1.1. Background of Study
The world is today celebrating the improvements in communication technology which has 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 et al., 2012). 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 et al., 2009). 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 excellence or achievement plays an important role in an individual placement, be it in the academic institutions or job placement. Due to this, many people are concerned with the ways they can enhance their academic achievement. The emphasis on academic excellence which is also prevalent worldwide has encouraged many studies about the conditions promoting it. The role of academic achievement as one of the predictors of one’s life success and also in the aspect of academic placement in schools to higher institutions as well as the level of employability in one’s career is inevitable (Kyoshaba, 2009).
Academic performance, which is measured by the examination results, is one of the major goals of a school. Hoyle (2006 ,p.45) 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 performance.
Academic performance or achievement is the outcome of education, the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Academic performance 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 et al., 2006). 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 use social networking sites such as Facebook for fun, to kill time, to meet existing friends or to make new ones (Ellison et al., 2007). Although it has been put forward that students spends much time on participating in social networking activities, with many students blaming the various social networking sites for their steady decrease in grade point averages (Kimberly, 2009), it also shows that only few students are aware of the academic and professional networking opportunities the sites offered.
According to Kuppuswamy (2010,p.76), social network websites grab attention of the students and then diverts it towards non-educational and inappropriate actions including useless chatting. Whereas on the other hand, (Liccardi et al., 2007) reviewed that the students are socially connected with each other for sharing their daily learning experiences and do conversation on several topics. Tinto (2007,p.9) argued that extracurricular activities and academic activities are not enough to satisfy some student those who are suffered by social networking isolation. This shows that social networks are beneficial for the students as it contributes in their learning experiences as well as in their academic life. Trusov et al., (2009,p.17) 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 (2009,p.77) social network websites provide ease of connecting people to one another; free including videos and pictures etc. Wiley and Sisson (2006,p.54) argued that the previous studies have found that more than 90% of tertiary school students use social networks. In the same way Ellison et al., (2007,p.11) stated that the students 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’ life. Lenhart and Madden (2007,p.49) revealed through a survey that students 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 students 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.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Since the advent of social media sites in the 1990s, it is assumed in some cases that the academic performance of students is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. There is a deviation, distraction and divided attention between social network activities and their academic work. It is observed that student devote more attention to social media than they do their studies. Instead of students to read their books, they spend their time chatting and making friends via the social media and this might definitely have influence on their academic performance, because when you do not read, there is no way you can perform well academically. Some are so carried away that even as they are walking along the high way, they keep chatting. In recent times social media have been a major stay in the minds of students and the world at large thereby causing a lot of drastic measure by students, teacher and even educational administrators at large. It is therefore of great importance to explore some of the trending issues facing students’ academic performance as a result of social media. Students at all levels of learning now have divided attention to studies, as a result of available social media. Therefore, this study is out to examine the academic implications of the irresponsible uses of the social media by Auchi polytechnic students.
1.3. Objectives of Study
The objectives of the study are:
i. To examine the level of student addictiveness to social media and the influence on their academic performance.
ii. To determine the social media network that the students are more exposed to and the influence on their academic performance.
iii. To ascertain how the use of social media has influence the academic performance of the students in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi.
iv. To ascertain the difference in students’ usage of social media network by gender.
v. To ascertain how age has influence on students’ usage of social media network.
1.4. Research Questions
The following research questions were raised:
i. To what extent would student addictiveness to social network influence their academic performance?
ii. Does the social media network that the students are more exposed to influence their academic performance?
iii. How has the use of social media influence the academic performance of the students in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi?
iv. Is there gender difference in the student’s usage of social media network?
v. In what way do younger and older students influence the use of social media?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses are generated by the researcher and was tested in this study:
i. Students’ addictiveness to social network has no significant influence on their academic performance.
ii. Student’s exposure to social media network has no significant influence on students’ academic performance.
iii. Use of social media do no significantly influence on the academic performance of the students in Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi.
iv. There is no significant difference between male and female student usage of social media network.
v. Age does not have significant influence on the use of social media.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is significant to the lecturers, parents and students. This study will help the lecturers to know the influence that social media has on their students, so as to enlighten and create awareness to the students on the possible influence it has on them. The study is significant to parents in the sense that they will know the possible 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.
The study will enable students to know 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 understanding the diversity of social media. It will provide relevance material for students and other researchers undertaking similar research. The study will help researchers with more information on the Influence of social media on student’s academic performance.