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Social media has brought to reality the Global Village as was predicted by Marshal Mcluhan in 1964. People in this 21st Century increasingly get to know more about others who are far away from them. Secondary school students are not left out in being part of the global village that was aided by the new media. Students in the secondary schools are becoming engrossed with social networking sites as it is currently becoming the order of the day. With modern technology in this jet age, it is no longer necessary to own a laptop or computer to have access to social media because such applications have been migrated to mobile phones which have access to the internet with a click and affordable plans to browse comfortably. These have made it easier for secondary school students to use the social media.
Social median network has changed the information world with regard to sharing, speed, storage and retrieval of information in whatever form regardless of the person’s location. Through the Internet a number of web technologies emerged, and one technology that is making waves with regard to information sharing and communication are the social media networks. The evolution of social media has cut across all facets of society with its positive and negative impacts. Social media has transformed and impacted on communication, learning, research and education in general. Among the vast variety of online tools which are available for communication, social networking sites (SNS) have become the most modern and attractive tools for connecting people throughout the world (Aghazamani, 2010).
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Social media which is sometimes referred to as social networking and Web 2.0 refers to collaboratively produced and shared media content (Tapscott and Williams, 2008). Social media came into existence in the 1990s. Boyd and Ellison,( 2007) documented that the first recognizable social network site was launched in 1997 called Six degrees on sixdegrees.com. It allowed users to create profiles, list their friends and, beginning in 1998, surf friends lists. While Six Degrees attracted millions of users, it failed to become a sustainable business and, in 2000, the service closed. In 2002, social media received a great boost with the launch of Friendster. Within a year of its launch, Friendster boasted more than three million registered users and a ton of investment interest. In 2003, my space, LinkedIn, Last FM, Tribe net, Hi5 etc. sprang up. In 2004, popular names like Facebook Harvard, Dogster and Mixi evolved. From 2006 till now a lot of social media sites have been launched like twitter, 2go, watsapp, google plus, badoo etc.
Facebook specifically, is among s one of the networking sites secondary school students tend to use a lot. It was launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with the primary intent of connecting United States college students. As of the second quarter of 2015, Facebook had 1.49 billion monthly active users worldwide and would still continue to increase on daily basis. WhatsApp is another networking site whose popularity is growing fast among secondary school students. It was founded in 2009 by Brain Acton and Jan Koum. Brian Acton confirmed to Forbes that the service had been signing up to 1 million new users per day since December 1, 2013. Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service enabling registered users to read and post short messages called tweets. It is one of the most popular social networks worldwide. Part of its appeal is the ability of users to follow any other user with a public profile, enabling users to interact with celebrities who regularly post on the social media site. As of the second quarter of 2015, the microblogging service averaged at 304 million monthly active users.
The use of social media or social networking site is common among teenagers and youths of which majority are secondary school students. Social media is growing in its influence especially in the school environment. It’s aids socialization which has been around before the advent of technology. Therefore, it has made it easier for secondary school students to interact without knowing each other. According to Ibrahim (2012) social networking sites are seen as beneficial socializing tools especially among young people in today’s global village. But secondary school students often neglect the informative and educative benefit of these socializing tools. This neglect has endangered students to become victims of sexual predators, cyber bullying and harassment, posting or downloading of inappropriate pictures and other materials. All these can affect them negatively in their academics, reading habit and social life due to the amount of time spent on social media platforms. One of the numerous reasons of the introduction of the aforementioned new media technologies is to make reading easier for secondary school students as much educational materials are online. However, it does not mean that books have to become extinct as students these days strive to be more digital than traditional.
The main aim of any student has to be to read and study hard especially at the secondary school level where solid foundations is needed as reading and studying enables students have a better understanding of what have been taught by their teachers. Secondary school students spend a lot of time on social networking sites instead of using such time to read their books. It is very common to see secondary school students addicted to social media activities and not paying attention to reading or doing homework. While social networking sites have their benefits, it ought not to be the reason for poor performance of students. The advent of internet technology has exposed majority of the global population to different interactive platforms on which different kinds of information is exchanged which might significantly have effect on human behaviour, decision and judgment (CES, 2012). It is on this afore mentioned that this study is focused on the comparative analysis of the effect of social media network on public school and missionary school in Umahia north local government area of Abia state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Nowadays, the advent of technology is quickly emerging before the eyes and undeniably, it takes a vital part in people’s lives today. One of the evidence of this is the development of social networking. Social networking provides instantaneous access to information at all times (Sum, 2008). With the evolution of social networking, it changes the way one communicates and how one finds and shares personal information, exchanges ideas, feelings, photos and videos at a very overwhelming rate. Social networking brought many positive implications to human life such as making the connection of millions of people from all over the world possible. Perhaps, this ubiquitous presence may appear innocent at the surface. However, there may be some sinister or evil characteristics within this medium that required further study. One of the issues that exist may be the influence of social networking on secondary school students. These increasing links and networks online are setting back the real values of life especially students who accept some adverse impacts from using these sites as they form the major group of social networking sites users. According to Ahmed & Qazi, (2011),out of total social networking users 70% are students. These students become distracted because of the amount of time and attention being devoted to these social networking. Often times, they are observed using their mobile phones to communicate and do other social activities even during school hours when they are expected to be engaged in meaningful activities. Thus this valuable time is fritted away on social networking, especially on activities that add no value to them. Pritchard (2008) argued that at least one third of students’ Internet visits are intended to surf sexually oriented websites and chartrooms. It is also observed that some students use emails and social networking websites to post kind of distasteful comments about their friends and sometimes to harass peers and for gossips (Pritchard, 2008). This distraction causes them to lose concentration in their school work and social behaviour generally. Some secondary school students don’t study their lessons and work on their assignments because they are in the front of their computers using facebook (Jabay, 2012). Habitually, these students are also seen moving along the streets with their mobile phones and other technological devices consistently pressing on them without paying real attention to their environment. It is based on this backdrops that this study focus on comparative analysis of the effect of social media network on public school and missionary school in Umahia North Local government area of Abia state.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study will be to investigate the effect of social media network on secondary school student in public school and missionary school in Umahia North lOcal government area of Abia state. Specific objectives of the study include;
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this study covers effect of social media network on secondary school students in public and missionary school in Umahia North local government area of Abia state. In terms of geographical location, the study will cover only secondary schools in Umahia North Local Government Area of Abia state. In terms of respondents, the study will cover on secondary school students in both public and private own schools.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of benefit to secondary school students, parents, teachers, school Guardians and fellow researchers. It will be of benefit to secondary school students as it will provide useful insight that will helps students know how to manage the time spent on social networking sites and use social media better for academic purpose.
For parents/ Guardians, the finding of the study will enable them give adequate advice to their children on how to avoid possible distraction toward academic study as result of devoting much time to social media sites. It would equally open the eyes of parents/Guardians on the need to monitor their kids’ usage of social media more. More so, it will add as one of existing literatures in social media. It will also be of help to school teachers to know how to use social media to impact positive reading and learning habits to the students. For fellow researchers, the study the findings of the study will serve as a source of information and reference material for further studies.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the purpose of clarification, the words used in this study were defined.
Social Media: An interactive form of communication technology that aids interaction between users. It allows people to exchange messages electronically and has internet technologies as its major force.
Usage: The act of putting something to use.
Comparative: Comparing two or more things.
Secondary School Students: A school for students between primary school and university.
Study: A method of comparison between two or more things.
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