1.1 Background to the Study
Modem 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 worlds “Information Super Highway” is a worldwide assemblage of Inter- Connected Computer Networks (Andrew, 2005).
In the view of Agbanu (2011:301), 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.
Social media, an offspring of new media, typify these features as they have eliminated geographical distance in global communication (Carley, cited in Flew, 2002). According to Adelabu (2011), three components typify social media: concept (art, information, or meme); media (physical, electronic, or verbal); and social interface (intimate, direct, social viral, electronic broadcast or syndication or print.).
Social media according to Ama, S. (2003) are media that allow users to meet online via the internet, communicate in social forum like facebook, twitter, and other chat sites, where users generally socialize by sharing news, photo or ideas and thoughts, or responds to issues and other contents with other people. Social media are technologies that facilitates social interaction, make possible collaboration, and enable deliberation by stakeholders across boundaries, time and space. These technologies include: blogs, wikis, media (audio, photo, video, text) sharing tools, networking platforms (including facebook), and virtual worlds Ama, S. (2003).
The media which is an umbrella term for various means of communication, has become an integral part of human life around the world (Ama, S. (2003) (2004) pointed out that Social media is the way that describes a variety of new sources of online information that are created, initiated, circulated and used by consumers’ intent on educating each other about products, brands, services, personalities and issues (Ama and Aminu, 2014). Social media is a medium to interact the people to create, share, exchange and commenting contents in networks and virtual communities. Therefore social media (networking) technology is an integrating tool of education that improved national development in the education sector (Okereke and Lucky, 2014). (Ama and Aminu, 2014).
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 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 (Olaniran, 2014).He added that Students of tertiary institutions in Ogwashi-Uku Polytechnic, Delta State these days are very busy with their handset and laptops. Give most students across to the internet and they will spend considerable time chaffing, checking their email, their facebook profile, their Myspace webpage, updating their Twitter accounts and their Linkedln account, and it does not happen only once a day. It is speculated that an average Nigerian youth spend about 6-7 hours on the internet daily, some do all night browsing. When do they have the time to read/study their books or make research. It is recorded that at least four million, seven hundred and fourteen Nigerians are on facebook and other social media with a good number of them being young (Facebook Statistics, 2012). The future of communication has been predicted to depend to a great degree on electronic modes. Academics, business men and professionals in various fields propose various uses of social media and new media generally. These and many more decisions will be made based on available data concerning these media (Albertazzi,, 2010).
The use of social network sites among students of tertiary institutions is now widespread. It seems to becoming popular and fashionable in the polytechnics which may one way or the other affect the performance of students. The study carried out so much concerned about students spending so much time on social networks chaffing with friends, watching movies, posting photos, etc. at the expense of academic activities (Albertazzi, 2010).
The students’ performance (academic achievement) plays an important role in producing the best quality graduates who will become great leaders and manpower for the country thus responsible for the country’s economic and social development (Ali et al, 2009). The undergraduates who obtain high quality and good education can contribute the country immensely. Even though the use of internet and World Wide Web is an important factor upgrade the academic performance, the social media causes certainly has bad effects on them Akuezuito, O. (2001).
Several studies have been carried out on the social media and how it affects the modern day society (Andrew, 2005) but none of these research works have focused on social media and its direct effect on the academic performance of students in various higher and tertiary institutions. It is on this basis that this study is carried out to examine the impact of social media on students of Ogwashi-Uku Polytechnic, Delta State-Nigeria; and to address the aforementioned problems.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study has the following objective. They are:
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will help researchers with more information on the impact of social media on the students of Ogwashi-uku Polytechnic, Delta State-Nigeria especially on their 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.
Fundamentally, it is essential that everyone should understand current usage and behavior and identity potential problems so that they can be addressed. This can be seen in the amount of academic studies on social media within the last seven years. However, Boyd (2010) has gathered a collection of research about social media networking sites that lists approximately one hundred and fifty research papers, three books, and seven research reports published in the years 2003-2010 (Andrew, 2005). None of these papers covers Africa. This shows a lack of research that concerns the African region and especially Nigeria where this form of media is greatly used. Therefore the overall motivation for conducting this study is to contribute to research about social media in Nigeria.
This research also creates a platform for further research in this field and how it affects business processes, students’ academic performance as well other sphere of life. This research should provide useful data for student researchers, lecturers, academicians and everyone who uses social media as well as educators as to how they can maximize social media for optimum benefit in their various fields.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The essence of this research work is to primarily study the impact of social media on students of Ogwashi-uku Polytechnic, Delta State-Nigeria especially on the academic performance of students. The research focused on students of the Ogwashi-uku Polytechnic, Delta State-Nigeria for easy analysis of data. This reduces cost and avoids 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 higher institutions.
1.7 Definition of Key Terms
The following are key terms used in the Research Work: