1.0 Introduction to the Study
1.1 Background to the Study
The origin of communication has been traced to the ancient Homosapiens i.e. (Neanderthal man) and it has remained ubiquitous activity which enables us to relate with others anywhere. For instance, numerous studies have confirmed that an individual, in his entire life spends 75 percent of each day communicating. One of such studies cited by Berlo (1960) says “each of us spends 10 or 11hours a day, everyday performing verbal communication behaviour.
According to Ugboajah (1985), in his book communication: An Overview. To be is to communicate, without communication, man is not different from lower animals, our ability to carry symbols around with us, to interpret them and relate them around makes us distinct (from the lower animals) without communication, man will cease to exist as a social creature because communication is a social affair.
1.1.1 Era of Social Media in Human Communication
The advancement in technology in this era has improved and enhanced effective communication in our society today especially among the students.
The unprepared emergence of social media technology in the face of developing societies has herald change of status quo within the socio, political and economic ecological setting of any society. The advent of social networks is a cyber revolution that changed the course of time.
According to Tom Glocer, CEO of Reuters, one of the world biggest International News agencies, He believes that the era when government of a nation would filter the news of what the people listen to, hear or read is about eroding, because citizens are now part of information gathering and information dissemination.
Apart from the fact that social media has been able to break the barrier in news reportage; making people know the true nature of happenings around them, it is now being use as tool of political propaganda, sensitization, insurgence and a medium of dissent.
The revolution of social media has created three basic things:
• It has aided in building a politically conscious civil society over the course of a number of years prior to the revolution.
• It has lowered the threshold for engaging in political dissent by providing a relatively anonymous space for political debate in a country that outlaws gatherings of five or more people.
• It has allowed organizers to plan protests more easily and anonymously.
1.1.2 History of social media
Before the recent relevant of social media, this means of communication has suffered years of neglect. The social network was conceptualized has just a medium of interaction and virtual home to transfer or extend relationships. In 1978, Ward Christensen and Randy Suess, computer hobbyists, invented the bulletin board system (BBS).
It was invented to inform friends and relatives about coming events and share information. This invention marked the beginning of revolution that change the social and global perspective of reality and virtual reality. In 1993, The university of Illinois students developed the mosaic, which was said to gave birth to the world wide web (WWW).these were the inventions that started the acceleration of social network .Beverly Hills internet launched GeoCities around this time also. It was a service that allowed for individuals to create their website. In 1994, the internet got the name information Superhigh way; signified the advent arrival of internet and a threat for the traditional media. Blogging also became popular. Within the anal of 1998, GeoCities became public. It marked the very first social network. It was created by Great Britain to locate past friends in school. However, Yahoo `bought GeoCities ($3.57 million). In same the steam, google, and AOL started operation. At the turn of millennium, about 70 million computers were connected to the world. 2003 marked a revolution with the creation of facebook and the increasing rate of using other social network; AOL hit 34million users, friend reunited hits 15million. 2006, a lot of social network companies line up to buy facebook, Viacom and yahoo were in the lead but the deal fall through. Between the span of 2007 to 2011, a lot of social networks were established: twitter, bing, buzz, youtube and so on. About 600million people worldwide now have a home in the virtual reality
1.2 Statement of Problem
Nigeria, as a nation, has not been shielded in this global phenomenon. In the weeks past, the nation was in the waters of dissatisfaction as a result of the deregulation of the downward sector of the petroleum industries. For the very first time in a long while, Nigerians were politically awakened and there was an unprecedented grievance hitting the cloud of Nigeria terrain.
The sudden awaken of Nigerians was partly to the already poverty searing situation and the ‘cyber revolution’ in Nigeria. The increase in the use of social media in Nigeria has affected positively the level of information dissemination, and bridge the gap of lacuna filtered news.
As it has become a common phenomenon with the rest of the world, the government of Nigeria seems to be in quandary about what to do with this cyber revolution. Apart from this, with a country that just granted freedom of information, it would be logically sarcastic to restrict the use of social media.
thus, this research tends to look at the way and manner citizens, or ‘netizens’, of Nigeria’s territory were mobilized for the protest against the deregulation of the downstream sector of petroleum starting from January 1st 2012.
