Influence Of Social Media On Educational Performance Of Children
This study assesses the Influence of Social Media on Secondary School Students in Zaria, Kaduna State. The essence of this study was as a result of how much secondary school students are involved in this virtual world of social networking in Nigeria and the effects of these sites on students. The specific objectives of this study includes knowing the types of social media secondary school students are exposed to; to know the influence of social media sites for students, motivating factor that influences the use of social media and proper ways of using social media among selected secondary schools in Zaria. A review of related literatures on the effects of social media on students was done so as to fill the gap others literatures failed to cover. The study adopts rational choice theory. A mixed methodology was used which is surveyed and in-depth interview. For the survey method, the data was obtained through the use of questionnaire, of which the researcher administered 250 questionnaires to the selected secondary school students. For the in-depth interview, 4 class teachers and 2 principals were interviewed. Furthermore, probability and non-probability sampling techniques were adopted by random selection of 3 schools from the two educational Zones in Zaria and purposively interview 4 class teachers and 2 principals from the selected schools in Zaria. The finding shows that the negative effects of social media outweigh the positive effects, the negative effects are distractions from studies, it exposes them to juvenile delinquency, lack of privacy, poor grammar and spellings, procrastination, indecent dressing, use of foul words, internet fraud, school violence, disrespect for elders, suicide and exposure to pornographic sites etc.
Also, the findings reveal that despite the negative effects of social media sites, they attested to the fact that social media broaden their knowledge on different subject matters. Again the study reveals that the majority of students used social media sites mainly for socializing. Further finding shows that the majority of secondary school student‟s login to their preferred sites on a daily basis. In line with this, the study recommends that most negative aspects can be controlled by reducing the amount of time spends on social media sites. There is a need for parents, teachers and the school authority to monitor their children’s activities closely to know what they do with their time; this will go a long way in reducing secondary school students‟ exposure to activities that will affect their behaviour negatively. Parent should avoid buying internet enable phones for their children in secondary school since it has been identified as one of the motivating factors that influences their use of social media. Also, school authorities should intensify effort to checkmate the kind of phones their students bring to school, and when they use it for lack of strict regulation in schools encourage the students to use the chat even during classes.
1.1 Background of the Study
Social media makes the world a smaller place, now we have more information, more knowledge, and have better opportunities to use it. Social media improved our ability to absorb information, what would have seemed to be over whelming to someone 20 years ago is normal to us.
According to Kuppuswamy and Shankar (2010), a social medium grab attention of the children and then diverts it towards non-educational and inappropriate actions including useless chatting. Whereas on the other hand, Massey & Sakar. (2007) reviewed that the children are socially connected with each other for sharing their daily learning experiences and do conversation on several topics. Tinto (1997) argued that extracurricular activities and academic activities are not enough to satisfy some children those who are suffered by social networking isolation. This shows that social networks are beneficial for the children as it contributes in their learning experiences as well as in their academic life. Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels (2009) noted that the Internet is no doubt evolution of technology but specifically social media are extremely unsafe for children, social networks become hugely common and well-known in past few years. According to Cain (2009) social media 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 (2006) argued that the previous studies have found that more than 90% of school children use social networks. In the same way Ellison et al (2007) stated that the children 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 children’s life.
Lenhart and Madden (2007) revealed through a survey that children 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 influence as face-to-face communication. This means, the more children use social media, the more they influence their disposition to studies, given the fact that friends from social media will begin to exert influence on each other.
Hence, with the view of Ito et al. (2009), children use these technologies for a number of positive activities, which include delving deeper into interest-driven communities and participating in various activities. Ahn (2011) adds that “Social media provide a platform for the youths (children) to participate in communities that help them to learn, and practice skills within a particular knowledge area”. Similarly, a study by Fishman et al (2005), also indicated that children produce tremendous volume of writing through various social media tools such as blogs, emails and other social media environments.
Conversely, Banquil et al. (2009), found a continuing drop of grades among children who use social media. This was supported by Kirschner and Karpinski (2010), who found a significant negative relationship between Facebook use and educational performance. They concluded that children who use Facebook spend fewer hours per week studying on an average than Facebook non users and this resulted in lower mean grade point averages (GPAs). Junco (2012), examined the relationship among numerous measures of frequency of Facebook use with time spent preparing for class and overall GPAs. Hierarchical linear regression analysis from the study by Junco (2012), indicates that time spent on Facebook was strongly and significantly negatively correlated with overall GPA. Educational performance of children of Uyo Local Government Area has gone through a number of changes, previously from secondary school to higher level.
However, the question remains that whether Facebook has any impact on children’s educational performance. There are handfuls of studies showing negative relationship between Facebook and its impact on educational performance including one which suggests how children with lower attention span focused more on Facebook and children with higher attention span spent less time on Facebook. Paul, Baker and Cochran, (2012).
