Author: James Allen Otunomeruke1,
Co-Author: Juliana Sunday2,
The social media networks’ knowledge, attitude and practice and its effects on academic performance among secondary school students are inadequately assessed and factors that influence their social media networking are poorly understood. Data was collected in May 2016 from a cross-sectional survey among Government Secondary School, Lugbe, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), to examine the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of social media among secondary school students and to ascertain possible influence on academic performance. A stratified sampling technique was adopted in selecting AMAC and Government secondary school with a sample size of 200. The knowledge, attitude and practice variables were descriptively analyzed. Findings of the study showed that majority of students have adequate knowledge, positive attitude and regularly visit social media networking sites. Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, Youtube, Instagram, Blackberry messenger, twitter and 2go are among social media platform sites frequently visited. High knowledge (100%), positive attitude and frequent use of social media networking for interaction, entertainment, sports and education materials were observed. A slight above 3 in 5 students frequently visited social networking sites for chatting and making friends, while students (21%) visited social media sites as an aid to learning, peer interaction, online experience sharing and building reservoir of knowledge. Researchers found that 27.9% of the students are currently using Facebook, 21% uses whatsapp and Google each, YouTube users (12%), Blackberry messenger (9%), and others (9%). Findings revealed that students that judiciously use social media networks for learning purposes, academically perform better than their peers who just use it for chatting and entertainment. Students spent average of 2 hours on social networking sites daily. This attitude is not healthy for secondary school students because it impinges on valuable time of studies and home chores. There is need to sensitize students on dangers inherent in frequent browsing, inappropriate site visits; and benefits embedded in judicious use of social media as learning culture, positive interaction and building of knowledge reservoir.
Key words: Secondary School, Knowledge Attitude Practice, Social Media and Internet
Background of the Study
Social media network is one of the modern technology strategies that assists people to communicate irrespective of distance or location in the world. It has turn the world into a global village that makes things happen within shortest possible time. It has drawn attention of all and sundry, young adolescents, and adults to establish platforms of interaction, sharing of experiences with colleagues, friends, associates and business partners. Researches show that social media supports collaborative learning that is characterized by student interactions with peers and sharing lessons notes that leads to improved academic performance. Social networking provides students opportunity of expressing and building up the skills to communicate effectively without being timid. It is a source of creative learning in which individual student learn how to communicate with other peers thereby develops creative thinking and public speaking with boldness. It enhances student innovative way of thinking and self-development if well guided by parent at home and teachers while at the school environment. Stakeholders alike have role to play in providing guardians on how students are expected to use social media networks to enhance learning and improve academic performance. It is observed that benefits derive from networking sites act as drivers for the frequent use of social media. This magnetic forces make some of the students to open multiply social network accounts.
Social networking as it were exposes people to more effective and efficient way of doing things. It helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping abreast with world developments. Telemarketing is made possible due to social networking which promotes quick interaction and influences quick response from clients or potential customers. Frequent interaction in the social media have been proved to have positive influence on trip reduction and invariably reducing road mishaps while on business or personal trip. Trips that are not necessary are avoided and discussions take place on social media platform or telephone. Access, availability and affordability of Internet make interaction possible.
The researchers attempted to find out the drivers that are responsible for the pooling of teenagers, young adolescents and adults to Internet and social media networks. In efforts to providing answer, we looked at the various work of different authors.
Paul (2010) posits that internet is a massive “network of networks”, a networking infrastructure which connects millions of computers together globally, forming a network in which any computer can communicate with each other, provided they are both connected to internet. Furthermore, Paul re-iterated that existence of social media like Facebook, twitter, 2go, YouTube, MySpace, blackberry messenger, Instagram etc. help people to communicate easily, have access to postings and chatting. Hence, social media network is made possible by having access to uninterrupted power supply and availability of Internet which people can subscribe to with Internet providers.
Research findings have shown that teenagers use the Internet for most of their daily activities and information gathering, as opposed to older generations who used resources like the television or newspaper (Lewis, 2008). Kist (2008) findings on access to Internet revealed that about 90% of teens in the United States have access to Internet and 75% of these teenagers use the Internet more than once per day in social networking sites.
