This study was carried out to examine the perceived effort of social media on moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara state. This study was conducted making use of selected students of education Islamic studies department of Federal University Gusau, Zamfara state. The instruments used for data collection were questionnaires and documents, while a total of five research questions were also used. The data collected from the respondents was analyzed using percentage method and they were used in answering the research questionnaire. The data collected and analyzed showed that there is a significant impact of social media on moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state and that there is a significant relationship between the amount of time spent on social media and moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state. The following valuable recommendations were made that there is need to better balance the relationship between social media and moral development/education of students. School authorities and parents should monitor the activities of students on social media.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
It is impossible to disregard the influence of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. Nigerian youth are rapidly making social media part of their everyday activities alongside their counterparts around the world. That's why seeing a lot of young people waking up would be of little to no surprise and the first port of call is to update a "good morning" message on Facebook or some other social network that responds to its sense of worth. This is a simple picture of the social network's level of engagement. Technology, however, like two sides of a coin, takes both the negative and positive sides of it. In 2010, Branston & Stafford explains against all odds that any controversy that occurs that the impact of the social network (or media) should be dealt with from two points of view and considered from two primary attitudes in order to critically exploit the effects. The following are proposed as the two views, the depressive (negative) attitude and the Optimistic/Utopian (positive) attitude, to understand the influence of social media. Literally, the term social media is an activity carried out by many people in a particular period of time through internet-based technology, so that there is a connection between users and forming a particular community (Carley & Spapens, 2017; Xiang et al., 2015). In many studies, social media development focuses on various behavioral activities of individuals involved in it, such as sharing personal influences, sharing personal info-info, sharing identities etc (Afdal et al., 2019; Zadrian Ardi & Maizura, 2018; 2017; Ngai, Tao, & Moon, 2015; Roth, Bobko, Van Iddekinge, & Thatcher, 2016).
Since creation, human beings have always been socially connected or networked. In the early 21st century, the internet saw the dawn of a new era of information sharing, social media, which is now a growing phenomenon on the internet (O’Reiley, 2017). Social media relates to websites and applications that enable users create and share content or participate in social networking (Merriam-Webster, 2018). It refers to interactive web and mobile phones platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, and exchange information, ideas, photos, or videos within a virtual network (Naslund, 2016). There are numerous social media sites that users can choose from. However, in 2017, the top four social media sites were Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter (Statista, 2017). In recent times, accessing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. can be done anywhere and at any time simply by the use of mobile phone (Luik, 2010). In Nigeria, the use of social media has risen considerably over the past few years. The growth of social media usage can be tied to the advancement of communication technology in Nigeria, that is, the increase in the usage of smartphones and the ease of access to broadband and mobile internet. Students may however form a chunk of social media users in Nigeria as research has shown that social media is largely used by young people between the ages of 15-34(Pew Research Centre, 2014) and many students fall within this age bracket therefore majority of them are students. Social media sites have been recognized as an important resource for education as it helps in the sharing of information on relevant education materials within the school or classroom setting. To this end, several software has been developed for e-learning in various jurisdictions using social media. Liccardi, Ounnas, Massey, Kinnunen, Midy, and Sakar (2017) have opined that learners in the school setting connect socially to share their daily learning experiences and have conversations on several topics. However, other studies show that students use social media sites such as Facebook for fun, to kill time, to meet existing friends or to make new ones (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe 2017). However, amidst all the benefits, social media use has regrettably contributed to the moral degeneration among students in several countries, including Nigeria. While it (social media) has fuelled the level of immorality among the students in the country, new acts of immorality have cropped up as result of the negative influences available on social media sites. Existing literature suggests some of the negative behaviours of social media use such as cyber bullying, internet addiction, indecent dressing, sexual harassment, exposure to indecent content and loss of sacredness of human life and neighbourliness (Sloviter, 2011).According to Kuppuswamy and Shankar (2010), social media sites distract students and turn their attention towards non-educational and inappropriate actions including useless chatting. This ends up making students irresponsible and thus presents a challenge to achieving their educational goals and objectives. Trusov, Bucklin, and Pauwels (2019) from another perspective have said that, the internet is no doubt an evolution of technology but specifically social media sites are extremely unsafe for teenagers especially students. The level of moral decadence in Nigeria has become repugnant. The previous invaluable moral values and norms have regrettably been ruined, while immorality now reigns especially among students. Nche (as cited in Yaro, 2013) noted that “gone are the days when morality and discipline used to be virtues. Today it is the exact opposite. People now live in a decadent society where morality and discipline are overboard”. This is evident in the current level of sexual promiscuity among the youths in the country. Ani (2012, p.27) has observed that “sexual immorality has become the talk of the day in the country as one is regarded as the greatest by the number of sexual partners he or she has in the name of lovers. As a result, pre-marital sex, and homosexuality are no more vices among students”. The phenomenon of social media has ruefully exacerbated the matter “as one can easily reach out to friends of opposite sex, make new ones and even invite them over” through these social media sites (Nche, 2012).Since students form the chunk of users of social media sites, it is likely that their activities on these social media sites may influence taking into their moral development, consideration the amount of time they spent on these social media sites (Morahan-Martin & Schumacher, 2010; Yermolayeva, & Calvert, 2019;Jacobson, & Forste, 2010;Olowu & Seri, 2012;Olubiyi, 2012). It is evident from the forgoing that, research findings on the perceived effort of social media on moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students’ of federal university of Gusau, Zamfara state are inconclusive.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
This study found out the effect that social media has on the university student‘s moral behavior. Technology has many positive aspects but, in the wrong hands, it can become dangerous. For the young people who are the majority in these universities or learning institutions it is experiments to do what they feel is good or exciting to them and the friends and at the same time avoid adult supervision. Livingstone (2018) opines that for teenagers, the online realm may be adopted enthusiastically because it represents their space, visible to the peer group more than to adult surveillance, an exciting yet relatively safe opportunity to conduct the social psychological task of adolescence to construct, experiment with and present a reflexive project of the self in a social context, as well as, for some, for flouting communicative norms and other risk-taking behaviours.
