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EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS

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It is true that there is beneficial aspect of social media meanwhile the negative effect of social media on students and education in general appears to supersede the positive. If social media can waste time, reduce library patronage, distort reading habit, affect writing and spoken English, then how does it help the youth, how does it aid personal productivity. It is not obscure to conclude that if not properly utilised, social media negatively affect academic productivity, especially for the youth, who are regarded as the leaders of tomorrow. Meanwhile the youth are meant to improve their knowledge base to enable them take up the mantle of leadership in time to come. Although, the social media has it positive vibes which it may offer to other sectors for productivity, but the persuasive interactive nature of various social media platforms and the multiple content and varieties it offers can lure students or youth to be distracted rather than been helped or improved.
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05
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Ph.D, Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, Islamic University in Uganda,
Kampala Campus.
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Research Consultant.
E-mail Id: henryhreal@googlemail.com
© Eureka Publications 2018. All Rights Reserved.
EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC
EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
OKECHUKWU CHUKWUMA
*
, IDOGUN OLASUNKANMI JOSEPH
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INTRODUCTION
There is little question that youths between the age of 17-40 are the leaders
of the growing trend to use social media in high quantity and on a daily
basis. Presently, the social media has found a way to be part of most
individuals’ everyday lives. Guzman (2016, p.1) says we use “it” (social
media) for every part of our lives; in our personal relationships, for
entertainment, at work and in our studies. Meanwhile the high rate of social
media use by the youth has transcended beyond mere use and
metamorphosed to be a must-have or must-use platform, therefore causing
addiction and affecting their academic efficacy.
According to Global WebIndex as cited by Neese (2017: p.2) social networks
consume about 28 percent of all online activities, meanwhile among other
activities that take place online are Stock broken and exchange, internet
search, data calls, emailing, ecommerce, cable TV, yet, the percentage of
social media usage exceeds them all. Neese (2017: p.2) added that an
average online user, spends multiple hours on social platforms daily, the
youth especially.
As asserted by Neese, the numerous hours and time vested in exploring
social media platforms by youth can be said to be threatening their
academic efficacy and personal productivity, which is currently more
evident than ever, as it could be seen in the number of unemployable
graduates in the labour market. It is important to note that the use of social
media and it diverse negative effect has globally called for action and
sanction, with government and non-state actors working hard to filter and
restrict social media use, particularly among youth. As youth are the
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT'S IMPACT ON YOUNGER GENERATION Page 52
majority citizens of the social media planet, their use of the social media has
not been empirically and pragmatically linked with academic productivity
and educational development. This has spiked he need to research and
analyze the use of social media and it effect on the academic efficacy of
youth, especially here in Nigeria, and further propose a workable modalities
that will curb negative use of social media among students and youth
generally.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
It is true that the advent of internet has revolutionized the way we do
things; the internet has made things to be done faster, quicker, better,
cheaper and smarter. The advent of internet has granted quick access to
information dissemination, file sharing and content distribution. Meanwhile
the social media, an internet enabled interactive platform and mobile
application, has brought a disruption and great distraction to the youth.
Majority of the youths now vast majority of their time, with a high level of
interest and concentration, on social media and negate their academics or
studies.
Meanwhile, despite the contributions and researches by authors, limited
researches have mentioned specifically the effect of social media on the
academic performance of the youth. It is on this premise that this paper
seeks to fill the knowledge gap by emphasizing on the negative effect of
social media on academic efficacy of youth, with special focus on Nigerian
youths and students.