Knight and Smith (2006) stated that what makes the Internet a more powerful platform for social networking is the ability to build social networking tools upon it. The Internet provides a layer of communication capabilities that can be utilized by several different tools. Smith (2009) claimed that over the last few years the Web has fundamentally shifted towards user-driven technologies such as blogs, social networks and video-sharing platforms. Collectively these social technologies, now uniformly tagged as social media, have enabled a revolution in user-generated content and the publishing of consumer opinion.
Social media is called “social” because it enables communication, facilitate social interaction and make possible collaboration, allows the creation and exchange that generate content (Bryer and Zavatarro; 2011; Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010; King, 2012; O'Reilly, 2007).
The knowledge and practice of social networking sites visits among undergraduate students in Nigeria have been studied in local literatures but little is known about the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) among secondary school students and how it could affect their academic careers. Research has shown that majority of college students devoted more attention to social media than to their studies and this has led to low academic performance. Therefore, this research is aimed at deeper understanding and assessment of social media networks knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) and its associated effects among secondary school students The researchers believe that the study provides insight that could be used as tools by government, educationists and stakeholders to formulate social networking policies, early integration of computer-assisted learning at secondary school level and strategies that will re-direct students’ attention to judicious use of social media networking in learning and building a reservoir of knowledge which will positively enhance the academic performance among the teenagers in the secondary schools.
In the literature reviewed, it was observed that a lot of studies have been conducted to ascertain the influence of social media on users. Young (2006) posited that students depend more on the use of Internet for chatting with peers, friends and obtaining information that might not been related to academic. However, concluded that the use of Internet does not negatively impact on the academic performance. Yang (2003) in his submission said the effect of social media depends large on the degree of usage, while Yoon (2000) research findings show that the type of social media or network subscribed to by young adults have impact on them. Jeong (2005) study reveals that Internet addiction is associated with low academic performance of students since time for study is negatively affected. This assertion was supported by Seo (2004) study based on influence of addiction to social media use. Another study conducted by Pempek, Yermolayeva, and Calvert (2007) indicated that the amount of time spent by young adult on daily basis on social network sites varied from individual to individual. They found out that most of the participants spent an average of 30 minutes a day in socializing and this mostly occurred between 9.00 p.m. to 12.00 a.m. Hence, concluded that the impact of social media depends on the type and frequency of social media usage by the users.
In a different study, the effect of social media on undergraduate students was assessed and found out that teenagers can establish online forum or communities where plan are initiated, exchange of ideas and school materials can take place and thereby establishes personal connections with friends or like-minds. Hennig-Thurau et al (2004) posited that social media has enhanced students’ knowledge and understanding about a product (self-enhancement), and then share this information with friends.
The study among Thai young people found that a significant proportion reported having problems with their eyesight (78.3%), wasting money and time (70.8%), having no time for homework (62.4%), having insufficient rest (51.6%), and exhibiting more violent behaviours than previously (37.5%) (Nakornthap & Masateianwong, 2007). The researchers stressed that youth who become addicted to the new technologies and who lack parental guidance are at risk of crime and immorality propagated through the Internet and mobile telephones. They recommended that parents teach their children about using these technologies appropriately. It has been documented in the Thai secondary school study that Internet addiction has led to school problems, physical and mental health problems, and relationship problems were reported as being negative impacts of Internet use.
Another study outcome opined that social media have negative influence on the academic performance of the students as more time is spent on browsing. The findings revealed that young adults browsed to establish and to maintain relationships with existing acquaintances that were already part of their social network. Although, the researchers were of the view that there are some exemptions since most social network site users primarily interact on these sites to support pre-existing social relations, as opposed to meeting new people (Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, and Zickuhr, 2012).
Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels (2009) noted that the Internet is no doubt evolution of technology but specifically social networks are extremely unsafe for teenagers. Lenhart and Madden (2007) revealed through a survey that undergraduate students strongly recommend social networking websites to stay in touch with friends to keep informed.
Eldon (2011) findings show that 51.2% of users were males and 48.8% were females Respondents’ age revealed that 20.6% of social media visits were between the ages of 13 and 17; 25.8% were aged 18-25, 26-34 (26.1%) and 27.5% were over 35 years.
