EVALUATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL NETWORKING HABITS AND WRITING PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
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This study was carried out to investigated the relationship between social networking habits and writing performance of senior secondary school students of Oorelope in Oyo State, Nigeria.
The influence of gender and school type were also considered.
This study was a descriptive research of the correlational types.
The population for the study were all the students of senior secondary school of Oorelope in Oyo State.
The target population were SS2.
The sample comprised 296 students selected using the sample random sampling technique. The data collected using a questionnaire titled:
Relationship between Social and Writing Performance Questionnaire was analyzed using the Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation statistics at 0.05 significance level.
The findings revealed that most of the students were involve in Facebook and twitter.
It was also found that majority of the students had a negative social networking habit. They used them mostly for non-academics and social activities.
The study also revealed that there was no significant relationship between the social networking habits and working performance of students of Oorelope in Oyo State in relation with both gender and school type.
It was found that the time spent on SNS for the purpose of non-academic activities surpasses the time they spent on their scholar related writing performance.
Based on the finding of this study, ICT is necessary in schools.
Also, student should be encourages to use their after-school-times studies and other academic activities.
Furthermore, education authorities should equip schools with learning materials and other resources necessary should provide activities that will initiate us, develop and sustain the link between social networking habits and writing performance of students.
Background to the study
Social networking is a new way for people, especially younger generation to connect with one another, based on common interests, goals and even values.
People are living in a global world and everyday, they are adapting new technologies, information, lifestyle, language and so on.
And nowadays social networking (Facebook, twitter, yahoo messenger, google, WhatsApp plus) are very popular among young generations and they are influenced by them.
They think what they are pursuing in the social networking is up to date and if they follow those trends, people will find them smart.
However, nowadays, there are influences of social networking in language acquisition of young learners.
Young people are now most of the time connected with people through social networking. So intentionally or unintentionally, they are following that trend of language acquisition.
Marshall (2003) opines that “social networking sites exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values”.
In fact, social networking plays a significant role in people’s everyday routines, actions and reactions. Social networking in many ways influences people’s life as it expands the social circle and explore new horizon through online connection, though it is changing the approach of communication.
The young generations nowadays often use Facebook, twitter, google plus, skype, yahoo message etc. With the prevalence of smart phones and popularity of texting, students are able to connect with their friends, family members and with others.
As people are able to meet different people from different countries, they are learning new languages through their conversation in social network. Over 80 percent of teen users are now using social networking sites, and they use many different types of communication in the world of social networks, like Net speak.
So, there is no doubt that our real world social lives have got some changes.
Therefore, some parents are worrying about their children’s future language acquisition which is a very promising reality.
The world, today, celebrates the improvements in communication technology which has broadened the scope of communication through information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Ufuophus and Ayobami (2002:129) observe that the ICTs include internet, satellite, cable data transmission and computer assisted equipment.
Social network is a social structure made up of individuals or organizations called ‘nodes’, which are tied (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).
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.
Social networking sites include: Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Google talk, Google-Messenger, IPhone, Androids and so on.
These networking sites are used by most people to interact with old and new friends, physical or internal friends (Adeboye, 2012).
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. However, lack of regulation of the internet has led to its excessive use
. McQuail (2008) avers that the internet penetrates more homes.
It is a common sight to see a youth chatting in sensitive and highly organized places like church, mosque and lecture venues. Some are no carried away that even as they are walking along the high way, they keep chatting.
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.
Attention has been shifted from visible to invisible friends, while important activities like reading and writing are affected in the process.
This phenomenon has become a source of worry to many who believe in knowledge and skill acquisition.
The emergences of social media as a result of advancement in technology and expansion in internal software has raised eye brows among researchers on its (social media) impacts on studies.
Studies at all levels of learning now have divided attention to studies, as a result of available opportunities to be harnessed from social media. Whether these opportunities promote studies is a question that needs to be answered.
Thus, the problem this study investigates is the effect of social media networks on the academic performance of the secondary school students on essay writing.
Writing is an act of communicating one’s idea, opinion and thought through inscription of signs and symbols.
Through writing, individuals are able to maintain personal link with friends, family, and colleagues from the distance (Graham, 2006).
Also, individuals can further record their ideas, reflect on their thoughts, or extend their knowledge on the topic through the use of writing (Brodie, 1997).
Writing is the primary medium by which teachers evaluate students’ performance.
Writing also provides a flexible tool for accessing students’ knowledge and academic competence in class and on high-stakes educational assessments (Christenson, Thorold, Ysseldyke, and Mc Vicar, 1989; Graham and Harris, 1988). For some children, writing even represents an alternative medium for expressing thoughts and ideas that they might be unable or unwilling to express in different way (Polloway and Smith, 1982).
According to Ong ‘Ondo (2001), there are two broad categories of writing namely functional and creative.
Functional writing involves writing of letters, minutes, reports, notices, speeches, book review, and memorandum among others.
On the other hand, creative writing is concerned with the ability either to tell or retell pieces of information in the form of narration and description.
The concept of communication, while discussing any issue on social networking or social media, cannot be overlooked.
It is important to note that social networking is all about sending and receiving messages or information as the case may be.
The means of channel of conveying any idea is the social media.
It is also interesting to note that communication has become easy since the introduction of Social Networking sites.
Communicating with friends and family has been easy once one has access to the internet. The internet has given us the ability to connect with people from around the world and with a few clicks of a button.
One can easily exchange information with people.
Social Networking Sites (SNSs) such as Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Twitter, WhatsApp, 2go, and so fourth have attracted millions of users, many of whom have integrated these sites into their daily practices.
