Background to the study 

The rapid growth of social media usage which has been observed over the last two (2) to three (3) years is an indicative of its entry into mainstream culture and its integration into the everyday lives of many people. In parallel with this, there has also been considerable media coverage of the growth of social media usage, its potential positive outcomes and concerns about the way that some individuals are engaging with it. Social media sites offer people new and varied ways to communicate via the internet, whether through their PC or their mobile phone. They allow people to easily and simply create their own online page or profile and to construct and display an online network of contacts, often called ‘friends’. Users of these sites can communicate via their profile both with their ‘friends’ and with people outside their list of contacts. This can be on a one-to-one basis (much like an email), or in a more public way such as a comment posted for all to see. Social media sites, such as Facebook, 2go, Twitter, Skype, Viber, Whatsapp and MySpace are primary focus of this study.

Of recent, social media has become a way for people to communicate in society and build relationships with others. With the increase of technology used for communication has become a way of life on internet. Social media has become an activity that is done primarily on the Internet, with sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, 2go, Africhat, Tango, Viber Bebo, Whatsapp, Mozat, Friendster, and Xanga.

Secondary school students have always paid a lot of attention to the presentation of self on social media sites. It seems that for most secondary school students creating networks and online content is an integral mode for the management of identity, lifestyle, and social relations. Secondary school students point at the opportunities for self-expression, sociability, community involvement, creativity and group belongings.

The tendency of a student to join a social media community is influenced by both the number of friends he or she has within the community, and more crucially how those friends are connected to one another. Members of a smaller, private group usually have higher engagement than members of a large, public one. The more groups a person belongs to the less likely that they would be heavily involved in all of them. Students want to express themselves, are socially highly interactive and mobilise around issues very quickly like environmental and social issues such as the Tsunami. Arab’s revolutions, Big Brother Africa, Sports world, World economy recess, Technology, and so forth.

Computer access and use among Nigerian secondary school students have grown exponentially over the past decade (Becker, 2000). More than 48% of Nigerian youth 12 to 17 years of age use the Internet, and nearly half log on daily (Madden, 2005). Once connected, adolescents engage in a wide variety of social media behaviours, including doing schoolwork, playing games, shopping, downloading music, text messaging and chatting and so forth. Secondary school students use the Internet primarily for social reasons (Gross, 2004). The Internet has become a virtual meeting place where secondary school students hang out with their peers to pass time.

Social media group behaviour emanates from the causes that contribute to the group’s effectiveness. The well-structured, well defined role and status hierarchy, able leadership, well developed norms and strong cohesiveness a group has, the greater is the group think. As groups function and interact with other groups, they develop their own unique set of characteristics including structure, cohesiveness, roles, norms and processes. As a result, groups may cooperate or compete with other groups, and intergroup competition can lead to conflict.

Students join group on social media in order to reduce the insecurity that they face in real world. They feel stronger, have fewer self-doubts, and are more resistant to threats when they are part of a group. Inclusion in a group that is viewed as important by others provides recognition and status for its members. Groups can provide its members with feelings of self-worth. That is, in addition to conveying status to those outside the group, membership can also give increased feelings of worth to the group members themselves. What cannot be achieved individually often becomes possible through group action. There is power in numbers. There are times when it takes more than one person to accomplish a particular task; there is a need to pool talents, knowledge, or power in order to complete a job.

Secondary school students spend much of their hours hanging out with friends on social media sites and spend less time studying, thus explaining their lower performance. This idea is called the displacement hypothesis, and has been examined by early television researchers who posited that television took away students’ study time (Hornik, 2009). Studies of students’ extracurricular activities instead suggest that new media, such as Facebook, replace or enhance other leisure activities, but do not take away time from students (Roberts, 2008). Whether at school, at home, or on the go, today’s adolescent students are surrounded by digital media such as computers and the Internet, video games, mobile phones, and other handheld devices. The World Wide Web (WWW) was launched in 1989, providing standards that allowed local computer networks to connect with each other and make it easier for users to sort through the growing mass of information available online. In the relatively brief period since the advent of the WWW, the Internet has had a significant impact on nearly every important area of modern life. The last decade the daily experience of adolescents has been transformed by developments in technology, including the computer, the Internet, and cell phones. The Internet has become an increasingly important factor in the lives of most adolescents, particularly as a medium of communication and social connection.

Although the growth of social technology has been dramatic, to say the least; the most popular website in the world currently is Facebook, a social networking website with more than 500 million registered users worldwide. A large majority of these users are adolescents or young people, labeled the “Millennial Generation” by the PEW Internet and American Life Project (PEW, 2010).

The recent 2010-2014 WAEC and NECO results of the senior secondary school students showed that the students themselves have a good share of the blame for the woeful performances recorded in WAEC and Senior School Certificate examinations. Since the advent of the social media like mobile phones, Blackberry, Facebook, Twitter and others. The Nigerian youth have become so addicted to these gadgets that they no longer have time for reading and preparing for their examinations. Also, the use of the social media short messaging system or texting language which permits all kinds of acronyms or abbreviated words has corrupted many that they sometimes assume that it is normal to use such forms of expression in real situations like examination.

Statement of the Problem

Since the arrval of social media sites in the 1990s, it is understood in some quarters that the academic performance of students is facing a lot of neglect and challenges. There is a 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. Therefore, the question this study is out to answer is: how do social media affect the academic performance of students of  physics in secondary schools in Ado-local government, Ekiti state?

Objectives of the Study

The study has the following objectives. They are:

1) To determine the various social networking sites the students had access to.

2) To verify how often the students of secondary school go online.

3) To find out how many hours the students spend in social networking activities daily.

4) To ascertain how the use of social media has affected the academic performance of the students.

Research Questions

  1. What social networking sites do the students of secondary school physics had access to?
  2. How often do the students of secondary school physics go online?
  3. How has the use of social media affected the academic performance of the students of secondary school?

Significance of the Study

The study will help researchers with more information on the effect of social media on the student’s 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.

Definition of Terms

The following are key terms used in the study:

Social Media– They are forms of electronic communication which facilitate interactive base on certain interests. Social media include web and mobile technology. Kaplan and Helen (2010) defined Social Media as a group of internet based application that allows the creation and exchange of user generated content.

Social Networking Sites – A website where people put information about them and can send to others.

Social Networking – The use of internet to make information about yourself available to other people especially people you share an interest with to send messages to them.

Media – Are all those media technologies that are intended to reach a large audience by mass communication.

Academic – It is concerned with Studying from books as opposed by a practical work.

Students – Someone who is Studying at a School.

Computer – A computer is a machine that receives or stores or process data quickly according to a stored program.


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Updated: September 15, 2017 — 7:56 am

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