1.2 Statement of the Study
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 educational performance of children is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. The idea of the global village has been translated into reality through these sites by connecting millions of people from all around the world. Most of these media sites are designed to fulfil all aspects of life which include fashion, politics, music, sport, education amongst others. Social networking sites are modern interactive communication channels through which people connect to one another, share ideas, experiences, pictures, messages and information of interest. Social media is indeed a fascinating one for Nigerians, especially the youths. This is not surprising as it is generally acknowledged that the youths by nature are more disposed to social communication technologies. Social media sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, 2go, Badoo, Myspace among others, provide instantaneous access to information to youths at all times. In the same vein, almost two third of the youths in Nigeria use social media to connect to millions of people all over the world.
Notwithstanding the benefits of social media on youths, it has inadvertently given rise to moral decadence in Nigeria, especially among secondary school students. Ibrahim (2012) points out that students sometimes abuse the socializing tools by neglecting the informative and educational benefits that social media has to offer instead Nche (2012) reveals that one of such exhibitions affects matters of immorality displayed by youths in our schools today. Things they learnt not from school nor parents, but from social media because it has no restrictions. As a result, the issue of cyberbullying, fraud, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, lesbianism, examination malpractice, truancy, rape, alcohol abuse, school violence, drug abuse, texting, pornography, privacy, terror group, membership to secret cult and abuse of numerous kind are easily subscribed to and this would affect their behaviour, academics and social life as whole.
The aforementioned should not be allowed to continue because it will affect the entire fabric of the future generations. What can be done to remedy this trend, how can the gap observed by dearth in literature on the influence of social media on academics, as well as the behavior of secondary school students with emphasis on Zaria / Giwa Local Government be bridged.
1.3 Research Questions
- What type of social media sites are secondary school students expose to?
- What is the influence of social media on secondary school students?
- What are the motivating factors that influence the use of social media?
- What measures can be put in place to curb the negative influence of social media on secondary school students?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study is to assess the influence of social media among selected secondary school students in Zaria, Kaduna State Nigeria.
The specific objectives of the study are:
- To find out the type of social media sites secondary school students are exposed to.
- To know how these media sites has influenced secondary school students.
- To examine the motivating factors that influences the use of the social media.
- To recommend some measures on the proper use of social media.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research provided an enhanced view on how social media sites such as Whatsapp, Facebook and 2g can be used as a medium to source for vital information that could be used for academic activities instead of chatting and whiling away time. This study enables proper regulation to be stipulated with the aim of censoring contents posted on these media sites and also will benefit the readers by increasing their knowledge on the influence of these media sites on education. This research was conducted to know the level of exposure of students to these media sites and how it has helped their lives as a young adult.
It also serves as raw materials for other researchers in the covered area and other related areas. Lastly, this study contributed to the existing body of knowledge on the relationships between the variables under study.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the assessment of influence of social media among young people, particularly secondary school students. The study took place in Zaria, Kaduna State. The study looked at the social media effects on student‟s academic activities as well as their behaviour. The target population for this study is secondary school students comprising of SSS3 students within Zaria metropolis was due to the fact that most, if not all are exposed to these sites. The researcher was unable to cover all the social media sites due to time and financial constraints. It was limited to the media sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook and 2go. As a result of this, only schools in Zaria and Sabon-Gari Local Government Areas were covered.
1.7 Definition of Key Terms
Facebook can be defined as one of the new social networks which provide users with the mix of interpersonal and mass communication capabilities that have not existed before and which place emphasis on interactively and mobility (Paxson,2010). 2GO: 2go is a social networking site that enables users to chat through their mobile phones. It is a chat and instant messaging application. There are different chat rooms on different topics which are opened for users to join and discuss about issues of live and also socialize with others. (Retrived July 2015 fromwww.goggle.com).
Oxford dictionary defined influence as the effect something has on the way persons thinks or behave or on the way that something works or develops. Influence is also described as an action exerted by a person on another to cause change. For the purpose of this study, influence is defined as a person or thing that affects the way a person behaves and thinks.
Social media is referred to as internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web which allows for creations and exchange Kplan (2010).They are referred to internet-based social web sites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and so on which allows users to interactively communicate with one another Ikpe and Olise(2010).
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
This chapter presents the summary of major findings, conclusions and recommendations based on the findings of the study. The research is on the assessment of influence of social media among selected secondary school‟s students in Zaria.
5.2 Summary of Major Findings
This research was done based on the objectives of this study such as: types of social media sites that secondary school students are exposed to, influences of social media on academic‟s activities, motivating factors that influence the use of social media sites and finally suggestion on the proper use of social media.
The study adopted rational choice theory that gives important views in the study based on the assumptions. It helps explain why individual are motivated to use one social media or another. The theoretical deduction reveals that the use of social media sites by secondary school students depends on the calculation of what it will cost them to use it and what benefit they hope to derives from using it.
