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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

Social media makes the world a smaller place, now we have more information, more knowledge, and have better opportunities to use it. Social media improved our ability to absorb information, what would have seemed to be over whelming to someone 20 years ago is normal to us.

According to Kuppuswamy and Shankar (2010), a social medium grab attention of the children and then diverts it towards non-educational and inappropriate actions including useless chatting. Whereas on the other hand, Massey & Sakar. (2007) reviewed that the children are socially connected with each other for sharing their daily learning experiences and do conversation on several topics. Tinto (1997) argued that extracurricular activities and academic activities are not enough to satisfy some children those who are suffered by social networking isolation. This shows that social networks are beneficial for the children as it contributes in their learning experiences as well as in their academic life. Trusov, Bucklin, & Pauwels (2009) noted that the Internet is no doubt evolution of technology but specifically social media are extremely unsafe for children, social networks become hugely common and well-known in past few years. According to Cain (2009) social media  provide ease of connecting people to one another; free of cost and after connecting one can post news, informative material and other things including videos and pictures etc. Wiley and Sisson (2006) argued that the previous studies have found that more than 90% of school children use social networks. In the same way Ellison et al (2007) stated that the children use social networking websites approximately 30 minutes throughout the day as a part of their daily routine life. This statement shows the importance of social networking websites in children’s life.

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Lenhart and Madden (2007) revealed through a survey that children strongly recommend social networking websites to stay in touch with friends to keep informed and aware. Social information processing theory is an interpersonal communication theory which suggests that online interpersonal relationship development might require more time to develop than face-to-face relationships, but when developed, it has the same influence as face-to-face communication. This means, the more children use social media, the more they influence their disposition to studies, given the fact that friends from social media will begin to exert influence on each other.

Hence, with the view of Ito et al. (2009), children use these technologies for a number of positive activities, which include delving deeper into interest-driven communities and participating in various activities. Ahn (2011) adds that “Social media provide a platform for the youths (children) to participate in communities that help them to learn, and practice skills within a particular knowledge area”. Similarly, a study by Fishman et al (2005), also indicated that children produce tremendous volume of writing through various social media tools such as blogs, emails and other social media environments.

Conversely, Banquil et al. (2009), found a continuing drop of grades among children who use social media. This was supported by Kirschner and Karpinski (2010), who found a significant negative relationship between Facebook use and academic performance. They concluded that children who use Facebook spend fewer hours per week studying on an average than Facebook non users and this resulted in lower mean grade point averages (GPAs). Junco (2012), examined the relationship among numerous measures of frequency of Facebook use with time spent preparing for class and overall GPAs. Hierarchical linear regression analysis from the study by Junco (2012), indicates that time spent on Facebook was strongly and significantly negatively correlated with overall GPA. Educational performance of children of Uyo Local Government Area has gone through a number of changes, previously from secondary school to higher level.

However, the question remains that whether Facebook has any impact on children’s educational performance. There are handfuls of studies showing negative relationship between Facebook and its impact on educational performance including one which suggests how children with lower attention span focused more on Facebook and children with higher attention span spent less time on Facebook. Paul, Baker and Cochran, (2012). Social media factors such as the duration of education, quality of teaching, teaching methods etc. were seen as factors that might be affecting performance of children of Uyo local government area positive as well as negatively in their daily life.

1.2       Statement of the Study

The world today is a global market in which the internet is the most important sort of information. Since the advent of social media sites in the 1990s, it is assumed in some quarters that the academic performance of children is facing a lot of neglect and challenges.

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