Presented To

Department of Mass Communication


The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of social media on the student's academic performance [A study of students of University of Abuja]. To achieve this, the survey research method was used. Subjects were drawn from the University of Abuja, using the simple random sampling technique and purposive sampling. Four research questions guided the study. Research findings showed that a great number of students in University of Abuja, had access to the internet. To this end, the researcher recommended that sites should be created for educational purposes as well. This is to create a balance between social networking and academic activities of students to avoid setbacks in the academic performance of the students.

Table of Contents

Title Page II

Declaration III

Certification Page IV

Dedication V

Acknowledgement VI

Table of Content VII

List of Table IX



11 Background of the Study 1

12 Statement of the Problem 5

13 Objectives of the Study 5

14 Research Question 6

15 Scope of the Study 6

16 Significance of the Study 6

17 Operational Definition of Significant Terms 6


21 Introduction 7

22 Review of Concepts 7

221 The Concept of Mass Media 7

222The Concept of Internet 12

223 The Concept of Social Media 15

224 The Concept of Social Networking Site or Services 17

23 Review of Related Studies 22

24 Theoretical Framework 24

25 Summary 27


31 Introduction 28

32 Research Design 28

33 Population of the Study 28

34 Sampling Technique/ Sampling 29

35 Description of the Research Instrument 29

36 Validity of Data Gathering Instrument 30

37 Method of Data Collection 30

38 Method of Data Analysis 31


41 Introduction 32

42 Data Presentation and Analysis 32

43 Discussion of Findings 33


51 Introduction 47

52 Summary of Findings 47

53 Conclusion 47

54 Recommendations 48

55 Suggestion for Further Studies 48

Reference 49

Appendix A 53

Appendix B 54

List of Tables

Demographic Data Tables

Table 1; Demographic Data on Sex 32

Table 2; Age Distribution 33

Table 3; Department 33

Table 4; Level 34

Table 5; Type of student 34

Table 6; Access to computer, BB chat and Nokia phone 35

Table7; Access to the internet 35

Table 8; Aware of social networking site 36

Table 9; What are the social networking sites you know 36

Table10; Which do you have access to 37

Table 11; Which do you prefer 37

Table 12; Why do you prefer it 38

Table 13; If not, why 38

Table 14; Where do you browse 39

Table 15; How often do the student of university of Abuja go online 40

Table 16; How many hours do you spend online 40

Table 16; What do you browse for 41

Table 18; What satisfaction do you get from surfing the net 42

Table 19; Can social media influence the academic performance of students 42

Table 20; How does social media influence your academic performance 43


Background of the Study

Modern Technology in communication no doubt has turned the entire world into a "Global Village" But as it is, technology like two sides of a coin, bring with it both the negative and positive sides It helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping abreast with world developments Technology exposes mankind to a better way of doing things The world's first commercial space communication company created by the United State Congress in 1962 was the communication satellite corporation (COMSAT) In 1964, the United State Government and eleven (11) foreign Nations signed a space communication pact The partnership was  known as "International Telecommunication Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) The internet known as the worlds "Information Super Highway" is a worldwide assemblage of Inter- Connected Computer Networks (Andrew, 2005)

In the view of Paul (2010, p301), 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 as long as they are both connected to internet The network consist of local area network (LAN), connecting computers in the same building while wide area network (WANs) connecting several LANs in different locations It connects both private, commercial, Government and Academic network including a grown number of home computer (Retrieved November 3rd 2012) www webopediacom/Did you know/internet/2002/web-vs-internet-asp)

According to Andrew (2005, p284), "Information travels over the internet through a variety of language known as "Protocols" The term "internet" is actually a short form for "internet networks", which implies that internet is a network of computer networks Computer accepts data, process it, stores it and give it out when required It became possiblefor people to chat from 'terminals' which led to networking A line is the part along which resources flow, while a

Node is the point where lines intersect transferring resources to new lines(Retrieved November 7th 2012) wwwglreachcom/globalstates

