ASSESSMENT OF SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE AMONG LECTURERS

ABSTRACT: The study is concerned with the assessment of social media usage among lecturers at Osun State University, Osogbo. The world is now being compressed into a single electronic room where information from far and near can be exchanged with a click of a mouse or touch of the screen. However, social media is one of the internet tools that facilitate effective interaction and immediate feedback in communication. The study is anchored on Technological Determinism Theory, Social Category Theory, and Uses and Gratifications. The study used a survey method while a questionnaire was used to elicit responses from the 140 respondents who are lecturers of Osun State University, Osogbo that were selected using both simple random and accidental sampling techniques. The data collected were analyzed using the frequency and percentage tables method. Findings show that, although, many of the lecturers are using social media with lots of time on Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram. The busiest activities of the lecturers online are sourcing for information, sharing opinions, and chatting with friends while social media is already diminishing face-to-face interaction as they meet, call and text rather than getting to each other physically. It is recommended that lecturers should also make good use of converged media so that they are not limited to one or few sources of information when there are numerous sources.


social media usage among lecturers

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0       Background to the Study

Human activities and events have been altered by the emergence of the internet especially in the last ten years. One of the aspects of life that has been seriously redefined is communication. Before now, people communicate with friends, families, institutions etc via letter either sent through a commercial bus or somebody travelling to the same spot; and later through the post office and other means peculiar to different people in different regions with no feedback or with a delayed feedback. In the search for better and effective means of communication led to the development of telephone which most homes cannot afford and it was wired then until the GSM came to the rescue. 

However, the arrival of the internet and the proliferation of the social networking platforms have completely revolutionalised the means, efforts, time and speed of communication coupled with effective feedback and interaction that goes into communication in this era. Business and commerce have moved from physical buying and selling to e-commerce, e-marketing, e-shopping, e-banking. Sport and game have shifted to e-game and virtual games, education has become e-learning and e-book. Other activities that the internet has plugged into are e-dating, e-friend, e-marriage, e-politics, e-music, e-movies, e-meeting, e-tourism, e-communication and interaction (Colin, 2014).

Today, not only the students of tertiary institutions but also the lecturers and non-teaching staff are making use of social media for the social interaction and information which could focuses on the official information, gist and other activities.

There is no doubt that social media are elements of the new media and according to Danny (2010) have become the highest activity on the internet today. The concept of “social media” or “social network site” is broadly used to refer to websites that enable users to articulate a network of connections of people with whom they wish to share access to profile information, news, status updates, comments, photos, or other forms of content.

Social media is a form of electronic communication which facilitates interaction based on certain interests and characteristics. Boyd and Ellison (2007) write that social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. They use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social dialogues. They support the democratization of knowledge and information and transform people from content consumers to content producers.

Olayinka (2013) observes that the rapid growth of social media activities that has been observed over the last five years is indicative of its entry into mainstream culture and its integration into the daily lives of many people because it disseminated information at a very high speed, cheaper and enhance immediate feedback been an interactive media.

Social media are web-based and mobile technologies that facilitate interaction between organizations, communities and individuals. Important characteristics are that the technologies are ubiquitous, communication instantaneous and that they enable the creation and exchange of user-generated content.

Some of the popular social media in Nigeria include but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Google+, are just a few of the hundreds of applications that make participatory information sharing and social networking possible. Sometime, serious issues are discussed on the platform especially after office meeting. Strike, struggles and other mobilisations are initiated most time online. 

Social media can be seen as one of the tools or platforms available on the internet that facilitate effective communication and interactions among people. In Nigeria, chatting, tweeting, liking, sharing, picture upload, status management, discussing and interacting on social media are the busiest activities on the internet as well. For instance, Facebook.com has 1.94 billion monthly active users and over 16 million users in Nigeria as at 2017. YouTube.com records 1.4 billion users; Twitter.com accounts for 400 million users while Instagram has 275,000,000 etc.

