Inter- Connected Computer Networks (Andrew, 2005).

In the view of Paul (2010, p.301), internet is a massive “network of networks”, a networking infrastructure which connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with each other as long as they are both connected to internet. The network consist of local area network (LAN), connecting computers in the same building while wide area network (WANs) connecting several LANs in different locations. It connects both private, commercial, Government and Academic network including a grown number of home computer. (Retrieved November 3rd 2012) www.webopedia.com/Did you know/internet/2002/web-vs.-internet-asp).

Nigeria University and polytechnics, undergraduate are required to carry out research projects in their final year. Project writing is a major prerequisite for the award of degree in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Every students considers project writing as important to his or her academic success and this involves students carrying out a study on a topic of interest. When a project is completed it is evaluated by the quality of the work submitted with stipulated time (Fatoki, 2004). It is used to indicate the students ability to select research and draw logical conclusion from endings. The quality of a project is to a large extent dependent on the quality, quantity and recency of the resources consulted and cited (Mbofung, 2003). The use of the internet (if maximized_ play a major role in helping undergraduate researcher access to large number of materials from different parts of the globe. Internet is very useful in obtaining information for research and projects. Adeboji and Toyo (2006) in their study on the impact of internet, reported that internet contributed significantly to be case of project through down loading materials.
The use of internet is gradually becoming popular in Nigeria. Statistic shows that Nigeria with in estimated population of 138,283,240 people has 10,000 internet users representing 7.2 percent of population ((Interest World Status 2009).


1.1 Background of the Study

Basically, the internet was in emergency military communication system operated by the department of defense advanced research project agency (ARPA).

The whole operation was referred to as AKPANET. The speed of internet has changed the way people receive the information. It contributes the immediately of broadcast with the in-depth coverage of newspaper making it perfect sources for news and weather information. Even with the much media excitement of the web, electronic mail (e-mail) is the most frequently used application of the internet. Many people who have access to the internet at school, home and at work place use the internet for another purpose than to send and to receive the mail. It is just friends and co-workers that are receiving e-mail wherever you look, the web is providing e-mail address. This has made communication between the strangers easier than ever. Chatting is one of more popular activities on the internet.

People can talk to anyone across the world. Introduction to social on line networking site has facilitated communication. These websites were users can create a profile. They are web-based services that allow individual to:

Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulated a list of other users within whom they share connection with through social networking, people can use networking of online friends and group membership to keep in touch with currents friends, reconnect with old friends or create real life friendship through similar interest or groups, besides establishing important solid relationship social networking, members can share their interest.

Since the Internet‘s infancy, higher education institutions have pioneered many innovations (Cookson, 2000). According to Bates (1996:47), ―information technologies integral to the Internet have allowed higher education to (1) expand access to education and training, (2) raise quality, (3) lower costs, and (4) increase cost-effectiveness‖. Internet-related technologies have also enabled higher education institutions to: (5) expand the number of courses and programs, (6) generate higher levels of tuition-based revenues, (7) develop specialized programs of study that would not otherwise be possible, and (8) use the process of technological innovation as a vehicle for revitalization of other aspects of their operations (Daniel, 1996).It can therefore be said that the Internet is one of the new technologies that support and promote the technological revolution that has taken place in education.

However, in Nigerian universities and tertiary institutions, there have been concerns on the possible effects of daytime and sometimes all-night Internet browsing on reading time among students. Some studies, for example, Oji (2007) cited in Margaret and Eric (2010:16) has highlighted the growing incidences of students using the Internet not necessarily for academic purposes, but for anti-social activities such as racketeering, blackmail, fraud and pornography. This probably explains why cybercafés patronised by students in many Nigerian cities and towns are often raided by law enforcement officials. Ojedokun (2006:46) pointed out that,―many students use the Internet mostly or only to search and retrieve information on entertainment, sports and news, and attributes this trend to lack of necessary searching skills for effective usage‖.

Jones (2002:16), in a research carried out on the Internet and African life, found that ―university youths use the Internet more to communicate socially than they do for academic work‖.Thus, whereas, the Internet offers information and systems of instruction that complement the traditional ways that students study and learn, some students seem to be preoccupied with it essentially for activities that entertain rather than educate.

Another contending issue related to the use of the Internet and the behaviour of the users towards it, is the issue of gender disparity in the Internet and the purpose of using it.For instance, Brunner and Bennett (1998:24) observed that, ―male and Youth differ significantly in terms of their attitude towards the Internet .On a similar study, a review of the literature concerning the Internet usage among the Americans revealed that the once stark gap between the male and the youth is closing rapidly, but disparities remain in the purposes for which males and youths use the Internet (Odell, Korgen, Schumacher, andDelucchi,2001 cited in Ozoemelem, 2010:18).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The use of the internet for research and studies in the university is now a thing of necessity world-wide, and having access and a positive attitude toward the use of the Internet is a necessary condition for its effective use (Sylvester, 2011). Similarly, it is important to establish the students‘ attitude towards any new technology because it will assist universities to know if they are meeting the needs of students effectively (OECD, 2005).

This therefore means that, although providing internet facilities and or having access to it is important, studying and analyzing the users‘ behaviours towards it as well as the purpose of using it is equally important. Hence, while universities like A.B.U. are trying to build the Internet, a valuable teaching and learning tool, it is necessary for them to understand their students‘ behaviour towards its applications. Also, they need to find out the purposes for which their Youth in particular are using the Internet; whether they use it for communication, for entertainment and fashion, for academic purposes, for correspondences or for business and social purposes.


1.3 Aim / Objectives of the Study

This study aims at determining the impact of internet on the Nigerian society and the purpose which they use it for.

The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To find out the behaviour of Nigerian Youth towards the Internet usage.
  2. To identify the purpose for which the Internet is used by Nigerian Youth.
  3. To identify the search engines/access points mostly used by youth
  4. To determine the frequency of surfing the Internet by the respondents.
  5. To find out the constraints faced by youth using the Internet.

1.3 The Research Questions

The following research questions were set out to generate data for the study:

  1. What is the behaviour of Nigerian Youth towards the impact of internet?
  2. For what purpose do the Nigerian Youth use the Internet?
  3. What are the Internet search engines and access points used by the Nigerian Youth?
  4. How often do the Nigerian Youth surf the Internet?
  5. What are the constraints faced by the youth using the Internet?

1.5 Significance of the Study

In the existing body of literature on the impact of internet reviewed by the researcher, not many and specific studies have been conducted in relation to the behaviour and purpose of the impact of internet by youth. The few ones available such as that of Salam (2003) and Achounye & Olele (2009) among others studied the gender differences among the male and Youth in the universities. In for example, the Internet usage among youth have never been examined in any previous studies. This therefore indicates the gap in knowledge of the study.

This study is further justified in the sense that is among the Nigerian Universities that encourages the use of the Internet for academic purposes among its staff and students alike. Hence, the University has established its own e-library, Internet wireless services among others in its campuses. It is in line with this that the researcher carried out this study to find out the behaviour of the youth towards the impact of internet.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study will cover the youth . However, only a sample of their total population will be used to make generalizations. Thus, the sample will be drawn from the twelve faculties of the university.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

The questionnaire was administered during examination period therefore having the attention of the respondents was difficult for the researcher.


1.8 Operational Definitions

i. Behaviour

In the context of this study means feeling, perception or attitudinal dispositions of a certain group towards a particular thing.

ii. Perception / Attitude

In this study means opinion or way of thinking and understanding of the youth towards the internet.

iii. Access Point

In this study means the device or way through which one surfs the Internet. For instance, it could be through subscription modem, cyber cafes, wireless hotspots, e-library and mobile Internet like devices like i-phone, ipad and other devices which provide easier access to the Internet.

iv. A.B.U

Is used several times in this study and it means Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

v. Search Engine

In this study it refers to the method of information searching in the internet.

vi. Youth

As it is used in this study means all Youth in the university from 100 level to 400 or 500 level.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter of the work is mainly the summary, conclusion and recommendations for the study. The study is a survey meant to assess the behaviour and purpose of using the Internet by youth . This is in consideration of the enormous importance and necessity of computer and the Internet in the life of people, particularly university students. The study is relevant in that the use of ICTs such as the Internet continues to be a topical subject at the universities world over.


5.2 Summary

The study adopted uses and gratification theory. According to the theory, audiences differ in the gratifications they seek from the mass media. These differences are related to certain social conditions and or personality dispositions. These differences result in many media use patterns and a variety of media effects (Palmgreen, Wenner and Rosengrenl, 1985). Hence, the basic assumption of the theory is that peoples‘ choice of a particular medium is predicted on the type of gratification they obtain. This is interesting to media scholars and professionals because it tells us the more people use media the more they enjoy it and the more they want to use it; particularly with media that are active like the Internet. Katz, Gurevitch and Haas, (1973) listed 35 needs and put them into five categories which people tend to gratify as they use the media: Cognitive Needs (acquiring information, knowledge, and understanding), Affective needs (emotional, pleasurable, or aesthetic experience), Personal integrative needs (strengthening credibility, confidence, stability, and status), Social integrative needs (strengthening contacts with family and friends) and Tension release needs (escape and diversion). Using the theory allows us to study why and what the students use the Internet for, and what reasons or needs they are attempting to gratify.