The study implored combination of diffusion, uses and gratification theories to examine the knowledge, attitude and practice of social media networking among secondary school students in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). Diffusion theory explains how over time an idea, or product gains momentum, and diffuses (spread) through a specific population or social system. It is based on the adoption of idea, behavior or new product or innovative conceived by people. Diffusion is the process of spreading a given idea or practice over time, via specifiable channels, through a social structure such as Neighborhoods; Katz et al, (1963). Katz et al work on the diffusion of innovations record that for a new idea or innovation to diffuse, there must be awareness stage, interest stage, evaluation stage, trial and adoption. Different types of innovations require different kinds of adoption units; Bittner (1984) recognizes that the media can lead someone into getting aware of the existence of an item. In other hand, uses and gratification theory was used to check how the students use social networking sites to fulfill specific gratification as this theory assumes that members of the audience are not passive but take an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives; hence, responsible for choosing media to meet their needs. This theory implies that the media compete against other information sources for viewers' gratification. (Katz et al., 1974).
A cross-sectional survey was conducted on May 2016 among Government Secondary School Students, Abuja Municipality Area Council (AMAC), Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria. Stratified sampling technique was used to select one Council out of six Area Councils in Abuja; and within the selected Area Council, Government Secondary School, Lugbe was randomly chosen. The arms of the classes serve as strata (Junior Secondary School (JSS) 1, 2 and 3, and the Senior Class was grouped into Senior Secondary School (SSS) 1, 2 and 3) from which a simple random sampling method was applied to select the sampled population. In each arm of the school, a representative sample size was chosen. A structured questionnaire was used to collect information about the knowledge of social media, attitude toward it, use and perceived effect on the students. The questionnaire language was simple and sequential for easy comprehension by all the students irrespective of their class and age. It contained closed-ended questions for easy analysis and few open-ended questions, which allow the students to express themselves on the perceived effects on the academic performance. Descriptive statistics and SPSS version 20.0 were used for analysis of the data.
Limitation of Study
Financial and time constraint led to the selection of a Government secondary school in Abuja for the study. The coverage of secondary schools would have been more than one Government secondary school but researchers were handicapped by fund. Nevertheless, the study provides insights to social media knowledge, attitude and use among secondary school students who are majorly teenagers and implications for learning management.
Descriptive analysis was conducted to ascertain the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of the use of social media among Government secondary school students. The six arms of the secondary school revealed that SSS 3 had 22.5% of the sampled population, SSS 2 (21%), SSS 1 (19%), JSS 3 (15%), JSS 2 (12.5%) and JSS 1 (10%). The response rate was 100 percent attributable to active involvement of the principal and teachers of the school. The gender distribution shows that females interviewed were 51% and male counterparts were 49%. Majority of the students (55.5%) are within ages 15 – 18 years, aged 11 -14 (37%) and less than I in 10 (7.5%) are 18 years and above. This age distribution represents normal distribution of students in secondary school.
Knowledge of Social Media Networking
All the Government Secondary School Students in AMAC, Lugbe, Abuja have knowledge of social media networking sites and they could mention at least three social networking platforms. Knowledge of the social networking sites revealed that: Facebook (24.4%), WhatsApp (21.3%), Google (20.2%), YouTube (15%), Blackberry Messenger (10%) and others (9.1%).
Figure 4: Percentage distribution of knowledge of social media network sites among respondents
Source: Field survey 2016
Ownership of Systems and Mobile Phones
The analysis of ownership of systems and mobile phones revealed that only few students own computer and majority own mobile phones due to affordability and easy to use. Nearly nine-tenth (87.5%) of the respondents own phones, 2.5% own personal computers and 10% neither own computer nor phone but have access to any of the systems whenever they want to browse.
Social Networking Sites Account
About 28% of the students have account with Facebook, WhatsApp (21%), Google (21%), YouTube (12%), Blackberry messenger (9%) and others social media networking sites accounts (9%). However, findings of the study revealed that majority of the students have more than one social network platform accounts while few have a single social network account.
Attitude and Use of Social Networking Sites
Among the secondary school students, about 34.9% have technical know-how to use Facebook, whatsapp (23.1%), Google recoded 18.8%, YouTube users (12.0%), Blackberry messenger (8%) and others (3.2%). The same proportion claimed to have used them according the attitude classification.
Preferred Social Network Sites
Whatsapp with records of (35%) is the most preferred social media network among the Government secondary school students, closely followed by Facebook (32%), YouTube (12%) as third preferred social networking site, blackberry (11%), twitter (4%) and others social media sites recorded 6%. Many students in secondary school do not twit, hence, less preferred.
