Influence Of Social Media On The Moral Behaviour Of Teenagers

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

Influence Of Social Media On The Moral Behaviour Of Teenagers


Social media is often seen as having either a positive or a negative effect to its users while this research dwells on the harmful aspect of social media, but cannot avoid mentioning the benefits too. Today in our society, teenagers are often found accessing the web in every slight time they ascribe to as being leisure moment which derails their social ethics. Hence, the main focus of this study is to investigate the effect of social media on the morality of teenagers while using Orhuwhorun community, Delta state as a case study. A descriptive research design of exploratory type will be adopted for the study. A total of 70 respondents were selected from different study level (grades) using the study the population will comprise of all 4 schools in Orhuwhorun community of Delta state. The researcher will narrow the study to an accessible numbers. In each school, the stratified random sampling technique was used to select the student’s gender based on the school population.

The researcher will choose to use questionnaires and interview schedules in order to collect information. In this research, the instruments used will be validated in terms of content validity. According to (Mugenda, O. M., & Mugenda, A. G., 1999)reliability in which a research instrument yields consistent results or data after repeated trials will be done through test and retest techniques. Data gathered were analysed using simple frequencies and simple percentages.. It integrates both qualitative and quantitative data through various methods. Collected data is then analyzed for results and recommendations. Through the use of qualitative and quantitative data analysis, it was found that the social media phenomenon is overwhelmingly popular among Nigerian teenagers as well as one of the major contributors to moral degeneration in the country.

Table of Contents

Chapter One:

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1. Background of the study
  • 1.2. Problem Statement
  • 1.3.1 General Objectives of the Study
  • 1.3.2. Specific Research Objectives
  • 1.4. Research questions
  • 1.5. Significance of the Study
  • 1.6. Study limitations
  • 1.7. Delimitations
  • 1.8. Assumptions
  • 1.9. Definition of terms

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1. Theoretical framework
  • 2.1.1. Social Learning Theory
  • 2.1.2. Kohlberg’s stages of moral development
  • 2.2. Conceptual framework
  • 2.2.1. Sources of moral teaching and its foundation as supposed from stakeholders and moral duty bearers
  • 2.2.2. Impacts or risks associate to social media on teenager’s social moral behaviours
  • 2.3. The Review of related literature on teenager moral behaviours
  • 2.3.1 Addiction to media and conflict with parents
  • 2.3.2. Social media glamorizes drug and alcohol use
  • 2.3.3 Social Media Influence of Indecent Dressing behavior and Sexual Harassment
  • 2.3.4. Sexual promiscuity and miserable relationship
  • 2.3.5. Social media gives rise to cyber bullying behaviours
  • 2.3.6. Social encourages Derogatory platform and propagandas
  • 2.3.7. Rise in abortion and use of contraceptives
  • 2.3.8 Unconscious of human dignity and loss of natural respect
  • 2.4. Risky Psychological effects on teenager’s engagement on social media
  • 2.4. 1. Impersonal and lose of self-identity in social media
  • 2.4. 2. Social media addiction and anxiety disorder
  • 2.4.3. Depression and suicide
  • 2.7. The Benefits of Social Media
  • 2.8. Recommendations from previous scholars
  • 2.9 Other recommendations
  • 2.9. Summary

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Study population
  • 3.3 Study area
  • 3.4 Sampling Procedure and Technique
  • 3.5 Research instrument
  • 3.6 Data Collection Procedures
  • 3.7 Validity and reliability of research Instrument
  • 3.8 Data Analysis
  • 3.9 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Analysis and Research Findings

  • 4.1. Response rate
  • 4.1.1 The extent of teenager involvement in social media
  • 4.1.2 Age bracket and level of education of the respondents
  • 4.1.3 Ways teenager learnt how to join social media
  • 4.2.1 Hours spent on the socio-media by the respondents
  • 4.2.2. Impact or negative experience on social media with gender comparison
  • 4.3.0. Stakeholder role as moral duty bearers and their mentoring plan for teenagers to be just and morally upright citizens
  • 4.3.1. Response on how stakeholders feel about the moral standards regarding parents and religious sector
  • 4.3.2 Teenager mentorship plan by stakeholder for teenager good morals

