Impact of Social Media on Students’ Academic Performance (A Study of Students of University of Abuja)
The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of social media on the student’s academic performance [A study of students of University of Abuja]. To achieve this, the survey research method was used. Subjects were drawn from the University of Abuja, using the simple random sampling technique and purposive sampling. Four research questions guided the study. Research findings showed that a great number of students in University of Abuja, had access to the internet. To this end, the researcher recommended that sites should be created for educational purposes as well. This is to create a balance between social networking and academic activities of students to avoid setbacks in the academic performance of the students.
Background of the Study
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 the 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.
The world’s first commercial space communication company created by the United State Congress in 1962 was the communication satellite corporation (COMSAT). In 1964, the United State Government and eleven (11) foreign Nations signed a space communication pact. The partnership was known as “International Telecommunication Satellite Organization (INTELSAT). The internet known as the world’s “Information Superhighway” is a worldwide assemblage of Interconnected Computer Networks (Andrew, 2005).
In the view of Paul (2010, p.301), 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. 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. (Retrieved November 3rd 2012) (www.webopedia.com/Did you know/internet/2002/web-vs.-internet-asp).
According to Andrew (2005, p.284), “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. A line is the part along which resources flow, while a Node is the point where lines intersect transferring resources to new lines.(Retrieved November 7th 2012) www.glreach.com/globalstates.
History of the Internet
There are conflicting versions about the origin of the internet but the common story is that the internet is a product of a cold war. (Hafner and Lyon, 1996, p.116). Its origin is traced back to 1957, when the Soviet Union launched ‘Sputnik 1 into space, as a reaction to this, in 1958, the United State founded the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA), a special agency under the department of defense whose mission was to develop a long term highly innovative and hazard research projects (Cartoni and Tarding, 2006, p.26).
In 1962, the air force wanting to maintain the military’s ability to transfer information around the country even if a given area was destroyed in an enemy’s attack, commissioned leading computer scientist to do so. ARPANET, the first prototype of the internet, was developed by the ARPA department and saw the light in 1969 when four (4) of United States Universities (University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Barbara, Stanford Research Institute Polo Atto, and University of Utah) were connected by network of computers (Lorenzo and Stefano, 2010).
Leonard Klein rock of UCLA successfully developed the first computer network through “packet switching” to the concept of “distributed network”, two fundamental concurrent inventions in the field of computer science, packet switching is a process that allows division of messages into packets and sending them to their destination following different routes, once they arrive at their destination, they are all recomposed into the original message. Paul in 1960 developed the concept of distributed network funded by United States Air force at the research and development corporation (RAND) which is aimed at developing a telecommunication network which can stand a nuclear war. (Paul, 1964, p.220-223).
The growth of ARPANET accelerated in the second half of the 1980s, through computer protocol (TCP/IP) Transmission control protocol/Internet protocol which was adopted by ARPANET (Vinton, 1969 UCLA) in 1983 and is still the core of internet. ‘The transition of Tcp/lp was perhaps the most important event that will take place in the invention of the internet. After the installation of Tcp, the network could branch everyone’ (Hafner and Lyon, 1998, p.249).In the same year, after the end of ARPANETs experimental phase, the network was split into two; A civilian network for the computer research community (ARPA internet) and military network (MILNET). In 1980, ARPANET was replaced by NSFANET created by National Science Foundation and in 1990, ARPANET was officially decommissioned and the commercial use of the internet was allowed in 1991, (Berners-Lee, 2000, p.223).
In 1995, the internet was just one networking system among many others such as Usenet, Fido net, Mintel, AT$T, but with advent of the web, the internet became by far the most important networking system. That led to what is now known as internet, a global network of interconnected computers that communicate freely, share and exchange information (Paul, 2010). The younger a person, the greater the likelihood he or she has access to the internet (Kim, 2004).
Early 1990s, chat rooms and bulletin boards were forms of Social Networking in a way, they help people to connect with others and share interest. A little cater; dating sites hooked those looking for partners and classmates. Communication allows people to connect with people they had known in high school and colleges and enable them to meet others.
In the early 20s, a site called Friendster was set up where people invited their friends and their friends also invited others. The site was popular for a while, but suffered from technical difficulties and fake profiles and began to loose members. In 1999, MySpace took over but became popular in 2003. Its roots are a bit muddy because it received financial and logistical support from another company called the E-Universe and most of the early users were employers of e-universe but Tom Anderson and Chris DE Wolfe are given credit for much of the innovation and success of the site, which built up to one hundred and fifteen million users worldwide. Members post BIOS, photos, blogs, video and other things that strike their fancy. (Retrieved November 7th 2012) www.mudconnect.com.
