Expansion in technology and the increased availability of internet enabled handheld devices have
significantly increased students‘ access and use of the internet. The use of social media is
enhanced by the availability and access to internet. In Nigeria and the world today, social media
has gained acceptability and has become a tool for communication and social unity amongst
students. The use of social media has diverse effects on the user‘s life, some of which are
negative and others, positive. The aim of the study is to analyze the analysis of the use of social
media networking by students of Afe Babalola University. To achieve this, the survey research
method was used. Respondents were drawn from Afe Babalola University, using the simple
random sampling technique. Four research questions guided the study. Research findings showed
that a great number of students in Afe Babalola University had access to social media
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page II
Certification Page IV
Table of Content VII
List of Table X
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 12
1.3 Objectives of the Study 12
1.4 Research Question 12
1.5 Scope of the Study 13
1.6 Significance of the Study 13
1.7 Operational Definition of Significant Terms 13
2.1 Introduction 16
2.2. The Concept of Mass Media 16
2.3 The Concept of Social Media Networking 19
2.4 The use of social media by students 20
2.3 Review of Related Studies 22
2.4 Theoretical Framework 24
2.5 Summary 27
3.1 Introduction 28
3.2 Research Design 28
3.3 Population of the Study 28
3.4 Sampling Technique/ Sampling 29
3.5 Description of the Research Instrument 29
3.6 Validity of Data Gathering Instrument 30
3.7 Method of Data Collection 30
3.8 Method of Data Analysis 31
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.1 Introduction 32
4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis 32
SUMMARY, DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMEDATION
5.1 Introduction 47
5.2 Summary of Findings 47
5.3 discussions of findings
5.4 Conclusion 47
List of figures
Figure 1; Gender analysis of respondents
Figure 2; Age distribution of the respondents
Figure 3; Distribution of respondents by college
Figure 4; Distribution of respondents by their levels
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1; Respondent‘s access to internet
Table 2; Respondent‘s awareness of social media sites
Table3; Categories of social media familiar with respondents
Table 4; Rate of social media issued by respondents
Table 5; distribution of respondents by social media preferences
Table6; reasons why respondents prefer these social media sites
Table 7; rate of the use of social media by respondents
Table 8; number of hours spent on social media by respondents
Table 9; why do the respondents make use of social media sites
Table 10; influence of social media on respondents
1.1. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Human beings have always lived in communities because they are social animals that
believe so much in interpersonal relationship. The internet has enabled such social interactions to
go beyond the traditional venue of one‘s community, work and home setting. The internet has in
fact, created new societies based upon niche interest, such as auctions, literature and hobbies.
Examples of such societies are social networking sites (SNWs) which are internet based upon a
traditional social network. The process by which communities come together, attract new
members and develop a central research issue overtime in the social sciences, political
movements, professional organizations, and religious denominations all provide examples of
such Communities. In recent years, Social media is fast becoming a very popular means of both
interpersonal and public communication in Nigeria and the world at large. Social media are
modern interactive communication channels through which people connect to one another, share
ideas, experiences, pictures, messages and information of common interest. They have
revolutionized the way people interact, the way they communicate, and even the way they think
(Weisgerber & Butler, 2010).
The rise of social software provides new avenues and new opportunities for increased
participation and collaboration and an opportunity to change the way people learn. What
distinguishes the social media from the conventional means of communication is their interactive
nature which allows the audience to participate in it from any part of the world they reside
(Parker & Chao, 2008; Prensky 2011).
McQuail (2010) differentiates the social media from the traditional mass media when he
noted that ―traditional mass communication was essentially one-directional, while the new forms
of communication are essentially interactive.‖ The social media by their nature have the
capabilities of educating, informing, entertaining and „inflaming‟ the audience. Above all, they
possess a transmittable and outreaching influence‟ which the conventional media lack.
The expansion in technology has also affected internet software, thus leading to chatting
sites known by the name ―social media‖. With social networking sites, one can send and receive
messages almost immediately. (www.iiste.org Retrieved April 13th, 2015)
The manufacturing and distribution of equally sophisticated cellular phones has
complicated the situation, as youths no longer need to visit a cybercafé before they send and
receive messages. It is a common sight to see a youth chatting in sensitive and highly organized
places like church, mosque, lecture venues, some are so carried away that even as they are
walking along the high way, they keep chatting.