ACADEMIC EFFICACY
The word ‘efficacy’ is synonymous with effectiveness and efficiency, which
connotes ability to produce desired result. Academic efficacy is usually
referred to as Academic Self-efficacy. Before going further to explain
academic efficacy/academic self-efficacy, it is important to address the term
self-efficacy. Self-Efficacy, (S-E), is defined as people's beliefs about their
capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise
influence over events that affect their lives (Bandura, 1989). This signifies
that an individual with self-efficacy believe strongly in their ability to
produce results with a strong mental believe of their own strength. Self-
efficacy according to Bandura (1977), cited in Sharma & Nasa (2014), means
self-confidence, self-reliance and trust on oneself. The duo further added
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EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
that self-efficacy does not refer to how much a person likes him or herself or
how much he or she likes the task at hand; rather, self-efficacy is concerned
with how well a person believes he or she will be able to reach a desired
outcome in a designated area. Academic self-efficacy on the other hand
refers to academic performance and it is the degree to which an individual
believe in their ability to achieve a desirable academic goal. According to
Sharma & Nasa (2014, p.59), academic self-efficacy refers to a person's
conviction that they can successfully achieve a designated level in a specific
academic subject area.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA
Kent (2010, p.645) asserts the term “Social Media” is a broad concept
encompassing diverse “interactive media channels that allow two-way
interaction and feedback. However in a more explicit term, social media are
computer mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of
information, idea, career interest and other forms of expression via virtual
communities and networks. Obar, Jonathan, Wildman & Steve (2015) also
asserted that social media are web2.0 enabled interactive applications.
According to Daluba and Maxwell (2013), it could be said also that social
media is a means of interactions among people of different ages in which
they create, share and exchange information and ideas invirtual
communities and network.
There are examples of social media platforms and interactive applications
that have dominated the internet space; the popular ones are Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest. Snapchat, Vive, WeChat, WhatsApp,
Google+ and YouTube. They have similar features such as interactivity,
virtuality, instantaneous delivery, multimedia file exchange, inter-
connectivity and immediate feedback. According to Neese (2016), social
media, a highly interactive platform, is a form of new media that relies
heavily on the participation of users to provide value.
It is however important to note that the presence of the social media
started with the advent of mobile phones and data enabling gadgets in year
2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively, which made social media and other
interactive applications an enabling platform to run. Valkenburg and
Piotrowski (2017) stated that;
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT'S IMPACT ON YOUNGER GENERATION Page 54
The breakthrough of the smartphone to the wide public began with the
BlackBerry Pearl in 2006, which was followed by the iPhone 2G in 2007-
which soon became the fastest-selling gadget in history.
Today, smartphones appear in every aspect of daily life. More than any
other media device, smartphones are inextricably linked with the use of
social media.
It is therefore explicable that mobile phones and social media are married to
deliver a wide range of services, which has been delivering quicker, smarter,
better services and enable file sharing and interactivity. Surprisingly
however, the social media is taking away valuable time meant to be vested
in education and studies from youth, especially in Nigeria where there are
lots of youth seeking to gain admission into Universities. If only their social
media presence can be diverted off the internet and invest it in more
studies and personal development, maybe there will be improvement in the
quality of admission seekers and less of hate speeches and online frustration
that is unnecessarily gaining attention online and offline. According to
National Bureau of Statistics, between 2010 and 2015, Nigerians who sat for
the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board examination were 11.7 million,
only 23% (2.7 million) of the registered candidates had admission into
higher institution. Students who had admission into higher institution are
candidate with their scores within 150 and above. The remaining candidates
are youth who engage in frivolous activities, which perhaps contributes to
other factors that hindered them from gaining admission, one of which
could be their everyday presence on social media, as earlier asserted by
Neese (2017).
Meanwhile, data retrieved from World Internet Statistics (www.world
internetstats.com) shows that the total number of persons that make use of
Facebook from Nigeria are estimated at 37.9 million that is aside Instagram,
Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube. It has been mentioned earlier with evident
data retrieved from Statista (2017) that the dominant populace of the social
media platforms and the internet are the youths.
In this contemporary age, the internet, mobile gadget and social media have
become an embodiment of distraction to the youth, especially in Nigeria
where youth rants all forms of violent and hate speeches to reflect their
frustration amidst the political and economic sabotage, which has distracted
them from paying attention to education and personal development, and
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EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
jeopardizing their academic efficacy. According to Valkenburg and
Piotrowski (2017, p.219), the portability, power, and connectivity of the
smartphone have resulted in a generation of youth (and adults) that are
truly “phono sapiens”; meaning that they are phone addicted. However,
among the contents and applications on mobile phones that glue the
attention of youth to mobile phone is the social media.