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of the study
  • 5.3 Major findings of the study
  • 5.4 Conclusion of the study
  • 5.5. Recommendations from the study
  • 5.6 Suggestions for further research
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the study

Social media has come to stay. It is a recent technological development that has caught the attention of people, organization, government and civil society. Social media is becoming more prominent in social interaction and activities. According to Abdulahi, Samadi, &Gharlehi (2014), in the early 2000s, the web became much more personal as social networking websites were introduced and embraced by the masses. The interesting part of social media is the numerous facilities and features it offer the people in their daily life. People these days depend on life in the social media for them to manage their life. According to Shabir, Yousef & Safdar (2014), social media is most recent form of media and having many features and characteristics. It has facilities on same channel like as communication texting image sharing, audio and video sharing, fast publishing, linking with all over world, direct connecting. It is also cheapest fast access to the world so it is very important for all age of people.
New media are very common with people especially journalists. This is because of the massive and undeniable contributions which have been received. The contributions have influence that way people understand and give meaning to new media.

New media consist of social media and new hard wares technological development. When social media is used interchangeably with new media, it is for deeper understanding of the concept. The link between them is the place of internet. It is therefore important to recognize internet revolution as the major contributor to the new media. This is because from the internet all other new media platforms take it base. According to Andreas and
According to Adegilero-Iwari and Ikenwe (2014), internet in a whole is the new media where as other have coined the term new media for containing group of tools or technologies available on the internet. New media has described copiously. New media is a generic term for the many different form of electronic communication that is made possible through the use of computer technology. It include web site, streaming audio and video, chat rooms, email, online community, web advertising, DVD and CD-ROM, media virtual reality environment integration of digital data with the telephone, such as interest telephony, digital camera, mobile computers, mobile app, Memory cards, Bluetooth e.t.c.

Moreover, Logan (2010) sees new media as a term that refers in general term as digital media having interactions, incorporative two-way communication and involves some form of computing as opposed to old media which in their original incarnation did not require computer technologies; now in their present configuration do make use of computer technology. According to Croteau and Hoynes (2003), new media radically break the connection between physical place and social place making physical location much less significance for our social relationship.

Michael (20100, social media is a group of internet based applications that builds on the ideological and technological foundation of web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated contents. Social media are becoming ever- more viable platforms for communication and media service. Olusesam, Sanusi, Jide and Oloyede (2014), characterized that social media can give opportunity for users to add value to the application as they use it through the edit box interface, to exercise control on the data, to interact on a more advanced software level and by creating a web of friends and interaction by socializing and gradually moving members from the physical world to the online world.

The base of the above opinion is on social interact. Social media by individual members, professionals are using same for professional activities. Olusena et al (2014) assert that in the first instance, social media suggest that there is a process of interaction between two or more. The basic idea behind social media is to create mutual relationship among users. On the other hand, the term media suggest a channel through which information is passed to a large diverse audience that may not be within the same geographical area.

To gather, the two suggest medium for social interaction among various peoples that are connected on the same subscribed social network from different local internet has multiply the activities of journalism in all journalistic spheres. According to Pew research Center (2012), it was highlighted in recent report that in digital era, new media has become omnipresence. People access it in multiple platforms and formats on myriad devices. The days of loyalty to particular news from are gone. In the same report, (59%) of Americans get news from a combination of online sources on a typical day and the internet is now the third world most popular news platform, behind local television and national television news.

The social media sites such as twitter and facebook is the most common use social media among young people in the world. According to Kamaku and Mberia (2014) the social networking sites such as twitter and facebook have become a raging craze for everyone nowadays. Media use is an integral part of the daily life of adolescents; there are a number of risks associated with social media use.

Recent studies have shown that teengers are the age brackets that use the social media most. This is as a result the social interaction features in social media and the use among teenagers is increasing day to day with high rate all over the world. According to Shabir et al (2014), majority of youth is shifting speedily from electronic media like as television viewers and radio listeners to the social media among all age of group. Youth rate is very much to shift into social media so its influence is much on youth.

Social media has been widely adopted in the twenty first century, with strong enthusiasm among youth. The latest statistics from the Pew Internet Project report indicate that 80% of US internet users between the ages 12 to 19 use social media.

