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SOCIAL MEDIA AS TOOL FOR SHARING SELFIES AMONG UNDERGRADUATES

| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|

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ABSTRACT 

The research investigated the increasing use of social media as tool for sharing selfies among undergraduates in Nigeria. Social media platforms continue to serve as avenues for engagement, dialogue, and photo sharing, made possible by the advent of smartphones with “selfie” features. Without a doubt, smartphones helped students share selfies on social media. The theory of technological determinism served as the study’s foundation. A survey research method was adopted in which 200 copies of questionnaires were administered and 192 were retrieved and analysed using frequency and percentage. Findings show that 100% of the respondents use social media with many of them having at least 3 to 5 years of experience. Also, the most visited social media platforms include Facebook.com and Instagram.com with their engagement dwelling on information getting, chatting and making friends. Also, the majority of the respondents (95.8%) share lots of photos on social media to a high extent, especially on Instagram (57.3%) followed by Facebook 34.9%. Nonetheless, the images included group, individual, and special occasion shots. Users of social media are advised to use caution while sharing photographs online as this pertains to their privacy. Additionally, people who use social media should know why they initially joined platforms like Facebook and Instagram, in order to avoid bad effects and make the most of these sites.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0       Introduction

1.1       Background of the study

One of the most popular hobbies on social media these days, particularly on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, is using cellphones to snap pictures and post them there. Another name for this well-liked practice is taking and sharing “Selfies.”  In actuality, a lot of young people and teenagers consider publishing photos on social media to be their pastime, and they do it frequently. In particular, to record things that happen to and around them, like naming ceremonies, engagement and wedding portraits, excursions, promotions, meetings, and mishaps..    It’s not uncommon to see individuals using photo studios to take pictures and then save them in albums; instead, they use their cellphones to snap pictures and post them online right away. Without a doubt, young people’s online connections and routine daily lives are closely entwined with their photo sharing habits. It goes without saying that life is inextricably linked to one’s online persona. Young people post pictures all the time, on multiple platforms, and even “on the go.” Users can share photos remotely and at any time or location thanks to this mobility.

Snapchat users tend to be more self-disclosing and less concerned with how they appear to others than users of other social media platforms (Larsen and Kofoed, 2015; Bayer et al., 2016). The term “networked photography” best describes their photo sharing practices, which include sharing images as soon as they are taken using social media applications or instant messaging (IM) tools (Lobinger, 2016) and “visual conversations,” which involve frequent interactions between the sender and the recipient (Katz and Crocker, 2015). As Lobinger (2016) notes, photo sharing has become a pervasive routine communicative act in everyday life. This is especially true for young people who are the most frequent users of photo sharing social media applications such as Snapchat and Instagram (Thaarup and Scheutz, 2015; TNS Gallup, 2015).

Therefore, we can say that advancement in modern technology has revolutionized all faces of communication, interaction and socialisation during the past decades, access to the people, information, businesses, governance, educations, social etc. have practically become available anywhere and anytime at very quick, cheap and easy ways.

Kur (2004) in Awake, (2002) posits that the dynamic nature of the 2lst century and more centuries to come rest on a technological revolution. No wonder, Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian English Professor in 1964 propounded the concept of “Global Village” regarding the entire globe as having the tendency of becoming a “global community” where information and news about anything and anywhere in the world would be readily available for anyone’s consumption in any part of the world and without mincing word, the impact of internet in achieving this feat cannot be underestimated. The Internet is a global network connecting millions of computers; through which more than 190 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions.

Over the past few years, social media and digital media have drastically changed how people consume content, especially in the fashion industry. People are no longer picking up magazines as often as they did in the past. Today, content is consumed online and people are not only reading content, but they are offering their feedback through comments and social media. Multiple types of fashion blogs managed by everyday people are giving consumers an inside look into what used to be an exclusive, fashion-experts-only industry.