Reasons for Preference of Social Network Sites
Responses from the students’ show that Whatsapp is preferred because with little data, you can access your account unhindered; peer interaction and communication takes place anytime of the day. Speed and affordability also contribute to whatsapp preference. Facebook is preferred by some students due to easy access to log in to their account without ownership of phone, no barrier to communication, multiple pages for navigation and sharing information which could be done at cyber café. As for YouTube, the students said it enables them to watch video and learn a lot of things visually especially educational materials.
Place of Browsing
Among places of browsing mentioned by secondary school students were home, school, cyber café, public place, social gathering, church and mosque. Majority (32%) of students browsed at home, Cyber Café (27.5%), School Hours (25.5%), and those that browse anywhere recorded 15%.
Frequency and Hours of Browsing
Almost 60% of students visit social media networking sites very often, occasional visits recorded 33% and very rare had 7.5%. Findings also revealed that majority (43%) of Government Secondary School students spent up to 3 hours every day in browsing, 33% spent average of 2 hours, 15% of the students spent an hour and only 9% spent less than an hour on browsing daily.
Purposes and Effect of Browsing
When the students were asked the purpose of browsing, the responses cut-across chatting with friends, information sharing, download of educational materials; current affairs, sports, news and entertainment. In terms of perceived effects, the students claimed that there are both positive and negative effects as result of browsing. Some students said browsing enable them to be in-touch with old friends, make new friends and abreast themselves with happenings in the world; others asserted that download of educational materials, sharing of experiences and useful materials that enhance their academic pursue are the positive impact of regularly browsing. However, almost 7 in 10 (65.5%) of the students believe regular browsing will have negative effects on study time and less home chores.
Over one-third (35%) of the students made use of social media for chatting with old friend and establishing relationship with new friends. About 25% used it for entertainment, sports (23.5%), educational materials recorded 11.5% and obtained news through social media sites recorded 5%.
Social Networking and Academic Performance
Nine out of ten (86.5%) students believe that social media has affected their academic performance, and 13.5% are neutral about the effects of social networking on them.
Perceived Effect of Social Media on Academic Performance
In terms of social media influence on Government students’ academic performance, 21% said the use of it has positively impacted their academic performance, 65.5% claimed it has negative effects on their academic performance due to unknowing addiction, while 13.5% of the students could not ascertain the influence of social media on their academic performance.
Figure 8: Percentage distribution of perceived effect of regular browsing among students
Source: Field survey 2016
Discussions of Results
The research examined the social media networking knowledge, attitude and use among Government secondary school students and the likely effects on academic performance.
The gender distribution of the study was almost in ratio 1:1 in favour of female students with 51% and male counterparts (49%). Majority (55.5%) of interviewed students were aged 15-18 years, while over one-third (37%) was aged 11-14. The age distribution represents a normal distribution curve of the population that ought to be in secondary school. This finding was a little bit different from Pempek, Yermolayeva and Calvert (2009) studies that revealed that about 57% of social network users were 18-29 years old; but concur with the findings that many students have personal profile on multiple social media websites. Although, their targeted audience was undergraduate college students while this study centered on secondary school students.
Among the students, over fourth-fifth (87.5%) of the students claimed to own phones; 2.5% own computer system while 10% neither own a phone nor a computer. Nevertheless, all the students have access to Internet anytime they deem it fit to chat.
In terms of knowledge level, Facebook (24.4%), What App (21.3%), Google (20.2%), YouTube (15%), Blackberry messenger (10%), and others (9.1%).
Most of the students have account with two or more social network sites. Over two-fifths (45%) of the students have Whatsapp’s account (42.5%), Facebook (42.5%), Google (38%), Blackberry Messenger (35%), about Twitter (8%) and 2go (8%). Yoon (2000) found in his research that the type of social network subscribed to by young adults have impact on them. He further reiterated that if a student should have accounts with two or more social media networking sites, it will be very difficult for such students to devote adequate time for their studies. The researchers opined that due to multiple social media networking accounts, majority of the sampled students believed that there are negative effects of regular browsing on their academic performance. Although, many of the students unaware of the inherent dangers of having multiple accounts and frequent visits to the network sites. The addiction of regular browsing has eaten deep among the secondary school students except the government, Ministry of Education, parents and other stakeholders join hands together to checkmate excessive browsing among the secondary school students’ majority of whom are teenagers; otherwise, the virtue of hard work will soon be eroded and replace with mediocrity.