Abdulahi et al (2014), state that since the introduction of social media, millions of users have be attracted, many of whom integrated their sites as a daily practice. This study focus on the prominent and common social media sites in Nigeria. These include facebook, twitter, instagram, whatsapp. Facebook is the most popular social media din the world. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and some of fellow colleges in Harvard University, (Daniel, 2013). According to Abdulahi et al (2014) facebook is the largest social network in the world. It started as a website limited to Harvard university students only, but quickly expanded to additional colleges in the Boston area. Now, one out every seven people on earth is on facebook.

The impact of social media use on the moral behaviour on teenagers is a recent concern in the world. According to Shair et al (2014), social media has led to a host of questions regarding its impact on the society, while it is agreed that the social media affects peoples’ living style and it is an ongoing process to identify the nature of these influence in every society and country specially on youth this also focus on the influence of society media on teenagers and their life style, trends and social life.

Andres Kaplan (2010) described in his study that social media is a set of internet based application that constructs on the ideological and technological foundation of wed and that permit the design and exchange of user generated content.

Merriam Webster encyclopedia Britannica Company defines: youth is the time of life when someone is young. Youth is the time when a young person has not yet become an adult. Youth is very important for future of any nation and country’s progress and development.

Now a day Social media is essential for youth in the field of education to learn new trends in education, to improve writing and communicating skills, cultural promoting, religious and political information gathering and sharing links, better living style, growth and development of society (Merriam Encyclopedia, 2001).

The internet and American life project: social media internet has different impact in various aspects on American’s life. And this project covers the different areas of life in which some areas are here demographics, government official and on line elections and policies, education, family, friends and community, health, news and events, internet evaluation, online activities and searches, Public policy, technology, media and use of media (Turow, 2010).
Social media such as Facebook, Skype, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace may have been freshly marketed as great leveler as gathering in which divides of races, classes, and ethnicity. Shrestha lucky (2013) described that social media is means of connections among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks (Shrestha lucky, 2013). Alison Doyle an American Psychologist: She define Social media as, it is various online technology tools that enable people to communicate easily and people use social media to share information , text, audio, video, images, podcasts, and other multimedia communication.

There is much immoral behaviour that has superimposed moral behaviours of teenagers as a result of the use of social media platforms. These include violence, dating, sexual abuse, bully, harassment, criminality, cyber-gender. According to Lenhard (2007) when it comes to teen dating violence and sexual abuse within dating relationships, technology can be an often used tool in dating abuse. Sexual harassment exists in school but now post-break ups sexual harassment has jumped the physical barriers and has beco me an epidemic on social media websites. This harassment goes by multiple names: cyber bully, social sexual sharing, cyber gender harassment and even terms as graphic and demeaning as revenge pornography. Teens get away with poting these images because it mostly happens at night since people don’t want to get caught so they usually put it up at night and then they remove it afterward.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Social networking sites have become a very important aspect in young people life. Internet use has grown considerably in the last decade and majority of young adult uses the internet daily if not more so, (Lenhart and Madden, 2007). According to Davies and Cranston (2013), social media offers young people several benefits and opportunities, including access to information, extended social networks, social skill practice, identify expression, informal learning opportunities interest-based gropus, development and maintenance of friendship and fun. Social media has been described as an important part of a young person’s life and a platform for experimentation, creative self- expression, and identity formation, (Cortesis, 2013).

The increased use of social media by teenagers across the world has several risks and consequences. They include privacy concern such sharing too much information, posting of false information about themselves or others, exposure to fraudster and addiction to internet or social media use that might impact negatively on their social, psychological and emotional well-being, (Gwenn and Katherine, 2011).

Apart from the above challengers, the study will focus on the implication of social media use on the moral bahaviour of teenagers using the above issue as yardsticks. The study is positioned on teenagers in Nigeria because the use of smartphones by teenagers is recent as such few studies have been directed to the period and age within a suburban community in Delta State.

1.3 Objectives of the study

1.3.1 General Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to investigate the influence of social media on moral behaviour among teenagers in Orhuwhorun community, Delta state.