There have been researches, investigating the effect of social media on
adolescents, teenagers and youth. Most researchers have based their
articles solely on the positive effect of social media on youth. It is true that
the social media has immeasurable power of it interactivity, connectivity,
instantaneous messaging, quick feedback, file sharing, content distribution
etc., helping young and old to connect with old friends, keep in touch with
distance relationships and families. Meanwhile, an exploration on the
negative effect of social media on the youth, particularly on their academics
and personal development needs to be done, hence this paper.
INTERNET/ SOCIAL MEDIA USE STATISTICS
The population of Nigeria, according to United Nations, is estimated to be
181.2 million (United Nations, 2017). However, data from Statista (2017), a
Germany based leading statistics company, totaled the number of internet
users in Nigeria as at 2016 to be69.1 million people, whereas the age
distribution for the same year shows that ages 15-64 constitute 53.17% of
the total population. Could it be unequivocally said therefore that the
internet users are persons between the ages of 15-64, average of which
gives 40, and that ages 40 to 15 are the users of internet, majority of which
are youth who used their internet presence on social media platforms.
Statistical data obtained from world internet stat show that the percentage
of internet users in Nigeria has increased between 2012 and 2016 by
approximately 50%, with Nigeria having a super internet-use lead in the
African continent. Meanwhile majority of the activities done online are
social media platform on daily basis. Nigeria’s Communication Minister, Mr.
Adebayo Shittu, as quoted in Punch Newspaper, said that 75% of Nigeria’s
population uses social media and what they do online varies. However, the
users of social media are majorly youths and students whose use of social
media has no correlation with academic efficacy or personal development,
which is why Adebayo emphasized that social media, can be a nuisance to
the government and society at large; adding that mudslinging, hate speech,
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT'S IMPACT ON YOUNGER GENERATION Page 56
cyber bullying, rants and unbridled ventilation of anger are common
features on social media platforms (Punch Newspaper, 2017).
Nigeria Internet users from 2013 to 2018 and Nigerian age structure from
2006 to 2016:
Source: Statista.com
Figure 1.Showing Nigeria internet use in millions from 2013 to 2018 in million
Source: Statista.com
Figure 2.Showing Nigerians age distribution and their percentage from the
Nigerian population between 2006 to 2016
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EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
Source: internet world stats.
Figure 3 and 4.showing graphical illustration of internet consumption in Africa,
showing that Nigeria has been leading massively since 2012
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT'S IMPACT ON YOUNGER GENERATION
Source: statcounter.com
Figure 5.Showing the statistics and frequency of various
social
media platforms used by Nigerians
EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON NIGERIAN YOUTH
Brown (2017: p.2) listed 16 negative effects of social
media on the youth.
Among the m
are; Addiction, Increased Violence, Distraction, Reduced
Productivity, Increased Threats, Spend More Money, Less Sensitive and
Increased Comparison.
Pino of Cindy Casper in
2017, she found that the negative consequences of
social media are
more common than positive ones and she concluded
saying thus
;“I am sure that social media advances the impact of isolation,
obesity, depression, and sleep deprivation. It takes away fac
interaction with family connections, and even worse, health, leaving our
youth isolated." (Tatiana 2017, p.1)
In actual sense,
as suggested by Valkenburg and Piotrowski (2017),
who has anything to do with the youths will
know that they are
users of media, particularly the social media.
