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Project Topic:

ANALYSIS OF THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORK BY STUDENTS

Project Information:

 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 75 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis  ::   2,912 people found this useful

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INFORMATION AND MEDIA STUDIES UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT TOPICS, RESEARCH WORKS AND MATERIALS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

 Human beings have always lived in communities because they are social animals that believe so much interpersonal relationship. The internet has enabled such social interactions to go beyond the traditional venue of one‘s community, work and home setting. The internet has in fact, created new societies based upon niche interest, such as auctions, literature and hobbies. Examples of such societies are social networking sites (SNWs) which are internet based upon a traditional social network. The process by which communities come together, attract new members and develop a central research issue overtime in the social sciences, political movements, professional organizations, and religious denominations all provide examples of such Communities.  In recent years, Social media is fast becoming a very popular means of both interpersonal and public communication in Nigeria and the world at large.Social mediaare modern interactive communication channels through which people connect to one another, share ideas, experiences, pictures, messages and information of common interest. They have revolutionized the way people interact, the way they communicate, and even the way they think (Weisgerber & Butler, 2010).

 The rise of social software provides new avenues and new opportunities for increased participation and collaboration and an opportunity to change the way people learn. What distinguishes the social media from the conventional means of communication is their interactive nature which allows the audience to participate in it from any part of the world they reside

(Parker & Chao, 2008; Prensky 2011).

 McQuail (2010) differentiates the social media from the traditional mass media when he noted that ―traditional mass communication was essentially one-directional, while the new forms of communication are essentially interactive.‖ The social media by their nature have the capabilities of educating, informing, entertaining and „inflaming‟ the audience. Above all, they possess a transmittable and outreaching influence‟ which the conventional media lack.

The expansion in technology has also affected internet software, thus leading to chatting sites known by the name ―social media‖. With social networking sites, one can send and receive

messages almost immediately.(www.iiste.org; Retrieved April 13th, 2015)  

The manufacturing and distribution of equally sophisticated cellular phones has complicated the situation, as youths no longer need to visit a cybercafé before they send and receive messages.  It is a common sight to see a youth chatting in sensitive and highly organized places like church, mosque, lecture venues, some are so carried away that even as they are walking along the high way, they keep chatting.

 SOCIAL NETWORKING DEFINED

Social network is a social structure made up of individuals or organizations called ―nodes‖, which are connected by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige (Adeboye, 2012, cited in Asemah and Edegoh, (2012). (http://www.google.com/socialmediaandusuage Retrieved 12th April 2015) 

Social network can also be referred to as a map of specified ties, such as friendship, between the nodes being studied. The nodes, to which an individual is thus connected, are the social contacts of that individual; the network can also be used to measure social capital, the value that an individual gets from the social network. (www.scholarsachieve.jwu.edu Retrieved 14th April 2015) 

 Anim (2007) aptly pointed out that, it took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users, 13 years for television to attract the same number and 4 years for the Internet to do so, but

it took Facebook 12-month only to gain 200 million users.

(http://iiste.org/journals/index.php/.../1167 Accessed 13th April, 2015)  

Social networking sites provide various interactive platforms based on the intentions of their founders. There are for instance, social, political, academic, businesses, sports, romantic and religious platform. In other words, the social networking site by their nature have the capabilities of educating, informing, entertaining and inflaming the audience. Onomo (2012) acknowledged this ability of the media by remarking that social networking sites has become ‗‗a widespread tool for communication and exchange of ideas, helping individuals and organizations with just causes to reach a phenomenally vast audience that could hitherto not be reached by traditional media. Thus, since inception, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, 2go, My Space,

Skype etc. have captivated millions of users, many of whom have been made to use these

sites as parts of their daily activities. 

Currently, there is a plethora of social networks with various features meant to suit the different interests of their followers. Some are accessed via computer alone while others can be used with mobile phones. The first identifiable social networking sites was launched in 1997, six degree. It allowed its users to create profiles, list their friends and in 1998, the friends list was introduced where users had the freedom to search for old and new friends. (Retrieved 12th april

2015 from http:// www.mudconnect) Therefore, just like radio and television, social networking has spread everywhere in Nigeria and are bound to be developing.

(http://www.google.com/wikipedia Accessed 13th April, 2015)

The definition advanced by Bryer and Zavatarro (2011) states that ―Social media are technologies that facilitate social interaction, make possible collaboration, and enable deliberation across stakeholders. These technologies include blogs, wikis, media (audio, photo, video, text) sharing tools, networking platforms and virtual worlds.‖ Over the years, social media among students has become more and more popular. It is a way to make connections, not only on campus, but with friends outside of school. Social media in a way helps many people feel as though they belong to a community. With smart phones being able to access the internet and have applications of social media, many are concerned about how smart phones with social media applications will affect students‘ grades. (www.webopedia.com/Did you

know/internet/2002/web-vs.-internet-asp Retrieved April 14th 2015).  

 According to The Television Bureau of Advertising, inc. Social media consists of online technologies, practicing activities or societies that people use to generate content and share thoughts, visions, experiences and viewpoints with each other. The word social networking is known as the agreement of individuals into specific set of potential groups or subdivisions.

Social networking allows individuals to express their thoughts to other users. (Thuseethan,& Vasanthapriyan 2014)  Social networking is the leader in promoting digital journalism. Social network is used for several purposes like promoting or distributing the news contents throughout the world. (www.wikipediafreeencyclopedia/wiki/socialnetworking Retrieved 13th April 2015)

Currently, there are hundreds of Social networking sites that can draw millions of people, with diverse technological difference. Social network sites are web based services that enable individuals to construct a semi-profile within a stipulated system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share views and go through their list of connections and those made by others within the system, although the nature and nomenclature of these connections has variation (Boyd and Ellison, 2007). 

The ability of making it possible to meet new friends is not the major characteristics of social networking sites, but solely because the social network can be made evident due to the possibility that it is node free. The outcome of these relationships of individuals that would ideally not have met each other is made possible. Although it‘s not the real aim, and most times new connections are usually between ―latent ties (Hay, 2006), they already knew each other physically. 

Larger perspectives, on social network sites reveals that members are not online with the intention of discovering new acquaintances but to interact with old friends which already exist on their list. Facebook, twitter, 2go, badoo, instagram and other social network sites are, perhaps, the best examples where audiences have become co-authors on interactive websites. 

In a similar fashion as blogs, social network sites allow individuals to present themselves to other users using a variety of formats, including text and video. Just like chat services. Social networking sites have become an increasingly important part of the young adult life (Gemmill & Peterson, 2006).

DeBell & Chapman (2006), stated that relating to the population of the general public,‖ adolescents and young adults are the heaviest computer and Internet users, primarily using it for completing school assignments , e-mail, instant messaging , and playing computer games. Networking sites are the latest online communication tools that allow users to create a public or private profile to interact with people in their networks Boyd & Ellison, (2008). Like any other web service, social network sites allow individuals to make visible their list of connections to others and to traverse their social networks (Boyd & Ellison, 2007) 

Boyd & Ellison(2008) defined Social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of common interests and those made by others within the system.

TYPES OF SOCIAL MEDIA UNDER FOCUS

a.                  Facebook

b.                  twitter

c.                   Whatsapp

d.                  instagram

e.                   Blackberry messenger.

