Effect of Twitter Social Networking Site on the Achievement of Senior Secondary School Students in History
Background of the Study
The internet is a global system of interconnected computers that uses the standard internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide Castells, (1996) it is a network of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government computer networks linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies. Castells, (2001) defines the internet as a worldwide interconnection of computers and computer networks that facilitates the sharing of exchange of information among users. 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. “Information travels over the internet through a variety of language known as “Protocols”. The term “internet” is actually a short form for “internet networks”, which implies that internet is a network of computer networks. Computer accepts data, process it, stores it and give it out when required. It became possible for people to chat from ‘terminals’ which led to networking. The internet is fast becoming the dominant means of communications and commerce in the 21st century, it plays the main role in changing communication throughout the world and also impacting on global economic system.
The evolution of internet technology has led to its use as the best medium for communication. Whereby, two-third of the world’s population visits social networking or blogging sites, thus serving as a community and connection tool. Social networking sites (SNS) 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, Boyd, Densten, Chin, Diamond and Morgenthaler 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. According to McLuhan, (1964) globalization has forever changed the world in which we live to a world that has become increasingly interconnected. McLuhan,  also asserts that the internet is perhaps the most prominent tool that has facilitated the interconnectedness. Internet network has shortened the communication distance by dimension of time and places together, giving birth to form of social networks.
A study (Goldsborough, 2008) indicates an increasing stage in social network usage. This increase is considered as another important change of the world’s information history. Students were mainly considered the first group users of social networks, and most white-collar professionals now also use them (Kim, 2008).
The Wikipedia (2011) narrates that the internet has enabled entirely new forms of social interaction, activities, and communication, thanks to its basic features such as wide spread use ability and access. There are many social networking sites, such as face book, twitter, MySpace, HI5, Nimbus, 2go, Blackberry chart (Bbchart), xanga, yahoo and Bebo which has created new ways to socialize and interact. However, the internet has achieved new relevance as a political tool, leading to internet censorship by some states. This is however rare, the presidential campaign of Howard dean in 2004 in the United States was notable for its success in soliciting donation via the internet.(Rehmeyer, 2007) Social networking websites have expanded rapidly over the last few years and have created new and varied channels of communication via internet, whether through personal computer or mobile phones. Many people are now members of social networking websites. However, according to Simmel’s, (2001) people have used the idea of “social network” loosely for over a century to connote complex sets of relationships between members of social systems at all scales, from interpersonal to international. The type of social network helps determine a network’s usefulness to its individuals.
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. Users gain different kinds of uses and gratifications/satisfactions from online social networking sites (SNS). Joinson (2008) explain that motives will determine the users and types of services offered in social networking sites (SNS). The main motives to use include learning about old friends (social searching), to gaining emotional support or as an information resource (social capital) and maintaining or re-connect relations (surveillance). Satisfaction refers to how much they will gain from such use. Social connection satisfaction will lead to the increased frequency of use and content satisfaction to the increased time spent on the SNS (social networking sites). It could be a good change that young Nigerians are embracing the I.C.T. (Information Communication Technology) trend but such change comes with its consequences, as many Nigerian students’ assignments and reading times suffer neglect while they spend more time chatting with their friends which affects their academic performances in history. But many Nigerian youths see it as a means to get into discussions with their peers and as a way to air their thoughts and hopefully to build relationships (nigerianobservernews.com). Those students who do not have access to the Internet use their mobile phones even while lectures are on-going and students can also access their Facebook accounts on their mobile phones using a mobile browser known as “OPERA MINI”. It means while lectures are on, some students still chat with their friends online which affects their concentration. The resultant effect is that it affects their performances academically. In the past, parents blamed mass failures on the inadequacies of teachers but as it is now, much attention should be given to what students do at their leisure, you will find out that most of them are on the internet cyber or busy with their mobile phone chatting with their friends. Some students cannot even do without accessing their account within an hour.