The duo asserted further that
that youth spends about six hours a day interacting with
the
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social
media on the youth.
are; Addiction, Increased Violence, Distraction, Reduced
Productivity, Increased Threats, Spend More Money, Less Sensitive and
In a similar research conducted by Professor Tatiana
2017, she found that the negative consequences of
more common than positive ones and she concluded
by
;“I am sure that social media advances the impact of isolation,
obesity, depression, and sleep deprivation. It takes away fac
e-to-face
interaction with family connections, and even worse, health, leaving our
as suggested by Valkenburg and Piotrowski (2017),
anyone
know that they are
the massive
The duo asserted further that
the
screens. This
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EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
total includes nearly two hours spent chatting with friends via media such as
WhatsApp, texting, or Snapchat, as well as more than an hour a day spent
on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram,
(Valkenburg and Piotrowski, 2017, p.76). The researchers concluded that the
time youth spend using social media is more than three hours a day, which
has surpassed the amount of time they spend on television and gaming,
which is estimated at 97 minutes and 75 minutes concurrently, whereas
they spend the least amount of time, 35 minutes, reading books.
(Valkenburg and Piotrowski, 2017, pp.79-81).
In a 2013 BBC news research, as discussed by Shabir, Mahmood, Hameed
and Safdar (2014), it was discovered that 67% of Facebook users and well
known social media portals, comprise of the youth and students. It was
further discussed that youths and students have more focus and relation to
social media. The researchers added further that the negative use of social
media occur when students involve themselves in unethical activities on
social media portal, sharing of useless information, and posting such as
images that are injurious national dignity and foreign relationship of country
(Shabir, Mahmood, Hameed and Safdar, 2014, p.3).
Although the estimation of social media usage among the youths varies
from country to country, depending on government policies. All over the
world, social media has become an irresistible tool for youth because of its
interactive and quick feedback mechanism. However here in Nigeria, the
negative effects of social media on the academic efficacy of Nigerian youth
can be discussed as thus:
SOCIAL MEDIA CONSUMES TIME
One of the most adverse effects that the social media has on academic
efficacy of students and youth generally is the fact that it consumes valuable
time from the students. The time that is supposed to be used for profitable
academic activities such as reading and learning skills is been spent on social
media chatting and sharing of multimedia files. The time vested in exploring
and consuming social media contents distract students from paying needed
attention to education and personal development. Syed & Naqvi (2006)
asserted that student’s attitude towards time management for studies is
reflected through the numbers of hours spent in study after college on daily
bases, is taken as second variable.
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT'S IMPACT ON YOUNGER GENERATION Page 60
Fabinu, (2014) recounted his experience saying; even in Nigerian higher
institutions, students are seen carrying their phones around with their eye
glued to the screens. What would these people be doing to the extent that
they press it on high ways?” he asked. They are busy Twitting, checking
Facebook status, WhatsApp messaging and posting content on the various
social media platforms. These and others frivolous engagement are what
waste their time and derail the students from paying needed attentions to
their studies. Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe (2007) pointed out that Social
networking sites is an important resource for education today, adding that
students use social networking sites such as Facebook for fun, to kill time, to
chat with existing friends or to make new ones. Jeong (2009) argued against
Ellison, Steinfield, and Lampe (2007) assertion saying that students spends
much time in participating in social networking activities, with many
students blaming the various social networking sites for the decrease in
grade point averages.
SOCIAL MEDIA CAUSES DISTRACTIONS
Another concern about the negative effect of social media that comes to
minds quickly is the height of distraction it poised to students and youth,
even in the classrooms some are busy chatting and exploring social media
contents. As teachers were not able to recognize who is paying attention in
the classroom.
The presence and advent of social media has caused an immeasurable level
of distraction to every user, the youth inclusive. The interactive nature of
the social media and the instantaneous message delivery with prompt
feedback of messages, has made it persuasive, hence it lures the users to
spend more time exploring, messaging, connecting, searching and
researching on social media platforms, more so that the social media offer
varieties of unquantifiable persuasive and interactive features. Because of
these therefore, students are always busy on social media, being distracted
by videos, images, messages, friends, friends’ request, chatting and so on.
This has affected their academics in a way or two. Osharive (2015) also
noted that even in classrooms and lecture theatres, students are often seen
busy pinging, 2going or Facebooking, while lectures are ongoing. He
asserted further to liken the reason why students perform badly in school to
their continuous presence on social media platforms, adding that most
youths today possess social media accounts, particularly Facebook.
