1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Since the popularization of the internet in the 1990s and the emergence of social networking sites in 1994 and beyond, there is abundant evidence that millions of people across the world use social media on a regular basis for various reasons (Daluba & Maxwell, 2013). With the nature of the cyber world around us today and how students are immersed in it, there is growing concern on how it affects them. Though social media use cuts across all age groups, studies have however shown that it is predominant among young persons (Onuoha & Saheed, 2011) and students of institutions of higher education (Dahlstrom, de Boor, Grunwald, & Vockley, 2011). The adoption and growing interest of social networking sites (SNS) by secondary school students, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and LinkedIn, is unprecedented and raises questions about their impact on academic performance with the resultant social interactions taking place via these platforms have not spared educational institutions. In fact, Rosen (2011) found that while those born between 1965-1979 (‘Generation X’), spend approximately 13 hours per day on social media, those born between 1990-1999 (‘I Generation’) however spend not less than 20 hours per day on social media. These young people use social media for interaction, socialization and entertainment according to Kalra and Manani (2013). The social networking sites represents relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, animals, computers or other information and knowledge processing entities. A social networking site is a website that provides a virtual community for people of similar interests on a particular subject or just to 'hang out' together. “They are 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, view and traverse their lists of connections and those made by others within the system” (Boyd & Ellison, 2008). At the basic level, social networking sites allow users to set up online profiles or personal homepages, and develop an online social network. In addition, users can design the appearance of their page; add content such as photos, video clips and music files. Some network types are for general purpose while others connect people in the same professional world so that one can interact with those in the same field or to make connections in companies that are similar to ones work of life. Some of the most popular social networks are: Facebook, Myspace, Classmate, Google+ Linkedin, Twitter, Netlog, Hi5, WhatsApp, Badoo, etc. It is not doubtful that some students in secondary schools repeat a class or proceed to the next level of studies without passing a particular subject perfectly. The technological advancement and societal values such as social networking sites on the internet is one of the factors that are affecting the academic performance of students in secondary schools. Boyd, (2010), viewed Internet as a very important element of life which cannot be ignored. Internet is used for educational purpose by a large community but unfortunately we have a larger community including majority of youths and teenagers who use Internet for only social networking. The Federal Government of Nigeria has through its National Policy on Education (2010), spelt out how education can be utilized to bringing about the necessary transformation in the country. Admittedly, the secondary school which is an important level of the educational system is expected to produce students who should be able to manage very high and sensitive positions so that the laudable objectives can be realized. To buttress this point, as opined by Esu (2010) there is a near national outcry on the poor quality of education in Nigeria. To support these points, Oyensusi (2008) indicated that most students in this generation are frivolous in their approach to learning. Social networking sites have caused many problems like making students to lost interests in their studies as they spent most of the times on these social networking sites. It was concluded by Banquil & Chua, (2009) that social networking sites do affect ones academic performance adversely. The social networking sites directly cause the gradual drop in the grades of students thereby adversely affecting a students’ academic performance if such a student invests his time in social networking sites instead of in his studies. Paul, et al, (2012), in their research on effects of online social networking on students’’ academic performance discovered that there is statistically significant negative relationship between time spent by students on social network site and their academic performance. The time spent on social network sites was found to be heavily influenced by the attention span of the students. Specifically, they disclosed that the higher the attention span, the lower the time spent on online social networks. Furthermore, attention span was found to be highly correlated with characteristics that predict or influence students’ behavior, such as their perceptions about society's view of social networking, their likes and dislikes of online social networks, ease of use of Online social networks, etc. Given the foregoing therefore, this study seeks to examine the effect of social networking sites on the academic attitude of secondary school students in Nigeria.
1.2 THE STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The popularity of social networking sites among secondary students is undeniable as students are heavily involved in social networking; despite the popularity of personal use of social networking sites, a low percentage of students and instructors use them for educational purpose. It is speculated that an average Nigerian youth spend about 6 -7 hours on the internet daily, some do all night browsing [Kadala, 2011]. When do they have the time to read/study their books or do their assignments? It has been recorded that at least one million, seven hundred and fourteen Nigerians are on Facebook with many of them young (Facebook statistics, 2010). However, there is no comprehensive knowledge of their activities as well as how this form of media can impact on various aspects of their lives. Students are paying more attention towards social networking activities rather than utilizing their time for their studies and this might affect their academic performance adversely (Ahmed and Qazi, 2011). While there has been a great deal of research relating to the social networking usage among students in Nigeria, there exists a gap in knowledge about the use of social networking with the implication of use on their academic performance, considering that social networking is now a recent trend among secondary school students. In Nigeria, secondary school students are obsessed with social networking that they spend so much time on it to the extent that their academic scores suffer for it. The time students spend on social networking sites also affects their participation in class which in turn bears on their academic performance (Ogedebe et al., 2012). The number of friends they keep on the platform, affects the time spend on it chatting away with friends, how often students update their social networking posts, is also a factor to be considered in determining the use of social networking. The understanding of the use of social networking by secondary school student is an important factor in achieving better performance among students and recovering the glory of secondary school education in Nigeria. While there may be other factors responsible for the less-than-optimal performance of secondary school students, it is believed that social networking use is a major factor of concern over their falling academic performance. There is, therefore, the need to investigate the relationship between social networking sites usage and students’ academic attitude in Nigeria, in order to determine social networking sites and how it impact on their academics.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the effect of social networking sites on the academic attitude of students among secondary school students in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Social networks are becoming more popular among secondary school students and are a new way of spending free time and serve as a separate channel for finding the necessary information, both educational and entertaining. Therefore, it is urgent to examine the question of what effect social networks have on their users, in particular, how the use of social networks affects the academic success of students. This study will discover this information, giving the researchers an opportunity to explore and gain new knowledge. This study can be a good academic source for researchers, especially in Nigeria. This research will be as a trusted academic source and pave the way for scholars, lecturers and students to know the effects of social networking sites, and the effects on the secondary school students' academic performances and attitudes. It will raise the awareness of the people about either positive and negative impacts of social networking sites on the academic performances of students in Nigerian society. It will also encourage students to use social Networking sites beneficially as effective communication tools as well as educational media to improve their knowledge and skills.
The study is restricted to the effect of social networking sites on the academic attitude of students among secondary school students in Nigeria, a case study of selected secondary schools in Jos, Plateau state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
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)
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.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Social Media: They are forms of electronic communication which facilitate interactive base on certain interests. Social media include web and mobile technology
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. “They are messages communicated through a mass medium to a number of people.
Academic: It is concerned with Studying from books as opposed by a practical work. Students: Someone who is Studying at a University or School. Someone who is very interested in a particular subject.
Computer: A computer is a machine that receives or stores or process data quickly according to a stored program.
Tweets: A short message posted on Twitter (a micro blog).
ICT: Information and Communication Technology.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS