The study was aimed at investigating the influence of mass media usage on the lifestyles of students of Abia state university, Uturu. The survey research was used in this study to sample the opinion of respondents. This method involved random selection of respondent who were administered with questionnaires. The target population of the study comprised students of selected departments in Abia state university, Uturu. The questionnaire administered was one hundred and ten (110) copies and one hundred copies retrieved which constitute the sample size. The descriptive and analytical approach was adopted using Chi-square to test and analyze the hypotheses earlier stated. The findings revealed that mass media usage has a significant influence on the lifestyle of students of Abia state universityand that there is a significant relationship between mass media usage and students lifestyle. It was therefore concluded from the findings that mass media can provide all the ways and means to develop personal and social aspects, the young people have to explore the potentialities of these sites. Even though it creates a few negative impacts on students, we cannot think of a world without these tools today. It was recommended that since the lifestyle of students is affected by mass media tools and social media sites, the companies and brands can give their advertisements in more attractive way to attract students. Creative and talented students can also utilize this opportunity by developing their own creative products and opening new fan pages for such sites.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Mass media such as printed media, electronic media and the internet (cyber media) are said to have a strong influence on teenage lifestyles. Electronic media such as television and video has broadcasting a lot of terrorism acts. Most teens love watching television and are indirectly affected by antagonist characters in the show they watch (Zaleha, 2010).At the end of the 19th century until the end of the 20th century, there was a marked change in the broadcasting technology world and turned the field into a major medium in distributing information. The change in sophistication is essential in facilitating the activities or processes of communication while information can be generated at a more efficient and effective rate (Caldwell, 2010). However, in the 21st century, communication activities began changing. Users prefer to use internet service to get information online. This method allows easy data transfer process and also efficient time saving. In addition, more information input can be achieved by using the internet. A variety of worldwide information available through the internet, such as news, sending and receiving electronic mail, commerce, entertainment including watching and more can be accessed (Mokhtar, 2010). The existence of computer systems and the internet has further expanded the use of information and communication technology, thereby increasing the space to gain knowledge as a result through this technology exposure (Evans et al., 2018). Because of some reason, media acted as restriction for the users due to limitations in giving their opinion or independent views on news broadcasts. However, the mass media seems to be the platform for consumers to express their opinions and communicate globally without hindrance (Chung et al., 2010). While social media is an internet-based application that builds on Web 2.0 ideology and technology and enables the creation and exchange of social media most commonly used by people around the world (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010; Ahlqvist et al., 2010). The use of digitizing technology through popular websites and social networks enable many things such as Facebook, Twitter, blogspot and Pinterest to channel more interactive, fast and engaging historical information. In addition, information that is readily accessible and has more flexible space can increase the supply and uses of evidence (Hernandez, 2019). The change in the form of communication passed through the development of technology, or structural and technical communication revolution (Van Djik, 2016). This also cause of the advancement of mass media that increases every year (Japarudin, 2012). From every age of ancient times to the era of literacy, the printing era, and the electronic era, each represented by a particular form of communication either through writing, oral, printing and telecommunications that had a lot of influence on society as a whole (Ezaleila et al., 2011). Human communication has entered the fifth phase that emphasizes interactive communication with internet-based and computing technologies that witness new media or the second media era to be introduced (Brody 2010, Poster 2015, Holmes, 2015). Mass media is a means of mass communication and serves as a significant social change agent (Japarudin 2012).
Mass media denotes a section of the media designed to reach a large audience. It can be referred to as a means of public communication such as television, radio and widely circulated newspapers that tend to reach a large audience with similar social characteristics Mintz et al., (2015). Thompson (2014), defined mass media as books, magazines, newspapers, radio, television, cinemas, records, tapes and videos. The Encarta Encyclopedia (2019), defined mass media as communication media that reach a large audience, especially television, radio and newspaper. Media can be defined broadly as channels of communication. It is considered in terms of its software and hardware (Ogunmilade, 2014). Mass is a large number of people or objects gathered together or coherent body of matter with no definite shape while, media is the main means of communication (especially television, radio and newspaper) regarded collectively (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 10th Edition). Mass media is vital in the diffusion of knowledge and helps in developing individuals’ academic morally and socially. It is the means through which opinions, ideas, information or news are disseminated to a large group of people. Carmen (2017) suggested that there are roughly four (4) broad areas within the many variations of media literacy. These include; the study of media texts, study of the audience, production and political economy of media.
The mass media has a huge influence on people of all ages but teenagers are exposed to mass media more than any other adults are. In lack of interesting places for socializing and leisure activities, teenagers turn to social networks which are more available and cheaper than other ways for searching companionships. The internet is absolutely the winner when we talk about the influence of media on teenagers. The other media like TV and newspapers are less but also present in teenagers’ proportion of daily activities. During this period of growing up, they try to talk, dress and behave like popular TV and music stars. They choose which group of people to belong to, and friends to hang out with. If you want to keep in step with modern technology, it is almost impossible resisting the need to join Facebook, Twitter or MySpace... students ignore their studying and sport activities in exchange for sitting in front of their computers. Their body does not develop and grow properly and they often have health problems. Students’ views on things, attitudes and opinions change a lot too. They copy styles of famous people and sometimes forget who they really are. They try to look like celebrities but they do not know how to get good marks at school. The internet imposes a model of style, behaviour, attitudes and fashion and that makes children look alike and act similarly. When you walk down the street, you can see many teens wearing the same clothes. Rich children slur poor ones and that becomes very normal in teen societies.
