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Table of Contents
Title Page II
Declaration III
Certification Page IV
Dedication V
Acknowledgement VI
Table of Content VII
List of Table IX
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 5
1.3 Objectives of the Study 5
1.4 Research Question 6
1.5 Scope of the Study 6
1.6 Significance of the Study 6
1.7 Operational Definition of Significant Terms 6
2.1 Introduction 7
2.2 Review of Concepts 7
2.2.1 The Concept of Mass Media 7
2.2.2The Concept of Internet 12
2.2.3 The Concept of Social Media 15
2.2.4 The Concept of Social Networking Site or Services 17
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
4.1 Introduction 32
4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis 32
4.3 Discussion of Findings 33
5.1 Introduction 47
5.2 Summary of Findings 47
5.3 Conclusion 47
5.4 Recommendations 48
5.5 Suggestion for Further Studies 48
Reference 49
Appendix A 53
Appendix B 54
List of Tables
Demographic Data Tables
Table 1; Demographic Data on Sex 32
Table 2; Age Distribution 33
Table 3; Department 33
Table 4; Level 34
Table 5; Type of student 34
Table 6; Access to computer, BB chat and Nokia phone 35
Table7; Access to the internet 35
Table 8; Aware of social networking site 36
Table 9; What are the social networking sites you know 36
Table10; Which do you have access to 37
Table 11; Which do you prefer 37
Table 12; Why do you prefer it 38
Table 13; If not, why 38
Table 14; Where do you browse 39
Table 15; How often do the student of university of Abuja go online 40
Table 16; How many hours do you spend online 40
Table 16; What do you browse for 41
Table 18; What satisfaction do you get from surfing the net 42
Table 19; Can social media influence the academic performance of students 42
Table 20; How does social media influence your academic performance 43
The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of social media on the student’s academic
performance [A study of students of University of Abuja]. To achieve this, the survey research
method was used. Subjects were drawn from the University of Abuja, using the simple random
sampling technique and purposive sampling. Four research questions guided the study.
Research findings showed that a great number of students in University of Abuja, had access to
the internet. To this end, the researcher recommended that sites should be created for
educational purposes as well. This is to create a balance between social networking and
academic activities of students to avoid setbacks in the academic performance of the students.
Background of the Study
Modern Technology in communication no doubt has turned the entire world into a “Global
Village”. But as it is, technology like two sides of a coin, bring with it both the negative and
positive sides. It helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping abreast with
world developments. Technology exposes mankind to a better way of doing things.
The world’s first commercial space communication company created by the United State
Congress in 1962 was the communication satellite corporation (COMSAT). In 1964, the United
State Government and eleven (11) foreign Nations signed a space communication pact. The
partnership was known as “International Telecommunication Satellite Organization (INTELSAT).
The internet known as the worlds “Information Super Highway” is a worldwide assemblage of
Inter- Connected Computer Networks (Andrew, 2005).
In the view of Paul (2010, p.301), internet is a massive “network of networks”, a networking
infrastructure which connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in
which any computer can communicate with each other as long as they are both connected to
internet. The network consist of local area network (LAN), connecting computers in the same
building while wide area network (WANs) connecting several LANs in different locations. It
connects both private, commercial, Government and Academic network including a grown
number of home computer. (Retrieved November 3rd 2012) you
According to Andrew (2005, p.284), “Information travels over the internet through a variety of
language known as “Protocols”. The term “internet” is actually a short form for “internet
networks”, which implies that internet is a network of computer networks. Computer accepts
data, process it, stores it and give it out when required. It became possiblefor people to chat
from ‘terminals’ which led to networking. A line is the part along which resources flow, while a
Node is the point where lines intersect transferring resources to new lines.(Retrieved
November 7th 2012)
History of the Internet
There are conflicting versions about the origin of the internet but the common story is that the
internet is a product of a cold war. (Hafner and Lyon, 1996, p.116). Its origin is traced back to
1957, when the Soviet Union launched ‘Sputnik 1 into space, as a reaction to this, in 1958, the
United State founded the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA), a special agency under
the department of defense whose mission was to develop a long term highly innovative and
hazard research projects (Cartoni and Tarding, 2006, p.26).
In 1962, the air force wanting to maintain the military’s ability to transfer information around
the country even if a given area was destroyed in an enemy’s attack, commissioned leading
computer scientist to do so. ARPANET, the first prototype of the internet, was developed by the
ARPA department and saw the light in 1969 when four (4) of United States Universities
(University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Barbara, Stanford Research
Institute Polo Atto, and University of Utah) were connected by network of computers (Lorenzo
and Stefano,2010).
Leonard Klein rock of UCLA successfully developed the first computer network through “packet
switching” to the concept of “distributed network”, two fundamental concurrent inventions in
the field of computer science, packet switching is a process that allows division of messages
into packets and sending them to their destination following different routes, once they arrive
at their destination, they are all recomposed into the original message. Paul in 1960 developed
the concept of distributed network funded by United States Air force at the research and
development corporation (RAND) which is aimed at developing a telecommunication network
which can stand a nuclear war. (Paul, 1964, p.220-223).
The growth of ARPANET accelerated in the second half of the 1980s, through computer
protocol (Tcp/lp) Transmission control protocol/Internet protocol which was adopted by
ARPANET (Vinton, 1969 UCLA) in 1983 and is still the core of internet. ‘The transition of Tcp/lp
was perhaps the most important event that will take place in the invention of the internet.
After the installation of Tcp, the network could branch everyone’ (Hafner and Lyon, 1998,
p.249).In the same year, after the end of ARPANETs experimental phase, the network was split
into two; A civilian network for the computer research community (ARPA internet) and military
network (MILNET). In 1980, ARPANET was replaced by NSFANET created by National Science
Foundation and in 1990, ARPANET was officially decommissioned and the commercial use of
the internet was allowed in 1991, (Berners-Lee, 2000, p.223).
In 1995, the internet was just one networking system among many others such as Usenet, Fido
net, Mintel, AT$T, but with advent of the web, the internet became by far the most important
networking system. That led to what is now known as internet, a global network of
interconnected computers that communicate freely, share and exchange information (Paul,
2010). The younger a person, the greater the likelihood he or she has access to the internet
(Kim, 2004).
Social Network
Early 1990s, chat rooms and bulletin boards were forms of Social Networking in a way, they
help people to connect with others and share interest. A little cater; dating sites hooked those
looking for partners and class mates. Communication allows people to connect with people
they had known in high school and colleges and enable them to meet others.
In the early 20s, a site called Friendster was set up where people invited their friends and their
friends also invited others. The site was popular for a while, but suffered from technical
difficulties and fake profiles and began to lose members. In 1999, MySpace took over but
became popular in 2003. Its roots are a bit muddy because it received financial and logistical
support from another company called the E-Universe and most of the early users were
employers of e-universe but Tom Anderson and Chris DE Wolfe are given credit for much of the
innovation and success of the site, which built up to one hundred and fifteen million users
worldwide. Members post BIOS, photos, blogs, video and other things that strike their fancy.
(Retrieved November 7th2012)
Some Television Programmers’ had started producing programmers’ to air on MySpace in 2005;
Rupert Murdoclis News Corporation (parent of fox broadcasting) bought MySpace for five
hundred and eighty million dollars ($580). A competitor to MySpace is face book which started
in about 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while he was a student at Harvard and grew rapidly in 2007.
At first, face book was solely for college and high school students but Mark opened it to
everyone and like MySpace, it encourages all types of member postings. There are also smaller
social networks like 2go, YouTube, and blackberry chat for people to have access to. (Retrieved
November 7th2012)
2go Logo
2go is a Social Networking Site, chat, and instant messaging (IM) application. It enables users to
chat on their mobile phones free. You can meet users and 2go users as friends. Chat rooms on
different topics are opened where you can join in the discussion and socialize with others and
also, 2go have gateways that enable users chat with friends on Gtalk, Mxit, and face book.
(Retrieved November 9
th2012) www. (Research work).
One of the greatest points of 2go chat is its simplicity and light weight, making it available to
lots of low-end phones. 2go runs on any java enabled phone, Nokia, LG, Samsung, and Sony
Ericson. Blackberry users can use 2go on their Pc as part of an experimental service by the
company and with it, they can chat anywhere and anytime of the day as they so please.
(Retrieved November 9th 2012)
Blackberry Messenger
Blackberry is propriety internet-based instant messenger application included on blackberry
devices that allows messaging between blackberry users. It was developed by the manufacturer
of the blackberry research in motion (RIM); messages sent via blackberry messenger are sent
over the internet and use the blackberry pin system, so communication is only possible
between blackberry devices. (Retrieved November 10th 2012)
Pinging allows you to connect to friends using a ping ID, something akin to blackberry pin but
easier to remember because you can pick it yourself. Once you’ve shared your pin or found
friends via email or twitter, you can send text, messages, photos, videos and voice memos.
Pretty much anything you might want to send to a friend can be sent using pin. Messages are in
real time over the data network and pushed to the recipient. Once a message is sent, a little S
or D and a tick with an R indicating the message has been sent and read. Ping chat also packs
group messaging and social profiles, which allows you to display a photo, status and some
information about yourself to confirm contacts and through these, one is connected to the
whole world.
Brief History of University of Abuja
The University of Abuja is situated in the Federal Capital of Nigeria, Abuja. It was established on
January 1st 1988(under decree no 110 of 1992 as amended) as a dual-mode University with the
mandate to run conventional and distance learning program.
The University runs regular degree, diploma and post-graduate program. Due to its location, it
covers distance learning and a consultancy service sub-degree program and an institution to
cater for professional needs of teachers and government educational system. It is temporary
located in Gwagwalada Abuja, with its permanent site covering about 11,824 hectares under
construction along the Kaduna-Lokoja road. Its activities started in the mini-campus in 1990.
(Retrieved December 2nd 2012)
Statement of the Problem
Since the advent of social media sites in the 1990s, it is assumed 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 the University of Abuja?
Objectives of the Study
The study has the following objective. They are:
1) To find out the various social networking sites the students had access to.
2) To find out how often the students of University of Abuja go online.
3) To determine 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
Research Questions
1. What social networking sites do the students of University of Abuja had access to?
2. How often do the students of University of Abuja go online?
3. How many hours do the students spend on social networking activities?
4. How has the use of social media affected the academic performance of the students of
University of Abuja?
Scope of the Study
The essence of this research work is to primarily study the Influence of social media on the
academic performance of students. The research intends to focus on students of the University
of Abuja for easy analysis of data. This will reduce cost and avoid complexity that may arise as a
result of having a very large population. But since in most cases the characteristics of students
are generally similar, the research findings would be generalized to include all students of
Nigeria Universities.
Significance/ Justification of the Study
The study will help researchers with more information on the Influence 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 Key Terms
The following are key terms used in the Research Work:
1. 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.
2. Social Networking Sites – A website where people put information about them and
can send to others.
3. 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.
4. Media – Are all those media technologies that are intended to reach a large
audience by mass communication. “They are messages communicated through a
mass medium to a number of people”(Bittner, 1980, p.10).
5. Academic – It is concerned with Studying from books as opposed by a practical
6. Students – Someone who is Studying at a University or School. Someone who is very
interested in a particular subject.
7. Computer – A computer is a machine that receives or stores or process data quickly
according to a stored program.


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