ABSTRACT: The research evaluated social media usage among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria using Osun State University students as case study. The study was anchored on Technological Determinism Theory and Uses and Gratification Theory. The research used survey research method coupled with 150 copies of questionnaires that were administered to respondents, out which 145 copies were correctly filled and analyzed using frequency and percentage method. The study finding out that social media have properly harnessed by students of tertiary institutions, especially in reading and learning. It was recommended that management of Osun State University should inculcate social media into students learning environment for better and improved understanding.
Keywords: Social Media Usage
Title Page i
Table of Contents v-vi
CHAPTER ONE: Introduction
1.1 Background to the Study 1-2
1.2 Statement of the Problem 3
1.3 Objectives of the Study 3-4
1.4 Research Questions 4
1.5 Significance of the Study 4
1.6 Scope of the Study 5
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms 5
CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review
2.1.1 Conceptual Review 6
2.2 Empirical Studies 31-32
2.3 Theoretical Framework 32-33
2.3.1 Technological Determinism Theory 34-36
2.3.2 Uses and Gratification Theory 36-37
CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology
3.1 Research Design 38
3.2 Restatement of Research Questions 38
3.3 Characteristics of Study Population 38
3.4 Sampling Technique 39
3.5 Sample Size 39-40
3.6 Administration of Data Collection Instrument 41
3.7 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument 42
3.8 Data Collection Method 43
CHAPTER FOUR: Data Analysis and Presentation
4.1 Data Analysis 44-47
4.2 Discussion of Findings 47-48
CHAPTER FIVE: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1 Summary 49
5.2 Conclusion 50
5.3 Recommendations 50-51
1.1 Background to the Study
Today’s world provides the easiest and fastest access to knowledge and information overcoming time and distance constraints through the electronic media is one of the best experience. The electronic media in the form of radio, television, movies, and particularly, mobile phones, computer and internet have proved to be not only the easiest means of access to information but also provides increasing borderless access to knowledge (Olayinka, 2013).
It has gradually become a part of our daily lives and source of information, education and entertainment. It has also had a huge impact on our world and has become part of modern life styles. Technological advancement is slowly taking a steady control over individual lives which many of today’s youths are embracing a wide array of media specially the internet as part of their everyday lives (Ozgul, Ozlem, Alaettin, and Sinan, 2013).
The rising importance and availability of online social networks and their popularity among young people are undeniable facts. The use of the internet is becoming an ever more integral part of young people’s lives and as a result, they are communicating with each other on an unprecedented scale. The youths are leveraging the power of new media to create, communicate, share and learn (Okoro and Diri, 2010). Today’s fast-paced media could be making us indifferent to human suffering which has taken the world by storm and at the same time, it has raised serious concerns among the parents of these technology-savvy teens (Rajaatu, 2016).
Historically, social media began in the late 20th century. Six Degrees, created by Andrew Weinreich was one of the pioneers of social media that was invented in 1997. It existed from 1997 to 2001. The aim of innovating six degrees was to foster social exchange and interaction as the subsequent social media also ensure communication that transcends the barrier of territories and boundaries (global communication) (Oketunmbi, 2005). In the early 21st century, Facebook was introduced, specifically in February 4, 2004.
Social media is one of the 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 web sites 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, video or other forms of content. 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 social media include but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wechat, Whatsapp and Tiktok etc
Going by position of the Lars (2022), 4.48 billion people currently use social media worldwide, up more than double from 2.07 billion in 2015. By region, social media growth in 2019-2020 is led by Asia: +16.98%, Africa +13.92%, South America +8.00%, North America +6.96%, Europe +4.32%, and Australasia +4.9% (Lars, 2022).
Market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass one billion registered accounts and currently sits at more than 2.89 billion monthly active users. The company currently also owns four of the biggest social media platforms, all with over one billion monthly active users each: Facebook (core platform), WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. In the third quarter of 2021, Facebook reported over 3.58 billion monthly (Doris, 2022). However, as a result of this fact, social media usage is gaining more and more significant places among journalists and media organisations. It is against the aforementioned that the study attempts to do an assessment of the use of social media by students of tertiary institutions in Osun State, using Osun State University, Osogbo as a case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Globalization became realistic as a result of the advent of social media through which the barriers of territories have been removed across the globe. The global village concept is a situation in which the world and its inhabitants have been compressed into a circumstance of shared needs and knowledge. More than any other period in history, there is greater information and entertainment bombardment. The resulting information overload has created the problem of not knowing what to read, watch or hear. (Aina, 2003:217). Kudos to social media that has made the entire world appear like ‘’a global village’’ since the time has ceased and the space has vanished.
However, the ‘almighty power’ of the social media is immeasurable presently as students seem to have more passion for social activities on social media rather than using it for academic gains. It is quite rare these days to find students in higher institutions of learning for instance, who does not belong to a one social media platform or the other. Good as this may be, it has been observed that social media has greatly affected the students either positively or negatively, as it has improved their quest for knowledge, make them more current and ironically has also made them to be lazy and increased the rate of academic malpractices.
This study therefore, is interested in assessing the use of social media by students of tertiary institutions of learning, using Osun State University as a case study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To find out the extent of social media usage by students of Osun State University, Osogbo in order to enhance their quest for knowledge.
- To ascertain the effect of social media on the reading culture of students of Osun State University, Osogbo.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent has social media usage proved to be a tool for enhancing academic performance of Osun State University, Osogbo students in their quest for knowledge?
- What effect does social media has on the reading culture of Osun State University, Osogbo students?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Osun State University, Osogbo students and students of other institutions of higher learning would benefit from this research work because it will aid their understanding on the use of social media by students of Osun State University. Also, this research work would serve as an empirical work or reference to the future researchers who might want to research further on this study. It would as well make the university’s management find out the reason for the dwindling academic performance of their students. Additionally, this research work would help students from other institutions to relate this work to the academic condition in their schools.
1.6 Scope of the Study
Although, this study focuses on the evaluation of social media usage among students of tertiary institutions was narrowed in scope to students of Osun State University, Osogbo. Thus, the geographical location of this study was Osun State. The institution was selected due to its proximity to the research and there is a limited time to carry out the study.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Assessment: A kind of judgement made by finding out the true value of something.
Social Media: This refers to computer-mediated tools that allow people or companies to create, share or exchange information, career interests, ideas and pictures or videos in virtual communities and networks.
Students of Tertiary Institutions: Students of tertiary institutions refer to learners who attend higher educational institution(s) e.g undergraduates.