USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY UNIUYO STUDENTS

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USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY UNIUYO STUDENTS

ABSTRACT

This research work was carried out to assess UNIUYO students’ use of social media. For an empirical study of this type, four objectives which translated into four research questions were formulated. A sample size of 370 comprising 6 faculties from the 13 faculties in the University of Uyo was chosen using Philip Meyer’s guide for sample selection. Data were collected through the administration of questionnaire on respondents in the six faculties – Arts, Business Administration, Social Science, Law, Environmental Studies, and Sciences. The study reveals UNIUYO students use social media to get informed on news events and issues happening in the society, to interact with friends, find educational documents, etc and they use it daily to a greater extent. The research, however recommends students to be, not just receivers, but gatherers and presenters of information through citizen journalism as well as urging heavy users to moderate their use of these sites to avoid addiction through creating balance between their offline and online lives.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Content Pages
Title page – – – – – – – – i
Declaration – – – – – – – – ii
Certification – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – v
Abstract – – – – – – – – vii
Table of Contents – – – – – – – viii
List of Tables – – – – – – – – xi

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background To The Study – – – – – 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – 5
1.3 Objectives of the Study – – – – – 5
1.4 Research Questions – – – – – – 6
1.5 Significance Of The Study – – – – – 6
1.6 Scope of the Study – – – – – – 7
1.7 Limitations of the Study – – – – – 7
1.8 Definition of Terms – – – – – – 7

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CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF LITERATURE
2.0 Introduction – – – – – – – 8
2.1 Review of Concepts – – – – – – 9
2.1.1 Social Media and Social Networking – – – – 9
2.1.2 Social Media Use Among Students – – – – 17
2.2 Review of Opinions – – – – – – 22
2.3 Review of Studies – – – – – – 25
2.4 Theoretical Framework – – – – – 29
2.4.1 Uses and Gratifications Theory – – – – 29
2.4.2 Individual Differences Theory – – – – 30

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Method – – – – – – 31
3.2 Population of the Study – – – – – 32
3.3 Sample size and Technique – – – – – 33
3.4 Description of Research Instrument – – – – 36
3.5 Validity of Research Instrument – – – – 36
3.6 Method of Data Collection – – – – – 37
3.7 Method of Data Analysis – – – – – 37

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CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS
AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis – – – – 38
4.2 Discussion of Findings – – – – – 45

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Summary of Findings – – – – – – 50
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – 51
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – 52
5.4 Suggestion for Further Study – – – – – 54
References
Appendix

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LIST OF TABLES

TABLE PAGE
1 The population of students per faculty – – – 33
2 Meyers Guide for Sample Selection – – – – 34
3 Selection of sample and Questionnaire Distribution – – 36
4 Respondents’ Most Preferred Social Media Sites – – 39
5 Respondents Means of Access to Social Media Sites – 40
6 Frequency of Use of Social Media Sites by Respondents – 40
7 Respondents Reasons for Using Social Media – – 41

8 Respondents’ Status as a Social Media User – – – 41
9 Factors that Delimit Respondents Use of Social Media – 42
10 Respondents’ Favourite Social Media Content – – 43
11 Respondents’ Trust of information on social media – – 43
12 Respondents Satisfaction after Social Media Use – – 44
13 Respondents’ Level of Satisfaction with Social Media Use – 44