WhatsApp is the most preferred (35%) social media network among the Government secondary school students AMAC, followed by Facebook (32%), YouTube (12%), Blackberry messenger (11%), twitter (4%) and other social media sites (6%). Findings show that most of the Government secondary students in AMAC do not twit. Reasons for preference for WhatsApp was due to affordability and fast-track of information and responses; Facebook is preferred due to quick access of meeting new people and having multiple pages for navigation, and the use of Blackberry messenger was attributed to its reliability, speed and affordability.
The place of browsing as well as time spent on social networking have influence on the students. The researchers noted that majority (32%) of students browse at home, Cyber Café (27.5%), School Hours (25.5%), and those that browse anywhere (churches, mosques and others) recorded 15%.
Almost 60% of students visit social media networking sites very often, occasional visits recorded 33% and very rare had 7.5%. This means that those that are addicted to regular browsing (47%) spend average of 3 hours every day in browsing, moderate browsers (33%) spent average of 2 hours, 15% of the students spent an hour and only 9% spent less than an hour on browsing daily. This tides is disheartening because the students’ valuable time is being spent on frivolous things call social media networking. If this tide is not checkmate, the products of future tomorrow will be destroyed. Government and all stakeholders should come up with policies that will judiciously engage the young adolescent youths (teenagers) on more productive ventures. This research findings concur with the outcome of Pempek, Yermolayeva, and Calvert (2003) findings that posited that the amount of time spent by young adult on daily basis on social network sites varied from individual to individual.
The implication to learning culture is that students who frequently visit social networking sites have little or no time to study and/or do home chores. This is a bad habit that should not be allowed among adolescents, hence, calls for urgent attention of stakeholders (parents, teachers and government) to come up with strategies that could stern this habit and re-direct the energy of the students on judicious use of their time both at school hours and at home. Relating the findings from different researches and this current one, it is obvious that regular use of social media has negative influence on the academic performance of students. Students who spend more time on social media are likely to perform poorly in their academics not because they are not brilliant but because of inadequate time left for serious academic work.
When the respondents were asked, whom do they chat with in social networking, over one-third (35%) of the students mentioned old friends and scouting for new relationship or friends. One-quarter (25%) mentioned entertainment, sports (23.5%), educational materials recorded 11.5% and to obtain news (5%). This is in line with the research findings conducted by Young (2006) which stated that students depend more on the use of Internet for chatting with peers, friends and obtain information that might not be related to academic. It also conforms with the study conducted by Hyllegard, Ogle, Yan, and Reitz (2011) on social media motivation, which concluded that the use of social media was to establish personal connections with friends or people of like-minds, hence, use the site to promote their ideas, create affiliations with brands that define who they are.
Effects of Social Networking on Users
The use of social network has great benefits if the user knows what he or she wants from it. It has been observed that some users of websites are there to interact; some are there to update themselves about most recent news in the world, some for entertainment, few to obtain study materials for their academic work, while some for dating. It could be said that the effects of social media on individuals is dependent on the type of sites visited, motives behind the visit and frequency of use. The use of social media networking sites is a double edge-sword. If the students use social networking sites wisely and positively, they will be sound academically because they will have adequate reference materials for their studies. However, if the motive of networking is solely for chatting and dating, there is bound to be negative effect on academic performance of such students. To discourage the secondary school students not to visit social network sites will be an uphill task, however, they can be encouraged to use the appropriate sites to connect their peers, school mates and teachers to discuss academic related issues. Teachers can give the students take-home assignments that are computer-based. This will enable the students to frequently use the social media for academic purposes most of the time and less time for chatting or visit inappropriate sites. Students should be educated on the inherent dangers in the frequent use of social media for chatting, making new friends, dating and benefits derived from visiting appropriate websites.
When the respondents were asked about influence of frequent browsing on academic performance, 21% claimed that its use has impacted positively on their academic performance. This relatively supports the findings of Young (2002) that said the use of Internet had no negative impact on the academic perform of students and partly concur with Yang who observed that the effect of social media depends largely on the degree of usage Yang (2003).