A.     FACEBOOK  

Facebook was created on February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is a social networking site originally designed for the use of university and college age students. Rosen (1995) explains that the name facebook originates from the small photo albums that colleges once gave to incoming freshmen and faculty to help them cope with meeting so many new people. (www.google.com/wikipedia Accessed 13th April 2015) 

Facebook is one of the most popular social networks (Lampe et al., 2008), and has been widely adopted by students (Johnston, 2013; Roblyer et al., 2010).  Like most social network sites, facebook provides a formatted web page into which each user can enter personal information, including gender, birthday, hometown, political and religious views, e-mail and physical addresses, relationship status, activities, interests, favorite music and movies, educational background and a main personal picture. The sites can access your name, your picture, your gender, your current location, your list of friends. Facebook classifies as public information, even if you opt out of Instant Personalization, there's still data leakage if your friends use Instant Personalization website, their activities can give away information about you, unless you block those applications individually. (www.researchgate.net Accessed 13th April 2015)

There are seven motives why users use Facebook, which according to Hew (2011) are:

§  Maintain existing relationships, to stay in touch and maintain relations with people 

§  To meet new people, find out information about people previously met, and meet others online with the intention of meeting them offline later.

§  Using social media is perceived as ―cool‖ and ―fun‖, as people enjoy following trends

and don‘t like to feel left out.

§  To raise public awareness of oneself; where users can gain popularity through having Facebook friends 

§  Individuals have the ability to express or present oneself and this can be done by updating their profiles and status.

§  For learning purposes – lets users communicate with one another, ask and share questions and information.

§  Enabling of student activism – lets students provide general information about activities, and express their viewpoints. 

The perception users have of their audience plays an important role in the usage of Facebook, as if the user perceives no audience for his or her profile, he or she is less likely to make use of Facebook (Lampe et al., 2008). The type of perceived audience also determines the type of information and content users are likely to share on their profiles (Pempek et al., 2009). ) (www.cenresinpub.org  Accessed April 13th 2015).

B.                 TWITTER

         Twitter is an online social networking and micro blogging service that enables users to send, read "tweets", which are text messages limited to 140 characters, thoughts, information and links in real time, and to communicate directly, privately or publicly with other Twitter users (Thomases, 2010). Registered users can read and post tweets but unregistered users can only read them. It was created by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone in 2006, user‘s access twitter through the website intJerface, SMS, or mobile device applications. It is now one of the ten most visited websites, Pennacchiotti and Popescu (2011) said that the success of twitter has led twitter to ―become an integral part of the daily lives of millions of users‖.  Users update their daily life activities with friends, families and co-workers; share information, news, and opinions with interested observers; and seek knowledge and expertise in public tweets (Browning & Sanderson, 2012; Java et al., 2007).

According to Pennacchiotti & Popescu, (2011) and Honeycutt and Herring (2009) twitter has the potential to be used for idea sharing and coordination of activities, similar to instant messaging in a more dynamic way. McArthur and Bostedo-Conway (2012) suggest that ―one-tomany (or many-to-many) communication channel may offer instructors an opportunity to efficiently contact and create learning opportunities for many students at once‖. (www.uniportinfo.com/students-andsocialnetwork-facebook-twitter-bbm Acessed 13th april, 2015) 

C.                WHATSAPP

WhatsApp is a Smartphone application that operates on nearly all current types of devices and operating systems. The application has been on the market since 2010; the declared purpose of the developers was to replace the existing SMS platform for a system that is free of charge in an advertising free environment. As a means of sending and receiving messages to and from individuals or groups, WhatsApp includes a variety of functions, such as text messages, attached images, audio files, video files, and links to web addresses. Over the last two years, the application has become very popular, gaining over 700 million users and is rated the most downloaded application in 127 countries (Cohavi, 2013) WhatsApp Inc., was founded in 2009 by

Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo! After Koum and Acton left Yahoo! in September 2007, the duo travelled to South America as a break from work. At one point they applied for a job at Facebook but failed. (www.wikipedia.org/wiki/whatsapp  Retrieved, April 13th 2015)  WhatsApp messenger users can send each other images, video and audio media message as well as engage in group conversation between multiple users. The name

WhatsApp came from the greeting phrase ―what‘s up‖. (www.google.com Accessed 13th April 2015) 

D.                INSTAGRAM

Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October

2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of April 2012

and over 300 million as of December 2014.                                                                                             

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras. Users can also apply digital filters to their images. The maximum duration for Instagram videos is 15 seconds. Instagram is distributed through the Apple Application Store, Google

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