Some Television Programmers’ had started producing programmers’ to air on MySpace in 2005; Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (parent of fox broadcasting) bought MySpace for five hundred and eighty million dollars ($580). A competitor to MySpace is facebook which started in about 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while he was a student at Harvard and grew rapidly in 2007. At first, face book was solely for college and high school students but Mark opened it to everyone and like MySpace, it encourages all types of member postings. There are also smaller social networks like 2go, YouTube, and blackberry chat for people to have access to. (Retrieved November 7th 2012) www.google.com
2go is a Social Networking Site, chat, and instant messaging (IM) application. It enables users to chat on their mobile phones free. You can meet users and 2go users as friends. Chat rooms on different topics are opened where you can join in the discussion and socialize with others and also, 2go have gateways that enable users chat with friends on Gtalk, Mxit, and facebook. (Retrieved November 9th 2012) www.google.com. Wikipedia. (Research work).
One of the greatest points of 2go chat is its simplicity and lightweight, making it available to lots of low-end phones. 2go runs on any java enabled phone, Nokia, LG, Samsung, and Sony Erricson. Blackberry users can use 2go on their Pc as part of an experimental service by the company and with it, they can chat anywhere and anytime of the day as they so please. (Retrieved November 9th 2012) www.google.com.
Blackberry is proprietary internet-based instant messenger application included on blackberry devices that allows messaging between blackberry users. It was developed by the manufacturer of the blackberry research in motion (RIM); messages sent via blackberry messenger are sent over the internet and use the blackberry pin system, so communication is only possible between blackberry devices. (Retrieved November 10th 2012) www.mit.edu /people/mkgray/net.
Pinging allows you to connect to friends using a ping ID, something akin to blackberry pin but easier to remember because you can pick it yourself. Once you’ve shared your pin or found friends via email or twitter, you can send text, messages, photos, videos and voice memos. Pretty much anything you might want to send to a friend can be sent using pin. Messages are in real time over the data network and pushed to the recipient. Once a message is sent, a little S or D and a tick with an R indicating the message has been sent and read. Ping chat also packs group messaging and social profiles, which allows you to display a photo, status and some information about yourself to confirm contacts and through these, one is connected to the whole world.
Brief History of University of Abuja
The University of Abuja is situated in the Federal Capital of Nigeria, Abuja. It was established on January 1st 1988(under decree no 110 of 1992 as amended) as a dual-mode University with the mandate to run conventional and distance learning program.
The University runs regular degree, diploma and post-graduate program. Due to its location, it covers distance learning and a consultancy service sub-degree program and an institution to cater for professional needs of teachers and government educational system. It is temporary located in Gwagwalada Abuja, with its permanent site covering about 11,824 hectares under construction along the Kaduna-Lokoja road. Its activities started in the mini-campus in 1990. (Retrieved December 2nd 2012) www.webpod.com.
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.
Therefore, the question this study is out to answer is: how do social media affect the academic performance of students of the University of Abuja?
Objectives of the Study
The study has the following objective. They are:
- To find out the various social networking sites the students had access to.
- To find out how often the students of University of Abuja go online.
- To determine how many hours the students spend in social networking activities daily.
- To ascertain how the use of social media has affected the academic performance of the students.
- What social networking sites do the students of University of Abuja had access to?
- How often do the students of University of Abuja go online?
- How many hours do the students spend on social networking activities?
- How has the use of social media affected the academic performance of the students of University of Abuja?
Scope of the Study
The essence of this research work is to primarily study the Influence of social media on the academic performance of students. The research intends to focus on students of the University of Abuja for easy analysis of data. This will reduce cost and avoid complexity that may arise as a result of having a very large population. But since in most cases the characteristics of students are generally similar, the research findings would be generalized to include all students of Nigeria Universities.
Significance/Justification of the Study
The study will help researchers with more information on the Influence of social media on the student’s academic performance. 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.
Definition of Key Terms
The following are key terms used in the Research Work:
- Social Media– They are forms of electronic communication which facilitate interactive base on certain interests. Social media include web and mobile technology. Kaplan and Helen (2010) defined Social Media as a group of internet based application that allows the creation and exchange of user generated content.
- Social Networking Sites – A website where people put information about them and can send to others.
- Social Networking – The use of internet to make information about yourself available to other people especially people you share an interest with to send messages to them.
- Media – Are all those media technologies that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication. “They are messages communicated through a mass medium to a number of people”(Bittner, 1980, p.10).
- Academic – It is concerned with Studying from books as opposed by a practical work.
- Students – Someone who is Studying at a University or School. Someone who is very interested in a particular subject.
- Computer – A computer is a machine that receives or stores or process data quickly according to a stored program.
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