History of the Internet There are conflicting versions about the origin of the internet but the common story is that the internet is a product of a cold war (Hafner and Lyon, 1996, p116) Its origin is traced back to 1957, when the Soviet Union launched 'Sputnik 1 into space, as a reaction to this, in 1958, the United State founded the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA), a special agency under the department of defense whose mission was to develop a long term highly innovative and hazard research projects (Cartoni and Tarding, 2006, p26)

In 1962, the air force wanting to maintain the military's ability to transfer information around the country even if a given area was destroyed in an enemy's attack, commissioned leading computer scientist to do so ARPANET, the first prototype of the internet, was developed by the ARPA department and saw the light in 1969 when four (4) of United States Universities (University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Barbara, Stanford Research Institute Polo Atto, and University of Utah) were connected by network of computers (Lorenzo and Stefano,2010)

Leonard Klein rock of UCLA successfully developed the first computer network through "packet switching" to the concept of "distributed network", two fundamental concurrent inventions in the field of computer science, packet switching is a process that allows division of messages into packets and sending them to their destination following different routes, once they arrive at their destination, they are all recomposed into the original message Paul in 1960 developed 
the concept of distributed network funded by United States Air force at the research and development corporation (RAND) which is aimed at developing a telecommunication network which can stand a nuclear war (Paul, 1964, p220-223)

The growth of ARPANET accelerated in the second half of the 1980s, through computer protocol (Tcp/lp) Transmission control protocol/Internet protocol which was adopted by ARPANET (Vinton, 1969 UCLA) in 1983 and is still the core of internet 'The transition of Tcp/lp was perhaps the most important event that will take place in the invention of the internet 

After the installation of Tcp, the network could branch everyone' (Hafner and Lyon, 1998, p249)In the same year, after the end of ARPANETs experimental phase, the network was split into two; A civilian network for the computer research community (ARPA internet) and military network (MILNET) In 1980, ARPANET was replaced by NSFANET created by National Science Foundation and in 1990, ARPANET was officially decommissioned and the commercial use of the internet was allowed in 1991, (Berners-Lee, 2000, p223)

In 1995, the internet was just one networking system among many others such as Usenet, Fido net, Mintel, AT$T, but with advent of the web, the internet became by far the most important networking system That led to what is now known as internet, a global network of interconnected computers that communicate freely, share and exchange information (Paul, 2010) The younger a person, the greater the likelihood he or she has access to the internet 
(Kim, 2004)

Social Network

Early 1990s, chat rooms and bulletin boards were forms of Social Networking in a way, they help people to connect with others and share interest A little cater; dating sites hooked those looking for partners and class mates Communication allows people to connect with people they had known in high school and colleges and enable them to meet others

In the early 20s, a site called Friendster was set up where people invited their friends and their 
friends also invited others The site was popular for a while, but suffered from technical 
difficulties and fake profiles and began to lose members In 1999, MySpace took over but 
became popular in 2003 Its roots are a bit muddy because it received financial and logistical 
support from another company called the E-Universe and most of the early users were 
employers of e-universe but Tom Anderson and Chris DE Wolfe are given credit for much of the 
innovation and success of the site, which built up to one hundred and fifteen million users 
worldwide Members post BIOS, photos, blogs, video and other things that strike their fancy 
(Retrieved November 7th2012 )wwwmudconnectcom 

Some Television Programmers' had started producing programmers' to air on MySpace in 2005; 
Rupert Murdoclis News Corporation (parent of fox broadcasting) bought MySpace for five 
hundred and eighty million dollars ($580) A competitor to MySpace is face book which started 
in about 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg while he was a student at Harvard and grew rapidly in 2007 
At first, face book was solely for college and high school students but Mark opened it to 
everyone and like MySpace, it encourages all types of member postings There are also smaller 
social networks like 2go, YouTube, and blackberry chat for people to have access to (Retrieved 
November 7th2012) wwwgooglecom