1.1.1 SOCIAL NETWORKING DEFINED
Social network is a social structure made up of individuals or organizations called
―nodes‖, which are connected by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as
friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships or
relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige (Adeboye, 2012, cited in Asemah and Edegoh,
(2012). (http://www.google.com/socialmediaandusuage Retrieved 12th April 2015)
Social network can also be referred to as a map of specified ties, such as friendship,
between the nodes being studied. The nodes, to which an individual is thus connected, are the
social contacts of that individual; the network can also be used to measure social capital, the
value that an individual gets from the social network. (www.scholarsachieve.jwu.edu Retrieved
14th April 2015)
Anim (2007) aptly pointed out that, it took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million
users, 13 years for television to attract the same number and 4 years for the Internet to do so, but
it took Facebook 12-month only to gain 200 million users.
(http://iiste.org/journals/index.php/…/1167 Accessed 13th April, 2015)
Social networking sites provide various interactive platforms based on the intentions of
their founders. There are for instance, social, political, academic, businesses, sports, romantic
and religious platform. In other words, the social networking site by their nature have the
capabilities of educating, informing, entertaining and inflaming the audience. Onomo (2012)
acknowledged this ability of the media by remarking that social networking sites has become ‗‗a
widespread tool for communication and exchange of ideas, helping individuals and organizations
with just causes to reach a phenomenally vast audience that could hitherto not be reached by
traditional media. Thus, since inception, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, 2go, My
Skype etc. have captivated millions of users, many of whom have been made to use these
sites as parts of their daily activities.
Currently, there is a plethora of social networks with various features meant to suit the
different interests of their followers. Some are accessed via computer alone while others can be
used with mobile phones. The first identifiable social networking sites was launched in 1997, six
degree. It allowed its users to create profiles, list their friends and in 1998, the friends list was
introduced where users had the freedom to search for old and new friends. (Retrieved 12th april
2015 from http:// www.mudconnect) Therefore, just like radio and television, social networking
has spread everywhere in Nigeria and are bound to be developing.
(http://www.google.com/wikipedia Accessed 13th April, 2015)
The definition advanced by Bryer and Zavatarro (2011) states that ―Social media are
technologies that facilitate social interaction, make possible collaboration, and enable
deliberation across stakeholders. These technologies include blogs, wikis, media (audio, photo,
video, text) sharing tools, networking platforms and virtual worlds.‖ Over the years, social media
among students has become more and more popular. It is a way to make connections, not only on
campus, but with friends outside of school. Social media in a way helps many people feel as
though they belong to a community. With smart phones being able to access the internet and
have applications of social media, many are concerned about how smart phones with social
media applications will affect students‘ grades. (www.webopedia.com/Did you
know/internet/2002/web-vs.-internet-asp Retrieved April 14th 2015).
According to The Television Bureau of Advertising, inc. Social media consists of
online technologies, practicing activities or societies that people use to generate content and
share thoughts, visions, experiences and viewpoints with each other. The word social networking
is known as the agreement of individuals into specific set of potential groups or subdivisions.
Social networking allows individuals to express their thoughts to other users. (Thuseethan,&
Vasanthapriyan 2014) Social networking is the leader in promoting digital journalism. Social
network is used for several purposes like promoting or distributing the news contents throughout
the world. (www.wikipediafreeencyclopedia/wiki/socialnetworking Retrieved 13th April 2015)
Currently, there are hundreds of Social networking sites that can draw millions of people,
with diverse technological difference. Social network sites are web based services that enable
individuals to construct a semi-profile within a stipulated system, articulate a list of other users
with whom they share views and go through their list of connections and those made by others
within the system, although the nature and nomenclature of these connections has variation
(Boyd and Ellison, 2007).
The ability of making it possible to meet new friends is not the major characteristics of
social networking sites, but solely because the social network can be made evident due to the
possibility that it is node free. The outcome of these relationships of individuals that would
ideally not have met each other is made possible. Although it‘s not the real aim, and most times
new connections are usually between ―latent ties (Hay, 2006), they already knew each other
Larger perspectives, on social network sites reveals that members are not online with the
intention of discovering new acquaintances but to interact with old friends which already exist on
their list. Facebook, twitter, 2go, badoo, instagram and other social network sites are, perhaps,
the best examples where audiences have become co-authors on interactive websites.
In a similar fashion as blogs, social network sites allow individuals to present themselves
to other users using a variety of formats, including text and video. Just like chat services. Social
networking sites have become an increasingly important part of the young adult life (Gemmill &
DeBell & Chapman (2006), stated that relating to the population of the general public,‖
adolescents and young adults are the heaviest computer and Internet users, primarily using it for
completing school assignments , e-mail, instant messaging , and playing computer games.
Networking sites are the latest online communication tools that allow users to create a public or
private profile to interact with people in their networks Boyd & Ellison, (2008). Like any other
web service, social network sites allow individuals to make visible their list of connections to
others and to traverse their social networks (Boyd & Ellison, 2007)
Boyd & Ellison(2008) defined Social network sites as web-based services that allow
individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list
of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of common
interests and those made by others within the system.