When the respondents were asked whether the use of social media networking sites can affect student academic performance and in what way has it affected them. Almost three-quarter (71.5%) of students reported that frequent use of social media networking sites for chatting and dating had negatively affected their academic performance, and 28.5% of respondents did not think positive usage of social media can negatively affect someone’s academic performance. About 64.8% claimed that the use of social media has aided in making new friends, have regular touch with old friends in other states, obtain information about football and felt that all these have negatively impacted on the time of their studies. One-fifths (25.3%) said the social media usage had enabled them obtained educational materials for their academic, which they could not afford. And having access to these materials have aided their understanding of the subjects being taught in the school, while 10% said regular browsing helps them to effectively communicate, less home chores, less time for their studies and waste of useful time.
The effect of social network on academic performance can be argued in both ways, that is, either positive effect that enhances student’s performance if the essence of browsing is to obtain more academic materials for their studies. However, if the students are mainly using the social network for chatting, dating and making new friends without priority given to their academics, it is obvious that the usage of social network will negatively impact on such students’ academic performance and it will lead to poor academic performance. In support of the findings of the study, reference can be made to the submission of Jeong (2005), which said Internet addiction is associated with low academic performance of students due to reduction of study time. Seo (2004) study outcomes concur with the results of negative influence on those that are addicted to regular use social network. The secondary school students (adolescents) if not well guided, they will become vulnerable to peer influence without realizing the ripple effect of frequent visits to networking sites. Hence, all stakeholders should join hands together to monitor, provide guidance and support sensitization campaign on danger and benefits of social media use by young adolescents. This type of sensitization should also be extended to the adults since other empirical studies on Internet addiction suggest that the use of social media affects a person’s life, including academic and workplace performance, relationships, and physical and mental health (Goldberg, 1996; Young, 1996, 1998). It was also documented in the Thai secondary school study that Internet addiction has led to a lot of young people having school challenges, physical and mental health problems, and relationship problems that have negative impacts among regular Internet users for chatting.
Perceived Positive Impact of Social Media
Despite some inherent negative impact of browsing by teenagers, it has also been observed that the social networking sites have greatly benefitted some group of students in this study. For example, teenagers have established online forum where exchange of ideas takes place. Bryant, Sander-Jackson and Smallwood (2012) also claimed that teenagers can form online communities where project plan can be initiated, experience sharing and exchange school materials. Browsing enables young adults to join social networking websites for communication within their social system, hence, leads to skills acquisition in both oral and written communication.
The results of this study suggest that students that use social media for academic purpose have likelihood of performing better academically than those whose motives of browsing is meant for chatting and entertainment. The age distribution represents a normal distribution curve. Majority of sampled students belonged to age cohort of 15-18 years (55.5%) and aged 11-14 with 37%. The study findings revealed that over three-quarter (87.5%) own phones for browsing, computer system (2.5%) and 10% do not own either computer or phone. With the higher number of ownership of mobile phone that gives room for easy access to Internet, it will be very difficult to stop the students from browsing. However, the knowledge of how to use computer in networking can be channeled to use of computer-assisted education, hence, integration of computer education into secondary school curriculum both in public especially and some private secondary schools without computer education will be of immerse value to the educational system. Most of the students of Government secondary school Lugbe have accounts in various social media sites/network (Facebook, Whatsapp, Google, 2go etc.) which propel them to always be on Internet anytime of the day. Some of the reasons given by the students for multiple social media accounts were basically centered on benefits derived from the sites. Some of the benefits mentioned include easy access, reliability, low tariff, availability of information required and user friendly. Researchers observed also that some students do not perceived frequent browsing as dangerous habits, hence, stand chances of becoming addicted one day which could be soon or later. Secondary school students are still within developmental stage of adolescents which always strive to try everything that comes their way; social media networking inclusive. Hence, they need regular guidance and monitoring so that the tomorrow future will not be destroyed.
We believe these findings provide useful information for stakeholders seeking ways to improve or re-direct students on how to utilize the modern technology of internet and social media for educational learning advancement. Therefore, government at all level, parents, teachers and other stakeholders should make use of these great insights of knowledge, attitude and use of social media networking to come up with policies and interventions which could stern indiscriminate use of the social networking among secondary school students. Some of the intervention could be education or sensitization on appropriate use of modern technology among secondary school students. All stakeholders should stress the benefits of having solid educational foundation without allowing social media networking to derail or deprive them of economic empowerment of the future. Having examine the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of social media networking among secondary school students, the researchers tend to raise the question “Do secondary school students know the dangers and benefits embedded in frequent browsing or it happen due to peer influence? Or “Do stakeholders who are saddled with responsibility of developing the young minds, are they living up to expectation? Or do they think leaving these students to peer influence will help to build tomorrow future of a nation without appropriate guidance on emphasis on academic performance? Answers to these questions cannot be provided from this present study, but it may trigger off another research for future on social networking among young adolescents and stakeholders.