According to Olubiyi (2012) as cited by Osharive (2015, p.13), he noted that
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students are so engrossed on the social media to the extent that they are
present online for almost 24 hours a day.
Since most youth and students are present for almost 24 hours online
staying connected on social media, it has distracted them and time that
ought to be channeled towards learning, research, creativity and innovation
have been crushed by their continuous yawning to use social media.
Meanwhile this and other factors have caused most students’ academic
performance to suffer setback.
SOCIAL MEDIA AIDSFRAUD AND NONCHALANCE TO SCHOOLING
Recent findings revealed that majority of young Nigerians, especially the
male folks, have withdrawn from school or show lackadaisical attitude
towards schooling; these are young Nigerians who vehemently engage in
internet fraud, popularly known as “yahoo yahoo”. More disheartening,
various reports has shown that the international community has labeled
Nigerian youths as most untrusted and fraudulent globally, this is due to
their active participation in internet fraud and theft. Meanwhile, majority of
cyber fraud that takes place recently are done by youths who defraud
foreigners they meet via social media platforms. With the increased use of
social media there are opportunities than ever before to steal identities and
perpetrate fraud online (Lewis, 2016). According to the US Securities and
Exchange Commission, many investors use the internet and social media to
help them with investment decisions, unfortunately, some of these
individuals have been defrauded.
This owes to the fact that the internet is a good way to reach mass
audience. Some youths have taken wrong queue from their peers who
engage in internet fraud and had therefore shown a nonchalance attitude
towards schooling, which in return have affected them. Their engagement
with social media and online fraud has withdrawn their interest from school.
According to Premium Times (2017), a Nigerian by name Ojo Daniel
Adekunle, who had gone to the United States of America for studies was
arrested and charged with fraud and theft by FBI in Durham, having spent
less than 14 months on his arrival. This is a man whose parents must have
invested heavily on to further his studies in the US and suddenly became
nonchalant to education to pursue fraudulent activities. Education enhances
the mind and body, hours spent surfing the internet, playing online games
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT'S IMPACT ON YOUNGER GENERATION Page 62
and engaging on social networks can drastically hinder a child’s physical and
mental development.
SOCIAL MEDIA REDUCES LIBRARY PATRONAGE
Before now, students are expected to go to libraries and consult archives to
access information relating to their area of study or research. The advent of
internet has made libraries a mere facility with low patronage. Daluba and
Maxwell (2013, p1) mentioned that a major reason for setting up a library is
to stimulate educational advancement, expose students to acquisition of
knowledge through the use of the library. However in this present era of fast
internet and speedy connecting, students would rather consult the internet
for research and assignments. Although this seem as an effective way to
carry out academic research and work, but the internet has much contents
clamoring for attention. To worsen the case the social media sets in.
Presently, students would rather stay connected on with friends chatting
and comment on frivolities rather than go to the library to improve
themselves. Jager (2014, p.2) noted that undergraduate students did not
use their library very much and that library usage did not correlate very well
with academic performance. Jager’s assertion further affirms that students
don’t go to the library anymore. It is even more alarming to discover that
individuals who use social media are often shocked of how often social
media consumes the bulk of their time unknowingly to them, such time
could have been spent in the library to learn and for personal development.
According to Lwehabura, (1999) as cited by Chinyere (2014), he remarked
that few people ever use libraries willingly. He stresses that most people
have to be persuaded or prodded into using the library. Despite the increase
level of online public access catalogue (OPAC), students still have not shown
needed interest to use the Library, rather, as noted by Osharive (2015), they
are often seen pinging, 2going, twitting or Facebooking, while lectures is
ongoing in the classroom.
SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECTSSPOKEN AND WRITTEN ENGLISH
Since the inception of social media, there have been some awkward
development and change in classroom status quo, with the way students
communicate with one another through social media and text messaging,
which has crept in to classrooms. In 2012, Obi, Bulus, Adamu & Sala’at in
their research observed that the use of social media has affected students’
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EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
use of English and grammar, they concluded that students are now used to
short forms of writing words in their chat rooms, which they sometimes or
mistakenly use in their classrooms.
However, the advent of internet brought these new shorthand and
acronyms that are now conversant with social media platforms and
interactive applications. They are called social media slangs and languages.
Table 1.Showing list of social media shorthand
S/n Social Media shorthand Original Word/Phrase
1 I Hi
2 K, ok Okay
3 Ait Alright
4 Ttyl Talk to you later
5 Brb Be right back
6 Moin Morning
7 U You
8 Obv Obviously
9 Plz,pls Please
10 Tanx. TY Thanks/Thank you
11 NBC Nobody cares
12 TGIF Thank God is Friday
13 ROTFL Rolling on the floor
14 IMO In my opinion
15 C’mon Common
16 Dis This, these
17 Dat That
18 Dos Those
19 Y Why
20 2 To, too,two
21 B4 Before
22 4 for
23 ICU I see you
24 Smh Shaking my head
These words are often used to reduce the number of characters used in text
messages and to minimize the time spent typing long messages. These
words “slangs” frequently limit the number of characters used to convey
messages, requiring users to develop shorter terms and more creative
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT'S IMPACT ON YOUNGER GENERATION Page 64
means by which to express themselves and as a result various odd acronyms
and abbreviations have become infused into everyday communication
(Jones, 2016).
Recent research have shown a significant increase in the amount of
acronyms and abbreviation seen in students exams sheet and assignment
workbooks, this is due to their frequent use of these “words” on social
media platform. Jones (2016) further affirm that it is not surprising to see
anecdotes from teachers and admission officers regarding the poor verbal
and writing skills they observed on daily basis. A 2010 study in
communication research provided evidence that frequent use of texting
slangs negatively impacted formal writing and daily communication (Jones,
2016, p2). Meanwhile there has been reported cases of students mistakenly
using these short hands in examinations, text and assignment scripts, with a
counter argument from students that they did so to hasten up and save
time.
SOCIAL MEDIA DISTORT READING HABIT
Reading enriches ones’ intellectual abilities. Depth in reading helps to
develop the mind and personality of the person; it provides insights into
human problems, and influences attitude and behavior (Behrman, 2009).In
other words, reading helps boast ones’ intellectual sagacity and enhances
individuals’ survival in a mentally challenging situation. However, reading of
books can be a well stimulating exercise for building oneself. Reading habit
is a deliberate effort towards understanding and acquiring know (Shehu &
Shehu, 2014).
In this fast changing world, with the presence of many technological
innovations, social media; an agent of technological innovation, has been
causing a massive distortion to students reading habit. The persuasive
contents shared and circulated on social media and its interactive power has
been distorting the reading habit of many, not just the youth or students.
According to Muhammad (2016) social media has lowered the standard of
education in Nigeria. He added that social media has grabbed the attention
and concentration of students and divert them towards non-educational,
unethical, and inappropriate actions such as exam malpractices. There are
instances where a student that is probably reading suddenly receive a
message or a social media notification on phone and therefore dash straight
to social media platform to respond to messages and interactive multimedia
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EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
contents. Another student, haven’t spent hours surfing internet and
shuttling between social media platforms, would have even forgotten to
read or revise class notes, little wonder Shehu & Shehu (2014) asserted that
the increase use of social networking sites among student has no doubt
affected students reading habit negatively.
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
USES AND GRATIFICATION THEORY
The uses and gratifications theory was propounded by Elihu Katz, Jay
Blumleramd Michael Gurevitch in 1974. Daramola (2012, p. 87) explained
that the uses and gratifications theory is concerned with how people use the
media to gratify their desire or satisfy their needs.
