The aims of this study were to investigate the usage of social networking websites for
personal and educational development among Secondary School Students in Osun State. Four
research questions were generated for the study. Samples of one hundred and fifty (150)
students were the respondents used to ascertain the usage of social networking websites for
personal and educational development among Secondary School Students. A structured
questionnaire which had four (4) sections was duly validated. The reliability level was 0.80
and it was used for data collection and same data collected through the research instruments
were analyzed using frequency counts and simple percentages to answer research question
where 77.0% of the students was found that Facebook, Badoo and Google was the most
popular social networking sites that students had access to, while 79.3% of the Secondary
School Students do go online often and majority of students were spent average of two hours
online and it was shown that 63.3% of the respondents agreed that the use of social media
affected the academic performance of the students.
1.1 Background to the problem
Social networking sites are fast becoming very popular means of both interpersonal,
education and public communication in Nigeria. Social networking sites are modern
interactive communication channels through which people connect to one another, share
ideas, experiences, pictures, messages and information of interest. Boyd and Ellison (2007)
define social networking sites as’’ 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 and view and traverse their list of connections
and those made by others within the system. They are interactive networks which
information and communication technology (ICTs) bequeath to the modern society
through the instrumentality of the Internet and the telecommunication gadgets. The
Internet makes it possible to expand the networks and to increase the possibilities for
communicating with wider audiences on the globe. The interactive aura of the new media
confers an unprecedented popularity on them.
Also the ambiguity of the social networking sites within their short period of arrival is
unparalleled in the annals of media industry. Awake (2011) buttresses this point by noting
that ‘‘social networking has become hugely popular. Similarly, it took 38 years for
radio to reach 50 million users, 13 years for television to attract the same number and 4
years for the Internet to do so, but it took Facebook 12-month only to gain 200 million
users. Social networking sites provide various interactive platforms based on the
intentions of their founders. There are for instance, social, political, academic,
businesses, sports, romantic and religious platform. In other words, the social networking site by their nature has the capabilities of educating, informing,
entertaining and inflaming the audience.
Onomo (2012) acknowledged this ability of the media by remarking that social
networking sites has become ‘‘a widespread tool for communication and exchange of
ideas, helping individuals and organizations with just causes to reach a phenomenally
vast audience that could hitherto not be reached by traditional media.’‘
Thus, since inception, social networking sites like Facebook, twitter,2go, My
Space, Skype etc. have mesmerized millions of users, many of whom have been made to use
these sites as parts of their daily activities. Currently, there is a plethora of social
networks with various features meant to suit the different interests of their followers. Some
are accessed via computer alone while others can be used with mobile phones. The first
identifiable social networking sites was launched in 1997. It allowed its users to create
profiles, list their friends and in 1998, introduced the friends list where users had the freedom
to search for old and new friends. This however was devoid of the provision for users to
upload their profile pictures. Other social networking sites like classmates were founded to
aid social interaction among their users but did not have many features like six degrees.
Other social networking sites like Friendster and myspace created virtual community,
which would help its members locate old and new ones, shape their personal profile via
the Internet and socially idea or opinion under the sun. Two years later, Jack Dorsey
Launched Twitter as an online blogging site, while the most recent 2go was founded in 2008
by Michael S. Egan.
Therefore, just like radio and television, social networking has spread everywhere
in Nigeria and are bound to be sprouting as the new media for are still obscure.
In other words, from the analysis carried out by the researcher from the world
Internet statistics (2012) it was found that out of the total population of 170,123,740 Nigeria,
5,860,240 numbers of people used Facebook as of 2012. Comparing Burundi and Chad
with a similar population of 10,557259k and 199 75,648 respectively, the data shows that
37,040 and 36, 940 number of people respectively used Facebook as of 2012. This result
showed that chad with a lesser population, use Facebook more than Burundi. Also out of the
total population, of 83,688,164 Egyptians, 11,764,880 numbers of people used Facebook as
of 2012. Comparing this with the number of Nigerian Facebook users, it shows that
Egyptians has the highest number of Facebook users while Nigeria becomes the second in Africa. Similarly, Florunso, etal (2010) reviewed that: In Africa, social media
networking sites are becoming widely Spread than it has ever been before and it
appears that people’s Perception of this technology is diverse.). Furthermore, as a novel
phenomenon, it is necessary to examine how secondary school students in Osun state use the
new means of communication and solving assignment and educational research. This is
because student’s contribution as youths can make or transform any nation.