Without gain saying, the uses of social media have effects on the academic performance of the Government Secondary School students in AMAC, Abuja. Negative impacts of regular browsing outweighed the positive effect of social media on the students. Aggressive campaign by all stakeholders on inherent dangers on frequent visits to social networking sites can leads to change of attitude of students and concentrate on their studies.
The use of social media is a veritable means for students to interact and socialize as well as to sought for educational materials to aid their studies. It provides students opportunity of expressing and to build up the skills for effective communication. It is a source of creative learning in which individual student learn how to communicate with other peers thereby develop creative thinking and public speaking with boldness. Through social media networking students learn how to be innovative in thinking and doing things which enhances their self-esteem. However, how many of the secondary school students are using the social networks in a way that will be beneficial and improve the academic performance? Teachers have role to play in providing guardians on how students are expected to use social media networks to enhance learning and improve academic performance which turn them to better future leaders. By so doing, students will be encouraged to combine classroom learning and learning through social networking outside the classroom which will eventually enhance their time management skills in term school assignments, home chores and time to play. The researchers believe that majority of students are not using social networking positively to enhance their learning instead they use it for chats and entertainment. All stakeholders must come up with interventions that will curtail or reduce to the barest minimum the use of social media networking in negative ways among students in secondary school. This will pave way for judicious use of their time as well as give helping hands to the parents at home. Stakeholders should strive to toll the positive path of technological advancement (social media networks) which will help the leaders of tomorrow.
Professionals have said that technological advancement has both positive and negative side, but it depends on individual to choose how well to use the technology to uplift his or her course of life endeavor. Students can be sensitized on how to use this technology to enhance their academic performance by always visiting only educational sites that are relevant to the course of studies. It is obvious that Internet has come to stay so also are the various social media network sites which keep springing up daily with new features to attract the young ones into associating with friends and family members with ease. It is the duty of adults to ensure they join hands with government to educate and correct the wrongs whenever students are found browsing indiscriminately. The norms of being your neighbor’s keeper can put a check on the children and prevent them from visiting any site of their choice, which may be dangerous to their psyche and could indulge them in unwholesome practices.
The researchers have ascertained that students spent more time on social media networking sites, hence, it draws the children’ attention from reading to chatting and watching of films on Internet to the detriment of their future careers.
There is need for students to create a balance between social networks and their academics to prevent setbacks. All stakeholders such as parents, teacher, educationist, government, non-governmental organizations should come to round table to fashion out what best strategy and policy to be formulated to checkmate excessive access to internet by teenagers and young adolescents. There should be a change of attitude on the part of the students to consider social networking as secondary and concentrate on their studies that will make them better persons tomorrow. Since, students cannot be totally stopped from browsing, they should be educated on the appropriate time for socialization, studies and doing home chores. They should be encouraged to spend more time on their studies, assist with home chores whenever they are back from school and less than an hour on appropriate social media networking sites.
Teachers while in the school should be vigilant to checkmate students that have made it a habit to browse during school hours; educate them on inherent dangers on regular visits to networking sites and refer them specified sites where they can seek for education materials. Internet-based assignments should be given to students on regular basis to help them reduce the time they may spend on frivolity.
Parents should always monitor and checkmate their children on types of social media networking sites they visit. This will curtail the regular use of social media through a workable time-table set up by parent for reading and doing assignment at home.
The government, non-governmental organizations, and media houses should come up with public campaign on advantages and disadvantages of social media networking among the secondary school students. This will checkmate the low academic performance in the school and thereby raise the standard of education in the country. Students need to develop skills to share knowledge and to learn with others, both in face-to-face situations and through social media. But the question is, how many secondary students are using networking in learning? Students should imbibe the spirit of using social media to build learning communities by working collaboratively to construct knowledge, communication and build reservoir of knowledge which will make them sound scholars in near future.
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