2go Logo

2go is a Social Networking Site, chat, and instant messaging (IM) application It enables users to chat on their mobile phones free You can meet users and 2go users as friends Chat rooms on different topics are opened where you can join in the discussion and socialize with others and also, 2go have gateways that enable users chat with friends on Gtalk, Mxit, and face book 
(Retrieved November 9th2012) www Googlecomwikkipedia (Research work)

One of the greatest points of 2go chat is its simplicity and light weight, making it available to 
lots of low-end phones 2go runs on any java enabled phone, Nokia, LG, Samsung, and Sony 
Ericson Blackberry users can use 2go on their Pc as part of an experimental service by the 
company and with it, they can chat anywhere and anytime of the day as they so please 
(Retrieved November 9th 2012 )wwwgooglecom

Blackberry Messenger

Blackberry is propriety internet-based instant messenger application included on blackberry

devices that allows messaging between blackberry users It was developed by the manufacturer 
of the blackberry research in motion (RIM); messages sent via blackberry messenger are sent 
over the internet and use the blackberry pin system, so communication is only possible 
between blackberry devices (Retrieved November 10th 2012) wwwmitedu 

Pinging allows you to connect to friends using a ping ID, something akin to blackberry pin but 
easier to remember because you can pick it yourself Once you've shared your pin or found 
friends via email or twitter, you can send text, messages, photos, videos and voice memos 
Pretty much anything you might want to send to a friend can be sent using pin Messages are in 
real time over the data network and pushed to the recipient Once a message is sent, a little S 
or D and a tick with an R indicating the message has been sent and read Ping chat also packs 
group messaging and social profiles, which allows you to display a photo, status and some 
information about yourself to confirm contacts and through these, one is connected to the 
whole world

Brief History of University of Abuja

The University of Abuja is situated in the Federal Capital of Nigeria, Abuja It was established on January 1st1988(under decree no 110 of 1992 as amended) as a dual-mode University with the mandate to run conventional and distance learning program

The University runs regular degree, diploma and post-graduate program Due to its location, it 
covers distance learning and a consultancy service sub-degree program and an institution to 
cater for professional needs of teachers and government educational system It is temporary 
located in Gwagwalada Abuja, with its permanent site covering about 11,824 hectares under 
construction along the Kaduna-Lokoja road Its activities started in the mini-campus in 1990 
(Retrieved December 2nd 2012) wwwwebpodcom

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 There is a deviation, 
distraction and divided attention between social networking activities and their academic work 
It is observed that students devote more attention to social media than they do to their studies

Therefore, the question this study is out to answer is: how do social media affect the academic performance of students of the University of Abuja? 

Objectives of the Study

The study has the following objective They are:

1) To find out the various social networking sites the students had access to

2) To find out how often the students of University of Abuja go online

3) To determine how many hours the students spend in social networking activities daily

4) To ascertain how the use of social media has affected the academic performance of the 

Research Questions

1 What social networking sites do the students of University of Abuja had access to?

2 How often do the students of University of Abuja 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 
University of Abuja?

Scope of the Study

The essence of this research work is to primarily study the Influence of social media on the

academic performance of students The research intends to focus on students of the University of Abuja for easy analysis of data This will reduce cost and avoid complexity that may arise as a result of having a very large population But since in most cases the characteristics of students 
are generally similar, the research findings would be generalized to include all students of 
Nigeria Universities

Significance/ Justification of the Study

The study will help researchers with more information on the Influence of social media on the student's academic performance It will be relevant in assisting students in understanding the diversity of social media It will provide relevance material for students and other researchers undertaking similar research

Definition of Key Terms

The following are key terms used in the Research Work:

1 Social Media- They are forms of electronic communication which facilitate

interactive 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, p10)

5 Academic - It is concerned with Studying from books as opposed by a practical


6 Students - Someone who is Studying at a University or School Someone who is very

interested in a particular subject

7 Computer - A computer is a machine that receives or stores or process data quickly

according to a stored program

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