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study
The development of Internet and convergence of mass communication channels and technologies have created significant changes in the mass communication industry. Social media are among the prominent products of new media of mass communication (Mohammed and Suleiman, 2013). Exchange of information and participation between individuals and groups are the prominent activities normally achieved through social media.
Social Media technologies are social softwares which mediate human communication. They are best understood as a group of new kinds of online media with characteristics such as – participation, openness, conversation, community and connectedness (Ekeli and Enobakhare, 2013).
The first social network site was Sixdegrees.com, launched in 1997 (Mitu, 2012, p.619 cited in Ekeanyanwu and Kalyango, 2013). It was the first site which combined the feature of having a profile and friends list,… during 1997-2001, another social network sites developed such as Asian Avenue, Blackplanet, MiGente, Livejournal, Cyworld (1999), LunarStorm (2000), all of them followed by Ryze.com (2001)… Myspace (2003) and Facebook (2004) and contemporary social media sites such as Twitter, Whatsapp are still trending.
In the last decade, the social media have been an integral part of peoples’ lives. To some people, it has gradually become a necessity; a platform for social interaction, marketing of products and services, connecting with their immediate environment and virtually the world. In fact it has reduced the world to a global village.
Kaplan and Haenlein (2010, p.61) see social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations…, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content”.
Social media are different from traditional or industrial media in several ways, including formation, quality, reach, frequency, usability, immediacy and permanence. Pavlick and Macintoch, John and Shawn (2015, p.189) explain that the social media operate in a dialogic transmission system, (many sources to many receivers) unlike its counterpart, the traditional media, which operates under a monologic transmission model (one source to many receivers).
Social media also provide an environment where users professionals, marketers, teachers, and virtually anyone who has connection to the Internet can connect with friends, find academic materials, promote brands, as well as improve their companies image by listening and responding to what the public is saying about their product, search for information, educative and entertainment packages, socialise, and follow trends.
Additionally, the social media forum can be used professionally and personally (Domizi, 2013). This is an indication that social media networks are fast becoming a mainstream culture that is being integrated in the daily lives of some people (Boyd and Ellison, 2007).
Anim, et al (2011) has argued that global statistics show that Africa is the fastest growing market for mobile phones and Nigerian has the fastest mobile phone growth rate in the continent. Also, InternetWorldStat put that Nigeria’s literacy rate is well above 60 percent (60.8% – UNESCO, 2012; 61.2% – CIA, 2012 – The World Factbook, 2012). Male adult literacy rate is well above 70% (71.96% – UNESCO, 2012; 72.1% – CIA – The World Factbook, 2012). Youth male literacy rate is 78.15% (UNESCO, 2012). That puts youth total literacy rate at 68.99% (UNESCO, 2012). Therefore, between the adult literacy rate and that of the youths, there is a high percentage of Nigerians literate enough to access and use internet platform and, in particular, the social media.
The application of “social media is relatively new and their cultural impact is evolving” (Dominick, 2011, p. 73). This can be identified from educational, economic and community development in our contemporary society. UNIUYO is not left out of the equation.
University of Uyo (UNIUYO) was established October 1, 1991 by the Federal Government of Nigeria. UNIYO inherited students, staff, academic programmes and the entire facilities of the erstwhile University of Cross River State established by Cross River State in 1983. Academic activities commenced during the 1991/92 Academic Session.
Currently, it operates from two temporary campuses; the Town Campus which accommodates the Central Administration, Faculties of Arts, Education, Social Sciences; Natural and Applied Science, Pharmacy and the Post Graduate and Annex Campus, home for the Faculties of Agriculture, Business Administration, Law, Environmental Studies and General Studies. The Main Campus of the University houses the Faculties of Engineering and Sciences and it is situated along Nwaniba Road, Uyo and is about 4.5km from the city centre covering an area of about 1,443 hectares. Construction of phase one projects had begun at the site at the time of putting up this research work (culled from UNIUYO online Portal).
The students are drilled in their various courses of study, and as such depend on resources such as; books, farmlands, laboratory tools and equipments, electronic gadgets, etc, to facilitate learning activities they engage themselves in.
Students and youths are the core target of social media waves. Their use of the social media sites are proposed or perceived to vary according to their needs at a particular time of use.
A careful observation reveals a good number of UNIUYO students utilise social media on a regular basis. With an Internet enabling phone/gadget and availability of data bundles, the use of the social media can be assured.

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY UNIUYO STUDENTS

USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY UNIUYO STUDENTS