It is an undeniable fact that social media commands a significant number of users worldwide of which students form a large chunk. Inasmuch as social media usage gives relevant information to academia, it is also a distractor to many in respect to the development of moral character (Kuppuswamy, & Shankar, 2010; Sloviter, 2011; Nche, 2012; Umekachikelu, 2013; Markwei, & Appiah, 2016).Recent development and experiences in a Senior High Schools indicates that social media use has some negative influence (although inconclusive) on moral development/education of students. This is evident, in the sense that, moral issues such as respect, discipline, honesty, commitment, love, forgiveness, kindness, patriotism, and chastity are somehow missing in the attributes undergraduate education Islamic studies students.
Several studies (Osharive, 2005; Njoroge, 2013; Nche, 2014) have been conducted elsewhere to investigate the effect of social media use on academic performance of students. Other also looked at social media use, the behaviour of the youth and moral development.Scholars who include Meyrowitz (1985), Jenkins (2016), and McCullagh (2012) largely focus on how mass media and Internet shape peoples' social identities. Zengeya (2018), Chitanana (2019), Anderson (2001) and Fox (2012) seem to glorify Internet and social media usage among students and youths. Furthermore, the area o f morality/ethics/unhu-ubuntu has been studied independently from ICT or social media by scholars such as Makuvaza (2010), Chumachawazungu (2010), Mangena (2006), and Sibanda andMaposa (2013). Kohlberg and Piaget (cited in Moran, 1983) have done the same. Instead, the question of how Intemet/social media usage intersects adolescent students' moral development has been intermittently reported by news reporters. Appeanti and Danso (2014), and Otu-Adoasi (2015) all conducted studies on social media use by students but did not concentrate on social media and moral development of students. This means there is no serious academic research that has been carried out with regard to this subject. The need to fill this gap in the literature necessitated the examination of the perceived effort of social media on moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to examine the perceived effort of social media on moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state. The specific objectives are to;
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of social media on moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state
H1: There is a significant impact of social media on moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state
H0: There is no significant relationship between the amount of time spent on social media and moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state
H1: There is a significant relationship between the amount of time spent on social media and moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The findings of the study will be of significance especially: i. To the government in formulating policies and laws that may regulate media industry from showcasing violent content because of its far reaching implication on youths. ii. To counsellors and teachers in efforts to identify the likely cause of deviants behaviour among adolescents. iii. It is therefore hoped that this study will provide valuable information leading to positive social media influence on adolescents in general.
This study will help government and policymakers align and realign laws and policies to fit into the demand of the populace to create an environment that will promote and protect the rights of the citizens, rule of law, protection of lives and properties as stated as the major function of the security personnel and restrict the abuse of power of security personnel in the country. Also, this study will serve as reference materials for further studies.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to the perceived effort of social media on moral development of undergraduate education Islamic studies students of University of Gusau, Zamfara state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In the cause of the study, the researcher will encounter some limitations which will be limited to the scope of the study;
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also another hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to long hands in several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Social Media: Social media are forms of electronic communication that facilitate interactive social networking base on certain interests. Social media include web and mobile technology. It is a group of internet-based applications that builds on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.
Social Networking Sites: A website where people put information about themselves and a platform to reach others.
Social Networking: The use of internet to make information about oneself available to other people especially people one shares an interest with.
Media: 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. The term refers to components of the mass media communications industry, such as print media, publishing, the news media, photography, cinema, broadcasting, and advertising.
Moral Development:Moral development focuses on the emergence, change, and understanding of morality from infancy through adulthood. Morality develops across a lifetime and is influenced by an individual's experiences and their behaviour when faced with moral issues through different periods' physical and cognitive development.
Students: According to oxford dictionary, student is defined as a person who is studying at school, university or college. It can also be referred to sets of individuals studying in order to acquire education. For the purpose of this study, a student is defined as a person who is studying at University
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