IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 Background to the Study
The era of the teacher being a reservoir of knowledge has past. The world is moving at a jet speed as a result of advances in technology. Importantly, technology entails information and communication which may be defined as the handling and processing of information (texts, images, graphs, instruction) for use by means of electronic and communication devices such as computer, cameras, telephones (Oleabhiele, 2015).
The Internet revolution changed the information world with regard to sharing, speed, storage and retrieval of information in whatever form regardless of the person’s location. Through the Internet a number of web technologies emerged, and one technology that is making waves with regard to information sharing and communication are the social media networks. The evolution of social media has cut across all facets of society with its positive and negative impacts. Social media has transformed and impacted on communication, learning, research and education in general. Among the vast variety of online tools which are available for communication, social networking sites (SNS) have become the most modern and attractive tools for connecting people throughout the world (Aghazamani, 2010).
Davis et al (2012), refer to social media technology (SMT) as “web-based and mobile applications that allow individuals and organizations to create, engage, and share new use rgenerated or existing content, in digital environments through multi-way communication”.
Through this platform, individuals and organizations create profiles, share and exchange information on various activities and interests. An interesting aspect of social media is that, it is not limited to desktop or laptop computers but could be accessed through mobile applications and smart phones making it very accessible and easy to use. Examples of these social media platforms both on the web and mobile application include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, blogs etc.
Communicating through the internet and social networking websites is quite different from communicating in person-to-person situation. When users communicate through these websites, they use things like instant message (IM) and chatting as well as status or Twitter updates to talk to friends and express themselves (Kaitlin, 2010). Kaitlin (2010) further opines that social networking websites also affect the way we receive information and news. The sites open up different portals through which we get information and create more diverse news outlets.
The use of social media (like facebook, Youtube, twitter and whatsapp) by secondary school students today is resulting to mass failure of students in academic achievement (David, 2014). This is because students these days spend more time chatting with their friends rather than engaging in research or reading their books. A growing number of Nigerian scholars agree that addiction to social media sites have become a distractive technology to students’ academic work in higher education. Among the scholar is Oluwatoyin (2011) who surveyed 1,860 Facebook users from the Lagos State University and found that 90percent of the students could not get up to cumulative grade point average (CGPA) above 3.50 because they had spent a large part of their time on social media than on their home work and study time (which could contribute to higher grade).
Social media plays a variety of roles in education as highlighted by Al-Khalifa and Garcia (2013) which include providing a medium to share ideas and opinions as well as allowing students to build their own communities to collaborate with each other. As stated by Ndaku (2013), students spend a lot of time on social networking sites than in their academic activities and this affects their academic performance.
There have been a lot of debates on various platforms and media as to the impact that social media has on society and specifically, its effect on education. Some of these studies found a drop in students’ grades and academic performance, and lack of time for studies as consequences of social media network participation (Banquil et al, 2009; Kirschner and Karpinski, 2010; Ndaku, 2013). On the other hand, Pasek et al. (2006) “stated that a site-specific culture can both positively and negatively affect the building of social capital and found that Facebook usage is not positively associated with lower grades of students and rather Facebook users scored higher grades”. Kolek and Saunders (2008) did not find any correlation between GPAs of student users and social network participation such as Facebook. Rather social network sites (SNS) promote interactions among students and teachers (Ahmed & Qazi, 2011). Hence, this study will investigate the impact of social media on students’ academic performance among senior secondary school students in education district I of Lagos State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since the advent of social media sites in the 1990s, it is assumed in some quarters that the academic performance of students is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. There is a deviation, distraction and divided attention between social networking activities and their academic work. It is observed that students devote more attention to social media than they do to their studies.
Secondary school students particularly in Lagos State are becoming very busy with their handset and laptops. Social media gives most students access to the Internet and this has resulted or affected the students’ academics. Through the use of Facebook, chatting, checking their email, pinging, whatsapp, youtube, and MySpace students spend lots of time away from studying.
It is speculated that an average Nigerian youth spends about six to seven hours on the internet daily, some even do all night browsing. When do they have the time to read/study their books or undertake research? Literature reviewed shows that students who use facebook had grade point averages (GPA) between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users had grade point averages (GPA) between 3.5 and 4.0. Users of social media spend one to five hours a week studying, while non-users study 11 to 15 hours per week (Kapinski & Kirschner, 2011).
It is believed that the use of technology such as internet is one of the most important factors that can influence educational performance of students positively or adversely. Many parents and guardians are worried that students are spending too much time on facebook and other social media sites and have not enough time to study. Though parents are worried about students’ constant use of the social media sites, many students continue to utilize these sites on a daily basis.
Preliminary investigation and interviews with some teachers and students revealed a number of challenges in relation to student’s participation on social media networks. These included a high addiction rate among students which affects their time of study, the wrong usage of grammar and spelling in social media discourse as well as distracting students from their studies. Therefore, this research seeks to explore the impact of social media on students’ academic performance among senior secondary school students in education district I of Lagos State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study was conducted with the following objectives:
i. To examine the impact of social media on academic performance among secondary school students in Lagos State.
ii. To find out the amount of time students invest into social networking.
iii. To ascertain how the use of social media is affecting the study habits of students.
iv. To identify the benefits obtained from using the social media.
1.4 Research Questions
This study was guided by the following research questions:
Q1: What is the impact of social media on academic performance among the secondary school students in Lagos State?
Q2: What is the amount of time students invest into social networking?
Q3: Does the use of social media affect the study habits of students?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between social media and academic performance among the secondary school students in Lagos State.
Ho2: Student do not invest substantial amount of time in social networking.
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between the use of social media and study habits of students.