1.3.2. Specific Research Objectives
  1. To find out the extent of teenager involvement in social media
  2. To study the impact of social media on their moral behaviour
  3. To determine the risks that comes with use of social media in Orhuwhorun community teenager.
  4. To be able engage stakeholder who are moral duty bearers and find ways of mentoring teenagers to be just and morally upright citizens

1.4. Research questions

  1. What is the extent of teenager involvement with social media?
  2. What are the impacts of social media on their moral behavior?
  3. What determines the risks that comes with use of social media in Orhuwhorun community teenager?
  4. How to engage stakeholder who are moral duty bearers and find ways of mentoring teenagers to be just and morally upright citizens?

1.5. Significance of the Study

Studies indicate that moral values and behaviours are relevant to individuals, society and the nation at large. (Santrock, 2005), explains that children and teenager are supposed to grow morally good for their own social and life development. Societies and nations with morally children and teenagers are more likely to prosper than societies characterized with immorality. Despite the negative effects caused by the gangs in the society and the nation at large, little is known or reported in different parts of the country including Delta, how social media lure teenager into crime. This is what prompted the researcher to investigate the causes for moral deterioration among teenagers in Orhuwhorun community. This research will finally answer the questions on what are negative influence of social media on moral decadence and the main purpose of this research is acquiring knowledge from the field that is not yet fully explored.

The study looks at influence of social media on moral behaviour among teenagers, its findings will be relevant because it will inform parents, teachers, students and all the relevant stake holders on the impact of social media on the moral decadence among teenagers. (Carroll, J.A. & Kirkpatrick, R.L., 2011) The result of this study thus make teenagerss who in this study are being referred to as teenagers, to be aware of how social media influence their morality negatively. It will also help those working with teenagers by suggesting some ways in order for them to relate with teenager‘s social activities especially with regards of using social media sites. In line with this, those working with teenagers will know a way how to help them if they encountering problems arising trough social media interaction with others. The parents too will be made knowledgeable on their children‘s purpose of using social media sites and be aware how it affect their children’s moral behaviour. With enough knowledge, parents can think of possible preventive ways if their child is prone to develop a weak interpersonal relationship with other people because of too much addition and dependence of social media sites (Whiteman, 2015). Finally this study will be spring board for other researcher to take on further or use as reference. It is in view of the above; the researcher seeks to investigate the factor contributing to the moral decadence among teenagers hence will seek a valuable solution to restore good moral

A big part of our morality has to do with the world around us. The whole, “nature versus nurture” comes into effect here. Whether or not the nurture of our parents can outdo our surroundings and vice versa (Bandura, 1977). A big contributor to the moral decline, in my opinion, would have to be the almost unlimited access teenagers today have with the media. Music videos, music lyrics, the internet, and magazines all influence how we behave and react. What is portrayed in the media is not and will not be moral. Anyone following the sources, for example a magazine with unnaturally skinny models in them, would see that model as “ideal”, leading to a false impression of beauty and life (Nesi, J., & Prinstein, M. J. , 2015). Although parents play a big part in every child’s life, so does the environment in which the child grows up in. Media contributes to moral degradation because it presents uncensored messages and images to the public arena. This is because most of these media broadcast violence, crime and obscenity.

This study provides limelight on how stakeholder like parents and religious leaders were participating in moral teaching and restoration thus create understanding teenagers issues which may hopefully develop positive atmosphere towards teenage teenager and enhance interact between stakeholder and teenagers to amicably share and solve their issues without show of resistance or rebellion by them. It also promotes social-cultural promotion and conserves traditional way of relating to teenager in modern context. Now that the research highlight the importance and possibilities improving parent-teenage relationships, it gives room for a better change.

Through the study finding it is hoped that it will offer insight to many of the beneficiaries. First, it will improve parents and teachers to know the influence of social media on both moral and social life of teenager. It also emphases the dangers of social media thus raise alarm on curbing this problem and finally find intervention measures to address this emerging teenager issues

1.6. Study limitations

The study is limited by time and financial resources and as result the research had to source for more financial resources and use alternative means. Since few similar studies have been done especially in institutions of higher learning, there is limited empirical literature on the area of influence of social media on moral behaviour among teenagers in the context of Nigeria. Another expected limitation is that teenagers might fail to give correct information on the basis of invasion of their privacy. The researcher explained to them that the study was purely for academic purposes and not motivated by any other interests whatsoever.

1.7. Delimitations

The study was delimited to only existing schools within Orhuwhorun community and targeted 70 sample against a population 440 teenager sample size. The study was also delimited to questioning and interviewing boys and girls who have access to internet both at home and elsewhere.

