THE IMPACT OF FACEBOOK SOCIAL MEDIA ON SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR OF NIGERIAN YOUTHS

ABSTRACT
The study is on the impact of social media on Nigerian youth. According to Professor Marshal McLuhan, the world is now compressed into a single electronic room where information from far and near can be exchanged with a click of a mouse. The social media platform is one of the internet tools that make the world a global village. As important and widely used as this platform, no body regulates it and it is unreliable. The platform has become an all comers’ affairs. Anybody can write anything and publish in the social media. Fraudsters have used it to dupe innocent ones. Social media contents have caused countless social unrest. To fast-track the study, students of Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo were studied to establish the actual effects of the social media platform on Nigerian youth. Survey research method was adopted. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires. The collected data were analyzed and presented using tables, figures and simple percentages.
The findings revealed that: social media has become a major mode of communication by the youth; millions of Nigerian youth use Facebook and WhatsApp for socialization and interactive purposes; social media preserves cultural ideologies on society; among others.

The researcher therefore recommended that the Nigeria youth should make good use of converged media so that they are not limited to few sources of information. They should also make efficient use of social media sites for education and business.

CHAPTER ONE
1.0   Introduction
1.1 Background to the Study                                
According to Professor Marshal McLuhan, the world is now compressed into a single electronic room where information from far and near can be exchanged with a click of a mouse. The social media platform is one of the internet tools that make the world a global village.
Communication, itself, is a basic human need and for that reason, man has always found a means of meeting this need (Boyd, 2010). The media, which is an umbrella term for various means of communication, has become an integral part of human life around the world. The earliest forms of personal of personal media, speech and gestures, had the benefit of being easy to use and didnot necessarily need complex technology. The weakness of not being able to communicate to large audiences led to the development of mass media, such as writing.
With this development, the role of the media in the society became more and significant. John Dewey emphasized the role of media for education as James Agee and Walter Lippmann also highlighted the functions of the media for entertainment and information. New media have led to new types of media and the ability to use a given form of media is related to the ability to use its related technology.
Today, technology has made more universal, the ability to produce media. Printing, radio and television are some examples of mass media in that they are intended to reach vast audiences. But these forms of media previously could not be produced readily by the average person. The advent of relatively inexpensive, personal technologies likes blogging, podcasting and internet video allowed the average literate person to do what was therefore restricted to media firms. These forms of media are still referred to as new but they have become part of society even as much as the traditional media in some part of the world. In a few years, the term “new media” might not be very suitable because these forms are becoming part of our daily lives and the fusion with traditional media might dilute the fact that it is new.
Social media is a form of electronic communication which facilitates interaction based on certain interests and characteristics. Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social dialogues. They support the democratization of knowledge and transform people from content consumers to content producers.
Social media are elements of the new media and according to Danny Shea in the Huffington Post accessed 20th June, have become the highest activity on the internet. The rapid growth of social media activities that has been observed over the last two to three years is indicative of its entry into mainstream culture and its integration into the daily lives of many people. In parallel with this, social mediahave also gained considerable attention from the academic and business worlds.
History of social media “Social Media isn’t really new.” While it has only recently become part of mainstream culture and the business world, people have been using digital media for networking, socializing and information gathering- until now for over 30years: - Sean Carton in his July 2009 blog posting: Defining social media, in ClickZ. Social media started as a concept many years ago but has evolved into sophisticated technology. The concept of social media can be dated back to the use of the analogue telephone for social interaction.
Facebook started as a local social network made for the students of Harvard. It was developed by the sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook was actually made by hacking Harvard’s data base containing identification images of students. The initial idea was actually to compare the faces of students with images of animals, for entertainment purposes. However, due to the potentially damaging contents of the site, the creators decided to put it down before it caught the attention of the school authorities. The application was shut down, but the idea of creating an online community of students came to existence. The platform was then improved and sooner than they expected, Facebook was released in campuses other than Harvard. Thereafter, high schools started to get attracted to the idea of having online communities, thus opening the website to the younger generation. In 2006, Facebook ultimately offered the opportunity to the rest of the world. As 2007 approached, the registrants reached overwhelming digit – roughly a million dozen. Facebook has grown to become the biggest and most popular social networking site today with a population of above 500 million active users. (Facebook statistics, 2012).

1.2    Statement of the Problem
It is on record that about four million, seven hundred and fourteen Nigerians are on Facebook and other social media with a good number of them being youths. (Facebook statistics 2012). There about one hundred and fifty research papers, three books and seven research reports on social net-working sites between 2003 and 2010 (Boyd, 2010), but none of this papers covered Africa. Unlike the traditional mass media, the social media platform is unregulated. Anybody that is connected can write and publish anything including instigating and malicious report. Most election violence had their origin from the social media. False rumours, false information, gossips, among other harmful reports that hit up the common features in the social media during major elections in Nigeria.
Okoro and Adibe (2015) refer to the attack and counter attack using the social media platform as “social media war”. Many credible parties and candidates are often voted out in elections because they are not very active in the social media platform. This study will investigate the actual effects of the social media platform in the2015 Presidential election in Nigeria.

1.3     Objective of the Study
The aims of this study are stated as follows:
1.   To help identify some of the current and potential future issues around people’s use of social media.
2.   It seeks to understand how people are using social networking sites as well as their attitudes to this form of communication.
3.   To understand the use of social media by people in Nigeria especially the youth.
4.   To understand the attitudes towards social networking sites and the wider issues that may arise from this.
5.   To explore any effect of this form of media on the social skills of the Nigerian youths.

1.4    Significance of the Study   
         The study will be useful in the following ways:
(i)                The research findings will guide the government in making communication policies that will control the excesses of the social media.
(ii)             The findings will provide useful data to the NCC (National Communication Commission) on how best to manage the social media in Nigeria.
(iii)           Scholars and academics will use this work in tutoring and training students on current trends in communication and learning.
(iv)           This study will also provide a useful data for market researchers, marketing and product development professionals as well as journalists as to how they can harness the social media communication potentials for optimum benefit in their various fields.

1.5   Research Questions
1.     How accessible is the Facebook social media platform to Nigerian youths?
2.     How much time do Nigerian youths spend on Facebook social media?
3.     How beneficial is Facebook social media to Nigerian youths?
4.     What activities do youths engage in on Facebook?
5.     How has Facebook social media influenced the social behaviour of Nigerian youths?
6.     What are the impacts of Facebook on the lives of young people in Nigeria?

1.6   Scope of the Study
This investigation focused specifically on the usage habits of users of Facebook in Nigeria with a particular attention on the youths since it is impossible to study all the Nigerian youths. The study is focused on Lagos State Polytechnic.

1.7   Limitation of Study
Although this study has accomplished the purpose it is set out to achieve, one of the very limitations is the validity of the results or findings is depending on the honesty of the respondents in providing the needed information. Due to constraints of time and money, it is difficult to carry out the research extensively on all the students of the institution (Lagos State Polytechnic).
Cognizance was also taken to the fact that the academic calendar was too Short and academic workload was enormous, as a result of this, there was little time to run around for the work.

1.8   Definition of Terms
Social Media: A group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web 2.0 and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. (Kaplan Haenlein, 2010).
Social Skills: Any skills facilitating interaction and communication with others social rules and relations are created, communicated and changed in verbal and non-verbal ways through a process called socialization.
CyberSpace: This is the electronic medium of computer networks, in which online communication takes place.

Blogs: A blog (a contraction of the term “web log”) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 64 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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