SOCIAL MEDIA AND MORAL DECADENCE AMONG YOUTHS IN NIGER DELTA UNIVERSITY
Social media is often seen as having either a positive or a negative effect to its users while this research dwells on the harmful aspect of social media, we cannot fully neglects the benefits.
Today in our society, young adults, mostly youths are often found accessing the web in every slight time they ascribe to as being leisure moment which derails their social ethics.
Hence, the main focus of this study is to investigate the effect of social media on the morality of youths while using Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State as a case study. The population of this study consists of young adults between the age of 18 and 29.
A descriptive research design of exploratory type was adopted for the study. A total of 180 respondents were selected from different study level (100 levels to 500 levels) using simple random sampling technique. Out of those respondents 120 were found to be using at least one of the SNSs enlisted in the questionnaire and also completely filled and returned, given a return rate of 85.7%. Their responses formed the data that were analyzed for this study. Data gathered were analyzed using simple frequencies and simple percentages.
The findings showed that youths which comprises of students in the university spend many hours on social media, meeting people; both old and new friends, mostly because of boredom.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page - - - - - - - - - - i
Approval - - - - - - - - - - ii
Dedication - - - - - - - - - - iii
Acknowledgement - - - - - - - - - iv
Abstract - - - - - - - - - - v
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introductory background
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Objectives of the study
1.4 Research questions
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Scope of the study
1.7 Definition of concepts
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORITICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 The concept of social media
2.2 Types of social media
2.3 Usage of social media among youths/young adults
2.4 Effects of social media on youths/young adults and
students academic performance
2.5 Implications of social media for educational
decadence and campus life
2.6 Reasons for using social media network sites
2.7 The internet
2.8 Morality: explication, definition, application and
2.9 Theoretical framework
2.9.1 Technological determinism theory (TDT)
2.9.2 Globalization theory (GT)
2.9.3 Integrating the theories – conceptual framework
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research design
3.2 Population of the study
3.3 Sample size
3.4 Sampling techniques
3.5 Method of data collection
3.6 Method of data analysis
3.7 Research locale
3.8 Ethical consideration
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.2 Data Presentation and Analysis
4.3 Testing Hypothesis
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
1.1 INTRODUCTORY BACKGROUND
The social media have become one of the most important communication means in recent times. Waleed and Mohd (2013) believes social media networking exist so as to provide communication among people regardless of the distance, making it open to people easily to share information, files, pictures, videos, create blogs and send messages, and conduct real-time conversations; these systems are referred to as social, simply because they allow communication with friends (buddies), family and co-workers so easily and effectively.
With the nature of the cyber world around us today and how youths and students are immersed in it, there is growing concern on how it affects them (Onyenka et al, 2013). Onyenka and his associates explain that the internet is more than just a means of seeking information. People discovered that the internet could be used to connect with other people, whether for business or commercial purpose, make new friends, reawaken old friends and long lost relatives. The emergence of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) simplifies the whole process as they are easier to use and navigate.
The favourites among the realm of social network are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), and others. These websites and social forums are ways of communicating directly with other people socially and in media. The social media is playing a large and influential role in decision-making at occasions in the global world: economically, politically, socially, educationally and morally.
Nyland et al (2007) posits that the five motives of using social media include: meeting new people, entertainment, maintaining relationships, social events and media creation. Schills (2011) opined that the social media sites encourages negative behaviors for young adult students such procrastination (catching up with friends), and they are more likely to drink and do drugs.
Without doubt, there has been considerable discussion regarding the frequent use of social media tools (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Xanga, Friendster) by high school and college students, and the possible effect of those tools on students’ academic performance (Connolly, 2011; Hargitai and Hsieh, 2010; Karpinski and Duberstein, 2009).
Researches shows that this has wide spread implications particularly for the areas of education and the society at large, for instance, the identification and use of compatible teaching methods, the designs and implementation of complimentary curriculum decisions, and the design of non-classroom educational assignments; Communications, for instance, the identification of appropriate channels to exchange educational information among individuals; and Economics , for instance, the allocation of public financial resources towards educational and social services activities, and the creation of future business opportunities (Chen and Bryer, 2012; Anderson and Rainie, 2012).
Idakwo (2011) asserts that social interaction and school work have been affected at the advent of these social media. Undergraduates spend more time on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks through smart phones, laptops, and other browsing devices that are now in abundance among these youths. Many youths cannot go for 2-3hours without checking and updating their profiles on these social networks even at the detriments of other activities such as educational and career pursuit (Ajewole and Fasola, 2012).
In light of the above, whether social media is favourable or unfavourable, it is no doubt that many students made use of internet sites on a daily basis. Many lecturers complain of students’ poor performance in examinations, some lecturers advised students to surf the net for educational materials, parents worried about their children not studying during holiday or visits at home but rather spend many hours on social networks such as Facebook, 2go, Twitter, WhatsApp, BBM among others. It is also clear that many scholars must have studied the influence of social media on students, although few had studied the influence of this social media on students’ efficiency through their grade point average. It is in line with this that this study intends to study the effects of social media on Niger Delta University students and moral decadence amongst youths.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Considering the problems associated with the exploration of social media by youths and students; in Nigeria, in its bid to globalization complaint has popularized the internet involvement into almost every home. Be that as it may, there has been a sharp decline in the moral values of Nigeria as a developing nation and there is a stereotype that the internet has the bulk of blame for such derailment. Olubiyi (2012) posits that these days’ youths are so engrossed in the social media that they are almost 24hours online. Evidences from past researches have also shown that the internet use had interfered with addicts’ academic work, professional performance or their social lives (Louis and Paul, 2012). Zincz et al (2009) explain that youths are exposed to a higher risk of social network addiction because of their vulnerability since they are adjusting to a massive amount of developmental and life changes and this susceptibility and exposure to an abundance of new things are aided by the use of technology and social networks that ease new connections and relieve societal pressures.