The basic assumptions of the theory include:
- An individual is a rational being as such their actions is based on evaluation of cost and benefits.
- Individual takes action base on the information that are available to him or her.
- That individual behave base on his or her preferences
- Decision making about a particular action entails choosing among available alternative
- The aggregate behaviour in the society reflects sum total choice made by individuals.
Finding from objective one showed that the most commonly used social media sites is Facebook and students exploit this site on daily basis and stay connected as long as 1 to 3 hours chatting with friends this is manifested in the majority of the students use Facebook the frequency and time spent chatting as well as the duration.
From objective two the study showed that students social media has more negative influence on secondary school students, study disclosed that social media sites have more negative influence on secondary school students as it affect their on academics performance and attitudes by exposing them to sexual crime, juvenile delinquency, misdemeanour, school violence, indecent dressing and so on. . However, it was further found out that despite the negative influence of social media, it provides enabling environments where children learn things that are not thought either at home or school. The result also shows that social media sites gradually replacing interpersonal communication.
With respect to objective three which t focuses on the motivating factors that influence students use of social media, the study revealed that students are motivated to use social media based on the following factors: Peer group influences, internet enable phones, internet availability, to reconnect with old friends, entertainment for dating and the quest to know the latest. These make them anxious to join and feel among, as well as the availability of internet enable phones which give them easy access to the internet even in their bedrooms. For instance, some uses either WhatsApp, 2go or Facebook depending on the information and the benefit they tend to get.
On the suggestions on how negative behaviour on social media can be controlled, it was found out that social media cannot be eradicated from the society because it‟s reality of connecting people globally have come to stay, but the used of it can be minimised if the following are put in place: Students should concentrate more on their academics and forget about using social media platform for now until they are matured to take favourable decision for themselves, parents should monitor their children and limit the easy with which the child access the internet, students should be enlighten on the advantages and disadvantages of social media and topics on social media should be introduced in the curriculum.
The use of social media sites is the most common activities of today‟s children particularly secondary school students. The idea of global village has been translated into reality through these sites connecting millions of people from all around the world. It helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping up-to-date with world developments. Technology exposes mankind to a better way of doing things.It brought about Simultaneous communication of many people even at distant places promotes the creation of social capital fetching personal, professional and social benefits not only to the users of these sites but to the society as a whole
Despite the benefit of social media sites, the findings reveals that the negative aspects of social media sites outweighs the positive sides of social media sites. Social Media negatively affect academics pursuits because of time spent which doesn‟t relates with their academics as well as their behaviour. The study reveals that students can spend at least 13hrs daily on social media site. This can lead to improper behaviour like indecent dressing, juvenile delinquency, internet fraud. School violent ,poor grammar, distraction from studies ,procrastination lack of privacy and among others. For this reason, it‟s important that parents, school authority and government should be aware of the nature of social media sites, given that not all of them are healthy environment for children. Most of the negative aspects can be overcome by reducing the amount of time spent on social media sites, provides an ample time for face-to face social interaction, like having family leisure time in which you discuss their studied in a relaxed atmosphere or go for excursion.
On the basis of these findings, the researcher intended to make suggestions and recommendations. Bearing in mind that Nigeria is evolving into technological advancements. It is important to recognise, reduction in terms of the time spend on social media sites and the types sites secondary school students visits largely depends on the family, school authority and the government. The recommendation are as follows:
- Since students spend most of their time on social media like Facebook chatting with friends and dating instead of concentrating on their academic activities, there is a need to enlighten them to use other platforms that is more educative in order to improve their educational performance.
- There is a need for parents, teachers and the school authority should monitor their children activities closely to know what they do with their time, this will go a long way in reducing secondary school students‟ exposure to activities that will affect their behaviour negatively.
- Parent should avoid buying internet enable phones for their children in secondary school since it has been identified as one of the motivating factors that influences their use of social media. Also, school authorities should intensify effort to checkmate the kind of phones their students bring to school, and when they use it since lack of strict regulation in schools encourage the students to use the chat even during classes.
- The study therefore recommends that there should be massive publication on posters, television and radio by the government on the impact of social media under the law and parents should always keep a watch on the sites that their children are accessing.
- There is need for School authority to organise educational programs and practices that can separates students from the use of social media. For instance introducing spelling competitions among schools.
- School authority should ban the use of phone during school hours so that they don‟t get distracted from their primary aim.
- Student should be enlightening about the advantages and disadvantages of social media by organising seminar for them at least once in a month or they can have it as a club which will be part of their activities.
- It‟s also recommended that parents and the school authority should encourage interpersonal communication.
- Finally, it is recommended that parents should continue to cooperate with the school authority how they can develop adequate strategy to fight frequent use of social media sites.
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