The enormous infusion of social media, in terms of bloggers, internet celebrities, and ecommerce websites, especially targeting the younger generation, influences the way we dress and what we feel is ‘fashionable (Jigna, 2015). Fashion and lifestyle bloggers today are highly reputable and influential individuals and those extremely committed to their craft have, earned industry recognition. We are constantly being introduced to ‘what is trendy’, on a global scale! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, popular Blogs and Pinterest are incessantly demonstrating; exotic travel destinations, the latest trends, in terms of food, fancy recipes, beauty products and gorgeous fashion and accessory pieces.

People now get their beauty ideas from YouTube tutorials and other popular websites, where fashionable men and women share their fashion ideas, style tips and what they are wearing! Online tutorials help the youth population to learn a variety of styling techniques, like – makeup tricks, nail art, create tricky braids and outfit ideas for a night out. Social media allows us to become more style- savvy, and enables you to express yourself freely and to identify your personal style and create an exciting wardrobe. ‘Social Media has made fashion & lifestyle more accessible and what’s wonderful is that, now all have an opportunity to be trendy & stylish (Rohina, 2015). It is against this backdrop that the research examined the increasing use of social media as tool for sharing selfies among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria especially among undergraduates of the Unilag.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The dynamic nature of the 21st century and more centuries to come rests on technological revolution. No wonder, McLuhan in 1964 propounded the concept of “Global Village” regarding the entire globe as having the potentials of becoming a “global community” where information, business and news about anything and anywhere in the world would be readily available for anyone’s consumption in any part of the world.

The emergence of social media and smart phones in this era has continuously influenced the socio-cultural, attitude and perception to issues including fashion, beauty, costumes and general appearance. Although, many research studies have been carried out on social media but few if any has been specifically conducted on how social media influence photo sharing among students. Even where available many of such researches were conducted in the developed nations of which it findings cannot be replicated in Nigeria and Africa generally due to the cultural background, education, orientation and values. One of the problems this research noted is that many lifestyle trends available online are of Western values with foreign models which is against Africa and Nigeria lifestyle taste. These making most of the photo online come in the form of extra makeover, wearing of mini-skirt, bump-short, tie leggie, backless, armless, half shoulder, sagging among other and even many a times, porn appearance.

The research, conducted by TK Maxx, (2014) reveals the extent of this influence shift. Research has revealed the influence of social media on our personal style and shopping habits. It is against this background that the research examined social media as tool for sharing selfies among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria especially among University of Lagos undergraduates.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

  1. To ascertain whether undergraduate students of UNILAG share photos on social media.
  2. To determine the frequency at which UNILAG undergraduates share photographs on social media.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. To what extent are undergraduate students of UNILAG share photos on social media?
  2. How often do UNILAG undergraduates share photographs on social media?

1.5     Scope of the Study

The research which investigated the increasing use of social media as tool for sharing selfies among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria was narrowed in scope to University of Lagos (UNILAG) students of the Lagos. The institution is selected for its proximity and because this practice is common among undergraduates in Unilag.

1.6       Significance of the study

The research of this nature will no doubt beneficial to lots of individuals, higher institutions of learning and parents. In concrete term, the study will achieve the following:

  1. The study will help students and youth to understand the implications of their excessive placement of photographs online especially as it relates to their privacy in order to improve and adjust to the moderate posting.
  2. This study will give a clear insight into how and the type of photo expected on people especially girls and ladies who have been major vulnerable of cyberspace. This study will present the implications of sharing photos online among other.
  3. Nigerian students will find this research useful as it will enable them to know how to effectively explore the Internet for academic advancement, social interaction rather than for frivolity.
  4. This study will be beneficial to the management and lecturers of tertiary institutions and secondary schools on the need to raise awareness on photo sharing and excessive use of the social media because many young girls have been killed by social media lovers.
  5. Future researchers and scholars who many what to carry out research in this area or related aspect will find this materials very useful and serve as reference material. Above all, this study will serve as an addition to existing literature on the topic.
  6. The research findings will expose parents and guardians on the extent at which social media dictate and influence the dressing pattern and social behaviour especially new pattern of sharing nudity pictures in the cyber community.

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