1.1.2. TYPES OF SOCIAL MEDIA UNDER FOCUS
e. Blackberry messenger.
Facebook was created on February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and
Chris Hughes. It is a social networking site originally designed for the use of university and
college age students. Rosen (1995) explains that the name facebook originates from the small
photo albums that colleges once gave to incoming freshmen and faculty to help them cope with
meeting so many new people. (www.google.com/wikipedia Accessed 13th April 2015)
Facebook is one of the most popular social networks (Lampe et al., 2008), and has been
widely adopted by students (Johnston, 2013; Roblyer et al., 2010). Like most social network
sites, facebook provides a formatted web page into which each user can enter personal
information, including gender, birthday, hometown, political and religious views, e-mail and
physical addresses, relationship status, activities, interests, favorite music and movies,
educational background and a main personal picture. The sites can access your name, your
picture, your gender, your current location, your list of friends. Facebook classifies as public
information, even if you opt out of Instant Personalization, there’s still data leakage if your
friends use Instant Personalization website, their activities can give away information about you,
unless you block those applications individually. (www.researchgate.net Accessed 13th April
There are seven motives why users use Facebook, which according to Hew (2011) are:
Maintain existing relationships, to stay in touch and maintain relations with people
To meet new people, find out information about people previously met, and meet others
online with the intention of meeting them offline later.
Using social media is perceived as ―cool‖ and ―fun‖, as people enjoy following trends
and don‘t like to feel left out.
To raise public awareness of oneself; where users can gain popularity through having
Individuals have the ability to express or present oneself and this can be done by
updating their profiles and status.
For learning purposes – lets users communicate with one another, ask and share questions
Enabling of student activism – lets students provide general information about activities,
and express their viewpoints.
The perception users have of their audience plays an important role in the usage of
Facebook, as if the user perceives no audience for his or her profile, he or she is less likely to
make use of Facebook (Lampe et al., 2008). The type of perceived audience also determines the
type of information and content users are likely to share on their profiles (Pempek et al., 2009). )
(www.cenresinpub.org Accessed April 13th 2015).
Twitter is an online social networking and micro blogging service that enables users to
send, read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters, thoughts, information and
links in real time, and to communicate directly, privately or publicly with other Twitter users
(Thomases, 2010). Registered users can read and post tweets but unregistered users can only read
them. It was created by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone in 2006, user‘s access twitter
through the website intJerface, SMS, or mobile device applications. It is now one of the ten most
visited websites, Pennacchiotti and Popescu (2011) said that the success of twitter has led twitter
to ―become an integral part of the daily lives of millions of users‖. Users update their daily life
activities with friends, families and co-workers; share information, news, and opinions with
interested observers; and seek knowledge and expertise in public tweets (Browning &
Sanderson, 2012; Java et al., 2007).
According to Pennacchiotti & Popescu, (2011) and Honeycutt and Herring (2009) twitter
has the potential to be used for idea sharing and coordination of activities, similar to instant
messaging in a more dynamic way. McArthur and Bostedo-Conway (2012) suggest that ―one-tomany (or many-to-many) communication channel may offer instructors an opportunity to
efficiently contact and create learning opportunities for many students at once‖.
(www.uniportinfo.com/students-andsocialnetwork-facebook-twitter-bbm Acessed 13th april,
WhatsApp is a Smartphone application that operates on nearly all current types of
devices and operating systems. The application has been on the market since 2010; the declared
purpose of the developers was to replace the existing SMS platform for a system that is free of
charge in an advertising free environment. As a means of sending and receiving messages to and
from individuals or groups, WhatsApp includes a variety of functions, such as text messages,
attached images, audio files, video files, and links to web addresses. Over the last two years, the
application has become very popular, gaining over 700 million users and is rated the most
downloaded application in 127 countries (Cohavi, 2013) WhatsApp Inc., was founded in 2009 by
Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo! After Koum and Acton left
Yahoo! in September 2007, the duo travelled to South America as a break from work. At one
point they applied for a job at Facebook but failed. (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/whatsapp
Retrieved, April 13th 2015) WhatsApp messenger users can send each other images, video and
audio media message as well as engage in group conversation between multiple users. The name
WhatsApp came from the greeting phrase ―what‘s up‖. (www.google.com Accessed 13th April
Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October
2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of April 2012
and over 300 million as of December 2014.
Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that
enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking
platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. A distinctive feature is that it confines
photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3
aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras. Users can also apply digital filters to their
images. The maximum duration for Instagram videos is 15 seconds. Instagram is distributed
through the Apple Application Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone Store. Support for the
application is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android handsets, while third-party
Instagram application are available for Blackberry 10 and Nokia-Symbian Devices.
