INFLUENCE OF ONLINE CHATTING ON ADOLESCENTS

Abstract

The research is set out to examine the influence of online chatting on adolescents with a specific focus on the people in Oghara community in Delta state because the adolescents and youths are the most vulnerable set of people in the society that is greatly influenced by the power and effect of social networking sites because they are regarded as “ICT Native”. The study was anchored on Technology Determinism Theory and Social Categories Theory while the study employed survey research method coupled with 120 copies of questionnaires that were administered to respondents in Oghara community out of which 105 copies were returned and analysed using frequency and percentage table method. Findings show that Oghara community especially youths are using social media to a large extent with at least (72.3%) login to one social media or the other especially between 8pm-12 am. Also, the predominately used device for chatting among the people in Oghara community is smartphones, though, they use laptops, ipads and tablets while facebook, whatsapp and instagram are the most visited and used online chatting platforms for the residents of Oghara which are used for the purpose of socialising with peers, chatting and sharing of photos. Similarly, from the usage and dependency, many of the residents of Oghara community (66.7%) are influenced by their peers while online chatting also in great ways influence the social behaviours of the residents especially the youth and adolescents by consuming their time, lost of privacy and financial commitment. It is recommeded that, users should use social media sites for other benefits aside chatting such as for education and business.

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