Hence, the research looks into the influence of social media in the mass mobilization of people for the just concluded “Association of Staff Union of Union” (ASUU) strike: a study of the students of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.
1.3 Research Questions
i. Do students learn about the strike via socio-media?
ii. Do socio media enhance students effective communication at that time?
iii. Which of the social networking sites was mostly used by the striking students?
iv. Did students reaction on social media influence the major stakeholders (lecturers and government) to end the strike?
v. How credible are sources of information generated and shared by students on social media?
vi. What the problem students faced in using socio media during strike action?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
i. To examine whether students learn about the strike via socio-media.
ii. To finding out if socio media enhance students effective communication at that time.
iii. To examine which of the social networking sites was mostly used by the striking students.
iv. To know if students reaction on social media influence the major stakeholders (lecturers and government) to end the strike.
v. To examine how credible are sources of information generated and shared by students on social media.
vi. What the problem students faced in using socio media during strike action?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The reaching hand of the social media purview, within the concept of global village, has given some restrictive measures to the government of any nation.
This now an open secret that any anti-people policies will not be condoned by the people and within a split of minute the world would learn about it.
The increase in the activities of the internet tools-social networks, emails, and websites and blog sites-are becoming tools for acerbic criticism as harangue of comments would take no minute in raining on the faulting government.
Different governments of the world are becoming conscious of these information communication technologies to be potent tools that can be explored in gaining the support and ways of bridging the chasm between the governed and government
According to a popular say that “ there is a solution to any problem through communication” Thus, the significance of this study is that it would help the government and the governed to see a new perspective to the usage of social media; as a tool of national integration, cohesion unity and communal affiliation
From the happenings around the world, social media has re-engineered the thinking of the people and act as a medium of protest. This study makes a call to duty by government to explore this tool also as a medium to gain popularity on its ideological stand and policies alike.
As it has been known that every study would add to any existing knowledge on any phenomenon, this study would not cease to do the same by add to the increasing fountain of knowledge in the in using social media as a political tool and a tool of mobilization.
This study would also imply how the government can considerably reduce cost of governance by making use of social networks to communicate with the people. The cost of communicating with people by the African societies has been snare at because of excessive wastage of resources. However, social networks can bridge and reduce cost of communication through conventional method.
1.6 Scope of the Study
For the simple fact that research has limitation in different realm, has contributed to the restrictive hands of this study. This research did not enjoy the luxury of time and space; it would have helped in the adequate facilitation of more data gathering for and better research that would enjoy external validity.
It is not strange that the topic understudy is an analytical study that needs diverse respondents from different locations. The demography of the respondent was however restricted only to the confine of the students of Osun State Polytechnic Iree who are to a large extent youths.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
It is not an overstatement that a work of this nature cannot be carried out without some hard experience, however below are some of the constraints to this work.
There are many limitations ranging from not knowing where to start, not knowing who to consult or approach for materials not knowing what next to write in various segment of this study and not actually knowing who to put me through in achieving my work and others are:
1. Stress from other academic activities is one of the limitations to the research work
2. Financial constraint to travel to different places.
3. Duration for the research work is relatively short
3. Materials that are available on this topic is relatively small as the concept is new or people are not written from that angle.
To light another limitation, the research encountered droughty and arid ground in the area of supporting the study claim and referencing with necessary materials
Another limitation is that fact that the materials presented are sourced from the internet, which might not be trusted some time.
1.8 Definition of the Terms
Internet- this is interconnectedness of computer all over the world via a central server
Social media- this is a new media that help in the interactivity of the people
Social network – these are the networks that allow for the interaction- facebook, twitter and yahoo
Subsidy- this is the money put into something to make the cost of production less effective
Arab spring- This was a revolution that happened in the Arab world-Egypt and Tunisia
Mobilization – this is the deliberate act of conveying people to support a certain course
Influence – This is the effect of something on another