The respondents‘ purpose of using the Internet can therefore be concurred with the five categories of needs to be gratified for using the Internet as put forward by Katz, Gurevitch and Haas, (1973).They are, cognitive needs (acquiring information, knowledge, and understanding),affective needs (emotional, pleasurable, or aesthetic experience), personal integrative needs (strengthening credibility, confidence, stability, and status), social integrative needs (strengthening contacts with family and friends) and tension release needs (escape and diversion). Furthermore, Slone (2003:24) identified three reasons for using the internet as business, personal and academic purposes. The reasons were also presented to be for entertainment, socials, ecommerce (e-marketing, e-shopping) and games (Olasina, 2006).

Similarly, underscoring the various importance and impact of internet, Dutton (2004:215) found in his research that ‗‗the Internet is either important or very important to a majority of people. More than seven in ten people believe that the Internet is making life better. They said that it saves them time, and 60% of the users multi-task (e.g. listen to music, watch TV or phone someone while online). The respondents also revealed that they use the Internet to get information (70%), to e-mail friends (71%), to get school information (51%) and to shop (45%). Also, 60% of the respondents regarded the Internet as their favourite information source. This generally means that the youth use the Internet for their studies and to communicate with their family, friends and relations.


5.3 Conclusion

The rapid increase in the Internet access in Nigerian universities where the male and Youth surf the internet through cyber cafes, wireless hotspot, modems and mobile phones can be associated with the significant role it is playing in meeting information and communication needs of the people. Hence, the need to study the
Internet users‘ behaviour as well as the purpose for which they use it can never be over emphasized.

This study therefore assessed the impact of internet by youth and discovered that the youth of the university have interest, good perception and positive attitudes towards the impact of internet. Majority of them can surf the Internet themselves, they use the Internet for educational/academic purposes, for communication and social networking purposes, for news, information and for entertainment purposes. However, a higher number of the respondents revealed that they have never uploaded any files or materials to the Internet, meaning that they are good at downloading and not uploading information to the Internet.

The findings of the study further revealed that the youth frequently patronize websites and search engines such as yahoo, google, and social networks to gratify their needs to communicate, get entertained and search for educational and social materials online. And that the respondents have multiple access points to the Internet such as the mobile Internet like mobile phones, i-phone and i-pad, the Internet Cafes, the subscription modems and the wireless hotspots on the university campuses. Similarly, the respondents that use the Internet everyday, always and whenever the need arises constituted the majority. So also, the youth highlighted some of the major constraints they face while using the Internet among which include, slow and irregular internet connectivity, which makes them spend too much time in downloading materials from the Internet, high cost of air time and that they do not know important websites related to their course of study or subject area.

Meanwhile, most of the problems highlighted can be addressed if the university authority creates a friendly websites or take the advantage of social networks that are frequently patronized by the students such as yahoo, whatsapp, facebook, twitter among others to upload academic materials in a simple and entertaining way through the use of attractive design, pictures animations and charts to woe the attention of the students and sustain their interest.


5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, a number of issues have to be addressed so that the students would avail themselves of the benefits accruing from Internet use especially good social and for academic purposes. It is in line with this that the following recommendations were made:

  1. As it was revealed by the findings of the study that the respondents access the Internet more at school than at home, this signifies the importance of improving the quality of the Internet services in the University and the need for a proper and thorough orientation on the necessity of Internet knowledge, skills and application in especially for academic activities.
  2. The University should frequently organize courses and seminars that require use of the
    Internet for the students and the staff alike.
  3. Course materials should be uploaded on the internet through friendly websites or social networks that are frequently patronized by the students such as yahoo, whatsapp, facebook, twitter among others using attractive design, pictures animations and charts to attract the attention of the students and sustain their interest.
  4. Academic cooperation should be promoted through the sharing of educational resources among the faculties of the universities, online.
  5. To enhance academic cooperation between all the faculties of the universities communication between various points of the network should be computer-mediated
  6. More bandwidths should be sought so as to provide faster access and connectivity that will save much of the users‘ time and be a source of motivation to users. Here, the university must be applauded for their on-going project of ‗ABU Fiber optic campus networks infrastructure‘, a project that is aimed at providing the university with a highspeed Internet and intranet access to its 40,000+ students and staff respectively in its campuses in Zaria. However, the university management must be stimulated to successfully complete the project. This will go a long way in making the students save the money they would have used in buying air time for their mobile Internet.
  7. Students‘ over dependency and too much use of some websites like entertainment and social networks such as facebook, e-mail, twitter, should be discouraged as initiated by the University MTN-Virtual Library of the university.
    viii. Information regarding the relevant and contemporary academic websites with their addresses should be displayed on departmental notice boards, their libraries and lecture rooms.
  8. That the university should be clear as to ―why‖ they are encouraging students to use the Internet especially for academic purposes. Furthermore, to achieve success in educational applications of the Internet, they should take students‘ attitudes and views into consideration.

The Impact Of Internet On The Nigerian Society


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