Publisher: Rivers State University of Science and Technology

Social Media, Instant Messengers and The Nigerian Student: Implications For Productive Tertiary Learning

Innocent Paschal Ihechu, Uzoma Chukwuemeka Okugo, Chima Onwukwe Dick
KEYWORDS: Social media, instant messengers, academic performance, social bonding, identity, tertiary students


The growth in the use of social media and instant messengers raise concern about the dwindling reading habits of studentsin Nigerian tertiary institutions. There are a lot of social networks and instant message channels available to the Nigerianusers. Studies have shown that there are more student users than any other user category. Again mobile telephony made itpossible for users to be involved in almost all the available networks. This in turn, gulps a good hunk of learning hours.However, these networks come with a variety of connectivity and communality benefits. But, do the social media andinstant messengers enhance or decrease student learning opportunities? To solve this problem, mixed methods researchtechnique (using survey, observation and focus group discussion) was adopted to study 392 students in the eight tertiaryinstitutions in Abia State; under the frameworks of innovation diffusion and symbolic interaction theories. It was foundthat students made heavy use of almost all the available social media and instant messengers while their academicperformance measured by their CPA was low. It was, therefore, concluded that heavy use of social networks and instantmessengers negatively affected the academic performance of students of tertiary institutions in Abia State. The study wasrecommended that efforts should be made to reduce students' use of the networks

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