The arrival of communication media such as television, tape recorders, radios, telephone and internet has increased the variety that could be used in instruction. This has given rise to what is now termed “Instructional Media”, “Educational Media” and “News Media” (Agun and Imogie, 2018). In 2010, Yusuf recorded that in technical colleges, such instructional materials such as audio and video tapes, record players, projectors, computers, monitors etc. are in everyday use. Also, Fadamiro (2019) listed some of the instructional media that are used in Universities of Technologies such as chalkboard, cameras, drawings and sketches, graphs, models, real objects, projectors, radios, videotapes etc. These instructional media have positive impact on the teachings, learning and knowledge acquisition in the technical colleges surveyed. Their proper usage, availability, quality and maintenance and the ability to produce alternatives or improvisations are the key to their successful usage.
As we can see, the influence of media on students is very big and it probably goes in the wrong direction. What is more, it has a very painful and harmful effect on growing up... What should we do or better still, what is necessary to be done to stop the negative influence of the mass media on teenagers? Is it too late? We must do something before it gets too late. Sport and science must become our priorities and they must be promoted more than nowadays so that teenagers can become more interested in them… That will change their attitudes and the way of thinking and in that way their way of life will be changed a lot.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
With the prevalence of the new media technologies, there is a change in the media choice of the youths globally, Nigeria inclusive. A researcher like Broddason (2016, p. 105) gives credence to the above view by noting that, “there is general agreement among media and communication scholars that a monumental shift is occurring in the media and communication habits of young people.” The rate at which they cling to the use of social media is quite alarming, this leaves people in doubt whether the new channels of communication would utterly displace or at least reduce the youths’ patronage of the mainstream media.
The usage of mass media by students has become a way of life and personal activities are made public (Edge, 2017). Many studies has been carried out on students usage of mass media, its impact on their social behaviour, education, academic performance as well as the positive and negative impact, the factors that influence the usage, ethical usage and many more (Al-Sharq, Hashim & Kutbi, 2015; Wolf, Wenskovitch & Anton, 2016; Mingle & Adams, 2015). Khan (2012) conducted a research which focused on mass media tools impact on students. While Ahn (2011) study covered mass media effect on academic advancement and social wellbeing of adolescents. Although limited information is known on the impact of mass media student’s lifestyle. According to Rajeev (2015), mass media impact different area of our society in allowing individuals to make their views and life public. While Shabir, Hameed, Safdar and Gilani (2014) suggest that youths social lifestyles are impacted by mass media, the impacts can be negative sometimes.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the study is examine the influence of mass media usage on the lifestyles of students. Specific objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: Mass media usage has no significant influence on the lifestyle of students of Abia state university
H1: Mass media usage has a significant influence on the lifestyle of students of Abia state university
H0: There is no relationship between mass media usage and students lifestyle.
H1: There is a significant relationship between mass media usage and students lifestyle.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of importance to the students of higher institutions as the study seek to emphasize on the dangers of relying on information published on social network site, and the benefit accrue to students who make use of this site as a source of information. The study will also be beneficial to the owners of this social media network site, as the study will suggest possible ways of improving on the quality of information published on the site as they can influence the lifestyle of the student, the study will be useful to researchers who intends to embark on a study in a similar topic, as the study will serve as a reference point, finally the study will be useful to the students, teachers, lecturers, academia’s and the general public as the findings will add to the pool of existing literature.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on influence of mass media usage on the lifestyles of students of Abia state university, Uturu.
1.8 LIMITATION OF 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
Media:Refers to communication channels through which news, Entertainment, education, data or promotional messages are disseminated. Media includes every broadcasting and narrowcasting medium such as newspapers, magazines, TVs, radio, billboards, direct mail, telephone, fax and Internet.
Cyber bullying:Cyber bullying is deliberately using digital media to communicate false, embarrassing, or hostile information about another person.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle is a term to describe the way individuals, family circles, and societies live and which behaviour they manifest in coping with their physical, psychological, social, and economic environments on a day-to-day basis. It is closely related with the concept of risk, with multiple and complex interferences.
Sexting:Sexting refers to sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images via cell phone, computer, or other digital Devices
Facebook Depression: Facebook depression is defined as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as face book and then begin to exhibit symptom of depression.
Internet:The internet is described as publicly accessible network of Interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet Switching using standard international protocol (IP)
Blog:A blog is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or interactive media such as images or video.
Podcast:A podcast is a series of digital-media files which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable Media players and computers.
Social media: Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
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