(www.wikipedia.org/wiki/instagram Accessed 13th April 2015)
Instagram users are divided equally with 50% iPhone owners and 50% Android owners.
While instagram displays a neutral gender bias format, 68% of Instagram users are female while
32% are male. Instagram geographical use is shown to favor urban areas as 17% of US adults
who live in urban areas use instagram while only 11% of adults in suburban and rural areas.
While Instagram may appear to be one of the most widely used sites for photo sharing, only 7%
of daily photo uploads, among the top four photo-sharing platforms, come from Instagram.
Instagram has been proven to attract the younger generation with 90% of the 150 million users
under the age of 35. From June 2012 to June 2013, Instagram approximately doubled their
number of users. 15% of users who make less than $30,000 per year use Instagram while only
12% of users who make more than $50,000 per year use Instagram. With respect to the education
demographic, respondents with some college education proved to be the most active on
Instagram with 23%. Following behind, college graduates consist of 18% and users with a high
school diploma or less make up 15%. Among these Instagram users, 24% say they use the app
several times a day (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/instagram Accessed 13th April 2015)
E. BLACKBERRY MESSANGER (BBM):
BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, is a proprietary Internet-based PIN instant
messenger and video telephony application included on BlackBerry devices that allows
messaging and voice calls between BlackBerry, iOS, Windows-Phone and Android users. Users
of Blackberry 10 can also use video calling. It was developed by the manufacturer of the
BlackBerry, BlackBerry Limited (formerly known as Research in Motion Limited (RIM)).
Messages sent via BlackBerry Messenger are sent over the Internet and use by the BlackBerry
PIN system. Communication was only possible between BlackBerry devices until late 2013
when BBM was released on iOS and Android systems. 300 million Stickers have been shared.
Daily, 15,0000 BBM Voice Calls are placed. There are more than 190 million BBM users
worldwide and BlackBerry infrastructure handled 30 petabytes of data traffic each month by
early 2013. The service communicates over the phone’s Internet connection using the mobile
phone network. A wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) network connected to the Internet may also be used to
send messages; most service providers allow sign-in to BlackBerry Messenger if you have a
BlackBerry data plan. Blackberry data plans are not needed for Blackberry 10, iOS, Windows –
Phone and Android. Exchanging messages is possible to a single person or via dedicated
discussion or chat groups, which allow multiple BlackBerry devices to communicate in a single
session. In addition to offering text-based instant messages, BlackBerry Messenger also allows
users to send pictures, voice notes (audio recordings), files, location on a map, stickers. Also
contacts can make voice calls with each other over the WiFi or mobile network and the top spec
devices can even make video calls.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
With the view of knowing the students of Afe Babalola University favorite social media
network, the research will also focus on the time spent by the students on social media as well as
evaluating their gains or otherwise on social media networks.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The study has the following objectives:
1. Determine how many hours the students spend in social networking activities
2. Determine how frequent the student of Afe Babalola University use social media.
3. Determine the various social networking sites the students of Afe Babalola
University had access to.
4. Determine how social media network has influenced the students of Afe Babalola
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions will guide the focus of the study
1. What social media network site do the students of Afe Babalola University have
2. How frequent do the students of Afe Babalola University make use of this social
3. How many hours the students of Afe Babalola University spend on social
4. How has social media networking influenced the students of Afe Babalola
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Considering the cost implication and difficulty of researching on more than hundreds of
Nigeria universities, the research intend to focus on the students of Afe Babalola University
Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state. I believe whatever result found on the chosen sample will be a
representation of all Nigerian students.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study will help researchers understand and get more information on the analysis of
the use of social media by students of Afe Babalola University. It will also help students and
lecturers to understand the diversity of social media networks. It will provide relevant materials
for students, lecturers and other researchers undertaking similar studies.
1.7. ORGANISATION OF STUDY
Chapter one includes the background, the problem statement, objectives, significance and
scope, definition of terms, organizations and limitation of this study. In addition, the research
questions and hypothesis are stated.
1.8. OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Social Media- internet based free communication process which facilitates
interactive relations on mutual interests. Social media include internet webs, mobile phones and
2. Social Networking Sites – websites that permits free linkages mainly for
information processing and free dissemination
3. Social Networking – the art of using the internet as channels of communication
with anyone anywhere in the world within the shortest time possible.
4. Academic – It is concerned with Studying from books as opposed by a practical
5. Students – Someone who is Studying at a University or School. Someone who is
interested in a particular subject.
6. Computer – A computer is a machine that receives or stores or process data
quickly according to a stored program.
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