Megan and Priscilla (2012) assert that many of these young adults use social media networks to communicate with family, friends and even strangers.
Despite the above functions of social media expressed as being an issue to higher education students and youths, Bello (2012) of the Sunday Observer, observes that if the dangerous trend of social network “obsession” is left unchecked it could further affect an already collapsing education system in Nigeria. It is a thought in line with Bello’s prediction and the increase patronizing of social media devices and sites among young adults and university students to which Niger Delta University is inclusive that prompt the researcher being an undergraduate student in the institution to undertake this study in order to examine the effect of these social media on youths’ moral and students’ academic performance.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To examine the fading fortunes of moral living and the downhill behavioral structure among youths in the Nigeria society.
2. To examine the reasons for the use of social media networking sites by youths.
3. To determine the frequency of the use of social media sites by youths and students.
4. To determine the effect of the use of social media on the morality of youths and also on the academic performance of university students.
5. To provide policy recommendations for university officials to consider adapting to educational changes associated with the use of social media by university students.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study will investigate the following research questions:
1. Which of the social media network site is mostly used by youths?
2. How much time do youths spend on the social networking sites daily?
3. Why do university students use social media network sites?
4. How does the use of social media networks affect students’ academic performance?
5. Do students use the social media network for their academic assignments or for leisure?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study shall not only be carried out for the purpose of accomplishing the requirements for the partial fulfillment of the award of the degree of Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Sociology but shall be of significance; theoretically, practically, methodologically.
Theoretically, the study would increase the number of literature available on the effects of social media on young adults/youths and university students. With this, it would open doors to further studies as it would enhanced the peoples’ scope of knowledge and unfold certain areas that may demand the attention of other researchers and students to carry out further studies in order to ameliorate the negative effects of social media on youths and students.
Practically, it would be of relevant to policy makers, organizations and civil societies as it would act as awareness, indicating areas decisions should be made in order to improve effective usage of social media. It would also be useful to students, lecturers, counselors, non-governmental agencies and the general public who found the study interesting as it would enhance their capacities on how to give counsel and also enhance the effective use of social media network.
Methodologically, the methods and strategies employed to collect and analyze data by the researcher in order to achieve the objectives of the study would be of relevant to existing methodology as it would employ the available tools to test their authenticity and reliability in relation to the study.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Social media is a broad concept expressed differently by differently individuals, groups and communities of the world. It is a universal phenomenon carrying with it both positive and negative effects on its users and society at large.
For the purpose of this study, the scope is limited to social networking sites of social media such as GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, 2GO, TWITTER, WHATSAPP, YOUTUBE, BBM and SKYPE which exist so as to provide communication among people regardless of the distance, making it open to people to easily share information. In light of these, the study scope is also delimited to the effects of these social network sites on the Niger Delta University students.
This study has been narrowed down to Niger Delta University, with the view to represent all other tertiary institutions since it is difficult to reach all the youths and students in Nigeria.
Although, the main aims and objectives of this study is to examine the influence of social media on youths’ moral and students’ academic performance, but this cannot be effectively talked without considering the demographic factor of the selected institution in terms of experience, educational background, professional training, age, sex etc should be taken into cognizance.
1.7 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
These are the specialized sense in which some concepts are used in this study;
SOCIAL MEDIA: According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, it defines social media as a web and mobile-based technology that supports interactive dialogue and produces substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities and individuals. In essence, users generate and share all types of content within their established networks; social media in this sense refers to Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Blogs, Twitter, BBM, MySpace, LinkedIn and so on.
THE INTERNET: Wikipedia defines the internet as a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link several billion devices worldwide. It is a network of network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronics, wireless and optical networking technologies.
YOUTHS/YOUNG ADULTS: The concepts youths and young adults are almost synonymous with each other and both can either be used simultaneously or interchangeably. According to Church of Nazarene, young adults/ youths are defined as people between the ages of 18 and 35 years old; this group includes people, who are college students at any institution of higher education, seeking full time employment, working full time, married, not yet married, parents, single parent, divorced, widow/widowers etc.
EFFECT: Thesaurus dictionary defines Effect simply as a change which is a result or consequences of other cause. It is something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence. For the purpose of this study, it is seen as the consequence of social network sites on the morality of youths and students involved in using it.
DECADENCE: According to Wikipedia, the word “decadence” which at first meant simply “decline” in an abstract sense, is now most often used to refer to a perceived decay in standards, morals, dignity, religious faith, or skill at governing among the members of the elite of a very large social structure, such as an empire or nation state and by extension, it may refer to a decline in art, literature, science, technology and work ethics or very loosely to self-indulgent behavior.
MORALITY: According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; it started that morality was derived from a Latin word “moralitas” which means manner, character, and proper behavior. Therefore, morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are good or right and those that are bad or wrong.
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia refers to academic performance as the outcome of education, as the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goal. It is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspect is most important – procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts. In this study, students’ CGPA would be considered as a perimeter for measurement..