Essoungou (2010), explain that the new communication technology is one of few
ways that young Africans can bypass the inefficiencies in the system that allow the status quo
to hold on. It lowers the barriers to entry for everyone to get involved and be heard. A study
like this shall help to ascertain whether Students use of the social networking sites improves
there personal life and the effect on their academic performance positively or negatively. This
is obviously because the disposition of people of a given community could shape the social
networking websites in existence there, just like a cerebral media scholar, Anim(2007)aptly
notes that societies greatly influence the operations and functions of the media that
operate within those societies
An interesting example in this area was presented by Heather Rogers of the
Haversack Towson University. She used the Facebook Group titled “Female of 324 Reading
Methods Group” for meeting teacher candidates in a reading class. The group functioned as a
platform where class works were discussed, questions were asked, opinions were criticized,
information was sent, and views were supported. The researcher recommended the
construction of book clubs for supporting students read, performing book discussion, and
using social networks for sharing readings. She also mentioned that these social networks
might be used in courses like history and literature, preparing cultural guides and
programming applications (Gulbahar 2010).
According to Lenhart et al., (2010), about 57% of social network users are 18-29 years
old and have a personal profile on multiple social media websites. In a study by Pempek,
Yermolayeva, and Calvert (2009), the amount of time spent daily on social network sites
varied greatly. However, an analysis of the data indicated most participants spent
approximately 30 minutes a day socializing, mostly during the evening hours between 9 p.m.
to 12 a.m. Students spent an average of 47 minutes a day on Facebook. More than 50% of
college students go on a social networking site several times a day (Sheldon, 2008). Quan-
Haase and Young (2010) found that 82% of college students reported logging into Facebook
several times a day. Younger students tended to use Facebook more frequently than older
students to keep in touch with friends from high school or from their hometown (Pempek et
According to Khan U (2009) Facebook users often time experience poor performance
academically. Similarly, Englander, Terregrossa and Wang (2010) posit that social media is negatively associated with academic performance of student and is a lot more
momentous than its advantages. Internet addiction consequently gave rise in internet
usage within the last couple of decades. Nalwa K, Anand AP(2003)recommended that
addicted users prefer using internet setting back their personal and professional
responsibilities which ultimately leads to poor academic performance. According to
Karpinski A (2009) pointed out that Facebook users devoted lesser time to their studies in
comparison to nonusers did and subsequently had lower grades. Also mentioned that among
various unique distractions of every single generation, Facebook remains a major distraction
of current generation. According to Kubey, Lavin, and Barrows (2001) impairment of
educational performance and internet dependency are correlated by utilizing
synchronous communication programs including internet sites and forums. There are
benefits and risks associated with using any social network. There have been reports
regarding its effect on students’ academic performance. Some researchers investigated the
end result of social networking usability among College students’ and with their
academic performance. They found a poor effect and influence when the media is
overuse in such a way that do not academically improve learning or its process Other
researchers examined this same problem but found either no significant relationship between
using social networking and student academic performance , or really a factor in students’
1.2 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. The student
are easily distracted with the availability of social networking sites and find it difficult to pay
full concentration on their academic performance. It is observed that students devote more
attention to social media than they do to their studies.
Therefore, the researcher sought to: investigate the usage of social networking websites
for personal and educational development among secondary student in Osun state?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The study has the following objective. They are:
To find out the various social networking sites the students had access to.
To find out how often the students of Osun state secondary school student go
To determine how many hours the students spend in social networking activities
To ascertain how the use of social media has affected the academic performance
of the students.
1.4 Research Questions
1) What social networking sites do the secondary school students of Osun state had
2) How often do the students of secondary school students of Osun state 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
Osun state secondary school student?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The research intends to focus on some selected secondary school in Osun state for easy
analysis on the social networking sites secondary school student make use, time spent online,
utilisation level and to check the academic performance of student with the use of social
1.6 Significance of the study
The study will help researchers with more information on investigation on the usage
of social networking websites for personal use and educational development among
secondary school students in Osun. It will be relevant in assisting students in understanding
the diversity of social networking sites and to allow their parents. The teachers of the student
will be able to access the performance of the student and their personal attention in class. It
will provide relevance material for students and other researchers undertaking similar
1.7 Definition of Terms
1. Social Media- They are forms of electronic communication which facilitate
interaction 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).
5. Computer – A computer is a machine that receives or stores or process data quickly
according to a stored program.
6. Access – Communicating with a computer program or to the internet
7. Utilisation – The manner in which something is used
8. Academic performance – it is the outcome of education to the extent to which a
student, teacher or institution has achieved their academic goals