1.8. Assumptions

The researcher was basically proceeding with assumption that the respondents will be located and that they agree to co-operate and give truthful and sincere answers to the items listed in the questionnaires.

1.9. Definition of terms


The Nigerian policy defined in (Ministry of Home Affairs, Heritage and Sports, 2002) state teenager as one aged between 15 – 30 years having considered physical, psychological, cultural, social, biological and political aspects, which explain the Nigerian teenager situation.

Social Media

As refer in (Chris, 2015,) social media as a social network of interactive communication that exist between people using a specialized electronic platforms for interaction such as Facebook ,WhatsApp, Twitter, My space, LinkedIn and Instagram.


The partners and actors that are engaged/ interact with teenager in their life like religious leaders, institution leader etc.


Term originated from western Nigeria referring to motorbike for hire, commonly known to all Nigerians
Media- this is means and institution for publishing and broadcasting information


Recognition of distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong; respect for and obedience to rules of right conduct; the mental disposition or characteristic of behaving in a manner intended to produce good moral. More so, it is a setoff social rules, customs, traditions, beliefs, or practices which specify proper, acceptable forms of conduct. 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 that is essential to its survival and welfare”. These accepted norms or codes of conduct in any society often appeal to the moral nature of man (Omoregbe, 1993), they appeal to the sense of humanity and relevant for the welfare of the entire members of any society including Orhuwhorun community.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

The study sought to investigate on influence of social media on moral behaviour among teenagers in Orhuwhorun community, Delta state from selected teenager from various education levels. This chapter presents a summary of the major findings of the study. The chapter further offers a summary on the data collected, analysis of data, discussions of the findings on each research question and the logical interpretation emanating from the findings.
Finally the chapter makes recommendations on possible areas for further research

5.2 Summary of the study

Study objectives were formulated and research questions were derived from the objectives. Questionnaires were the instruments used in collection of data. Quantitative data collected, was then coded and inputted in statistical package for social Science (SPSS). The results were carefully analyzed and presented to represent the actual situation on the ground. Qualitative data was closely analyzed qualitatively and important information extracted from what the respondents said. Summary and conclusions were derived from the findings of the study.

5.3 Major findings of the study

The study found out that teenagers in Orhuwhorun community agreed to have 100% social media. 51% said that they have tendency log in for update thus time wastage, 46% said that it has given a viable platform for propaganda and hate speech as well 50% post bad scene photos thus reduce respect for humanity or elders or special group. Figure3 in chapter four shows that those with over 300 friend takes 3hours a day and keep decreasing in hours as friends decrease. The time wasted on the social media shows exponentially increased in relation to hours spent
The study wanted to find out if negative experiences on social media thus in figure 1 shows that 21female and 4 male of respondents agreed to experience sexual harassment while rejection is common to both sex, many young people have been accidentally introduced to pornographic web content thus developed addiction where male is leading at 7 respondents. 10 male and 5 females had peer influence, and as a result of social media many unsuspecting teenagers and adolescents have fallen for cyberbullying or sex predators

For instance in figure 5, 90% of stakeholder noted that moral teaching by schools and religious institution can improve teenager to good morals. Similarly, in table 4.10 they observed many morally decayed behaviors among teenager just mention cyber/phone addiction at 100% and promiscuous behaviors as at 90%

5.4 Conclusion of the study

In view of the above summary, it was evident that social media played a major role on moral decadence of the respondents. Teenagers mostly used social media for communicating between their strangers, friends and families. The fact that social media is part of them especially having been born in this era of emerging technology, most felt that they could not do without it thus the eminent dangers of their moral decadence stands serious issue.

5.5. Recommendations from the study

  1. Teenagers need to be trained on better usage of the social media so as to minimize
    time wastage and reduce online risks associated to social media
  2. Creation of teenager-parent open forums discussion on moral values and promote awareness to common risks of social media
  3. Development of school curriculum on moral teaching in all education levels and religious institution to address moral values in most teenager programs.

5.6 Suggestions for further research

  1. The future research can be conducted on how controls and safety can be improved for teenagers and children on social media.
  2. The study can be done on improving social media policy trough child and parent participation

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