Presently, scholars are using this theory to investigate issues about mobile
phone usage, internet usage and social media usage among others. The
viability of the uses and gratifications theory rests on the assumption that
media audience is active and goal oriented. People are active in choosing
and using a particular media to satisfy specific needs. The question here
therefore is; what need do social media serve to the students?
The major need the social media gratifies the students is that it helps them
keep tab with distant friends, families and relationship, while it also allow
them to meet new friends. The social media may gratify certain needs for
the users, especially the youths, but there is little or no correlation between
social media and how it can aid personal development and academic
productivity.
DEPENDENCY THEORY
The dependency theory was propounded by Sandra Ball-Rokeach and
Melvin DeFleurin 1976. The theory proposes an integral relationship among
audiences, media, and the larger society.
According to Littlejohn and Foss (2008, p. 302), dependency theory predicts
that:
Audiences depend on media information to meet certain needs and
achieve certain goals. It is believed that individuals do not depend on all
media equally.
SOCIAL MEDIA & IT'S IMPACT ON YOUNGER GENERATION Page 66
Media audiences become dependent on media that meet a number of
their needs than on media that satisfy just a few.
However, the more alternatives an individual has for gratifying needs, the
less dependent the individual will become on any single medium. The
number of functional alternatives, however, is not just a matter of individual
choice or even of psychological traits but is limited also by factors such as
availability of certain media. Meanwhile, the multiplicity and varieties of
platforms enabled by web 2.0 and other interactive application has made
the youth to often depend on them for continuous usage and patronage.
TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM
Technological determinism theory was propounded by Marshall Mcluhan in
1962. The theory states that technology will shape how we as individuals in
a society think, feel, act and how the society operates as we move from one
technological age to another. The theory seeks to show technical
developments, media, or technology as a whole, as the key mover in history
and social change. It is a theory subscribed to by the “hyperglobalist” who
claims that as a consequence of the wide availability of technology,
accelerated globalization is inevitable. Therefore, technological
development and innovation become the principal motor of social,
economic or political change.
The theory postulates that individual’s use and interpretations of the media,
causes us to learn, feel and think the way we do, because of the messages
we receive through the current technology that is available. Individuals use
the senses and knowledge developed from the use of this media into our
everyday lives and we want to use them again. However, the senses gained
through social media have now been affecting the academic efficacy and the
productivity of the youth. The persuasive nature of social media, its
interactivity, instant feedback, file sharing and the varieties of contents
available on social media platforms, which is made possible by web 2.0, a
technological initiative, has caused the youth and students to always stay
connected with the social media and thereby affecting their academic
efficacy.
CONCLUSION
It is true that there is beneficial aspect of social media meanwhile the
negative effect of social media on students and education in general
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EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE ACADEMIC EFFICACY OF NIGERIAN STUDENTS
appears to supersede the positive. If social media can waste time, reduce
library patronage, distort reading habit, affect writing and spoken English,
then how does it help the youth, how does it aid personal productivity. It is
not obscure to conclude that if not properly utilised, social media negatively
affect academic productivity, especially for the youth, who are regarded as
the leaders of tomorrow. Meanwhile the youth are meant to improve their
knowledge base to enable them take up the mantle of leadership in time to
come. Although, the social media has it positive vibes which it may offer to
other sectors for productivity, but the persuasive interactive nature of
various social media platforms and the multiple content and varieties it
offers can lure students or youth to be distracted rather than been helped
or improved.
RECOMMENDATION
As a way to encourage youth productivity and students’ academic efficacy, it
is important that government and school authorities checkmate and
regulate the use of social media among youth and students. Countries like
china have strict restrictions for social media use, especially among their
teens and youth, which has helped the country’s productivity and output.
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Social Media and Declining Reading Culture
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Ahmad Muhammad (2016). Social Media and Declining Reading Culture. Retrieved on 9/02/2018 from https://www.slideshare.net/Campus PortalNG/effects-of-social-media-on-reading-habits.
6 Way social media is changing the world
  • G Alejanra
Alejanra G. (2016). 6 Way social media is changing the world. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/6-ways-social-mediais-changing-the-world.html3.