This is evident when Alexarank.com ranked Facebook and Twitter.com as the first and second most visited social media globally (Alexarank, 2016). On the other hand, Social interaction is considered to be a dynamic sequence of social actions between individuals or groups who modify their actions and reactions due to actions by their interaction partner(s). Also, social interaction can be described as a way by which people talk and act with each other and various structures in society (Wikipedia, 2017).    

However, proliferation of social media has serious altered our social relationships among other physical meetings. Among the many ironies of our modern digital age, is that, social networking is actually ushering anti-social relationship when you consider its tendency to displace “real life” or “face-to-face communication” to virtual reality. A new survey suggests that people consciously favour social media to other forms of communication (Erik, 2016). It is also of note that substantial number of people is now sourcing for information on social media while many equally using social media for disseminating their information including the press. 

It is against this backdrop that the research examines the level of social media usage among lecturers in Osun State University, Osogbo with the view to know the extent which lecturers use social media, what type of social media they use, and what they do on the platforms. 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Advancement in technology in this 21st century has reshaped all human activities on earth to include communication and how we interact. Wikipedia (2017) writes that the world is becoming a global village as postulated by Marshal McLuhan where the use of computers, smartphones and internet facilities is indispensable (Wikipedia, 2017). Social media is among the numerous means through which people interact and communicate in virtual atmosphere rather than in a physical setting.  

Today, millions of people are now on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and others exchanging views, ideas and other related matters with a good number of them being young. Since social media have emerged as tool for interaction and communication among youth particularly students in Nigeria, it has continued to influence their ways of life.

It is observed that lots of studies have been done regards social media usage among students but little or no research have been directed at the lecturers and educated adults in Nigeria and it is aspect that this study is focusing with a view to examine the level of social media usage among lecturers in Osun State University, Osogbo.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

  1. To examines the extent which lecturers of Osun State University, Osogbo are using social media.
  2. To examine whether social media have altered the social interaction among lecturers of Osun State University, Osogbo.

1.4    Research Questions
1.     What is the impact of social media in tertiary institutions?
2.     To what extent are lecturers of Osun State University, Osogbo use social media?

1.5       Significance of the Study

Since social media have emerged as tool for interaction and communication among old and adult especially educated adult  particularly lecturers in Osun State University, Osogbo, it has continued to influenced their ways of life including their interaction, feedback and socialisation in general apart of academic advancement. Thus, the value of this study will be beneficial to the management team, students, lecturers, future researchers and technical centre of Osun State University, Osogbo.

The management and lecturers at the Osun State University, Osogbo could use this research to create programmes and formulate better lecture materials or study guides that include social media as a learning and communication tool and this would in turn boost academic performance and social interaction between and among lecturers. 

The outcome of this research will lead to a better understanding of social media, and its uses for social interactions in class and outside lectures.

Future researchers and scholars who may what to carry out research in this area or related aspect will find this material very useful and serve as reference material while the findings will serve as eye-opener to parents and guide eyes on the need to monitor their children’s social media content especially assessing their performance.

1.6       Scope of the Study

The research which examines social media usage among lecturers was narrowed in scope to lecturers in Osun State University, Osogbo due to the proximity to the researcher. Other factors include the time available for this study since it will not only be difficult but may be impossible to study all tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

1.7       Operational Definition of the Terms

Influence: This refers to the contributions and impact of social media on how lecturers relate, interact and communicate with one another.

Assessment: This entails the evaluation of how social media are used among lecturers.   

Social Media: It is a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web 2.0 which allow the interaction, creation and sharing of information (as text, video, audio, pictures, animation or combination) such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp etc. 

Social Interaction: This means how UNIOSUN students relate in person with friends in the classroom, in hostels and in other physical relationships as against reaching out to them on social media.

UNIOSUN: This is the acronym of Osun State University, Osogbo.


“ASSESSMENT OF SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE AMONG LECTURERS


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