Social Networking began in 1978 with the Bulletin Board System (BBS), (google.com).
The BBS was hosted on personal computers requiring that users dial in through the modern of the host computer, exchanging information over phone lines with other users.
This was the first system that allowed users to sign in and interact with each other, although it was quite slow since only one user could be logged in at a time.
The first meaningful social network site is Six Degrees.com (google.com)
It was launched in 1997). It was the first network site that allowed users to create profiles, and list their friends and in 1998 surf the friends’ list.
Social networks have become a global phenomenon and attracted extensive population from all around the world in different ages, cultures, educational levels, and etcetera.
In addition to routinely checking emails, reading daily forums and Newspapers or following instant message tools.
Due to the rapid increase in Social Networking sites, populating by 2005 it was reported that Myspace was getting more page views than Google, Facebook launched in 2004 became the largest Social Networking sites in the world in early 2009. Facebook was first introduced in (2004) as a Harvest Social Network (Cassidy 2006).
In social networking, the young generations use some popular terms like LOL “for laugh out loud” which is developed into unique world.
It has a meaning greater than their original abbreviation. LOL is now used like a type of population to add a joking or cheerful intonation to messages.
It doesn’t always indicate lateral laughter.
Though the young people are using it with heir friends informally, unintentionally they are acquiring these languages, and they use it in their formal writing.
These types of texts shorthand is now becoming a language on its own.
As a result they are using those languages formally in publications.
As a result, they are destroying their language.
In fact, these abbreviations are so unconventional that they go contrary to the conventions of writing especially in formal and academic setting.
Students are so accustomed to using this way of writing for their communication with peers and other audience, using the social network.
The implication is that students do distort their writing thereby making it unclear, vague and unrecognizable especially to audience who are unfamiliar with this negative development or trend.
Given the frequent wrong use of punctuation, the students deviate from the expected or agreed way of making use of punctuation marks to make writing clear.
The most prominent are inappropriate use of capital letters.
Students use upper case or capital letters to indicate or show emphasis. Students also misuse comas and full stops or even mess up the whole writing by not indicating the marks appropriately. Social networking uses require some unique adoptions but it also provides us a new way of communication it writing though such a new communication is not allowed in a formal setting or in writing public examinations such as those conducted by WAEC or NECO.
Statement of the Problem
With over 100 social networking sites in existence and over a billion registered users on these sites, social networks today seem to have become a way of life.
From this ever increasing number of social networking sites and users emerges a behavior that has become a part of popular youth culture across continents and is increasingly popular amongst youth in Nigeria.
There has been some controversy for sometime about the effectiveness of Social Networking on students’ academic performance.
Since the evolution of Social Networking sites, parents and educators have shown great interests on its effects on students’ performance in Nigerian society, where Social Networking has attained great heights, there is a belief that most students use the time they are supposed to read to chat online.
Moreover, there is a feeling that because of too much involvement in Social Networking by students, they find it difficult to concentrate on their studies especially writing which is only way of self expression.
Based on the different views on the effects of Social Networking, the need for an effective study of Social Network is relevant as a strategy for effective and efficient analysis of its social impact on students’ writing performance.
According to Hardhat and Gray (2008) My Space, one of the best-known social networking sites now has some over 80 million users.
Other popular sites include Friendster (28 million). Alexander (2012) noted that Facebook had 845 million active users in 2012.
The Facebook website accounts for 1 out of 5 internet page reviewers.
Olubiyi (2012) notes that these days, students are so engrossed in the social media that they are almost 24 hours online.
Even in classrooms, it has been observed that some students are always busy ‘pinging’, ‘2going’ or ‘Facebooking’ while teachers are teaching.
Times that ought to be channeled towards learning, academic research and innovation have been crushed by the passion for meeting new friends online, and most times, busy discussing trivial issues.
Hence, most students’ academics suffer set back as a result of distraction from social medias.
It may be observed that the use of these sites can also affect student’s use of English and grammar.
This is because, while texting in any of these social media platform, there is need to use the short forms of writing for lack of space and for cost reduction, in order to pass their message across to their friends since they understand the code in the chat room too, they tend to forget and use the same short forms of writing in classroom, especially during examination.
In other words, the social networking users who are equally students write or text whatever messages they would like to post with the use of shorthand in which letter(s) is used to denote a word probably because of time or cost.
For instance, “U r wlcm” to mean “You are welcome”, “b r b” to mean “Be right back or coming back soon” Knowingly or otherwise, they become conversant of the usage and consequently, they transfer the idea (shorthand) into formal writing which is against the rules grammatically in English Language.
This therefore leads to failure of students when they are required to write both internal and external to write both internal and external examination.
The poor writing performance of students in English language in Nigerian secondary schools has led to the poor performance in external examination like WASSCE and NECO.
These poor performance in both internal and external examination have significantly affected the education sector negatively.
A major contributor to this poor performance could as well be as a result of the advent of the social media as it has unduly influenced Nigerian students both at the secondary level and as it has unduly influenced Nigerian students both at the secondary level and at the tertiary level.
Although, the advent of social media cum networking and its availability for students to access is good and never a barrier initially, but it becomes a barrier when the Nigerian secondary school students are not making the best out of it.
A typical example of this is poor writing skills.
Therefore, in this research paper, it will find out how social networking influences the writing performance of senior secondary school students in Oorelope Local Government Area of Oyo State.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between social networking habits and writing performance of senior secondary school students in Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State. Specifically the study set out to:
(a) find out the most frequently used social networking site that senior secondary school students visit
(b) ascertain are the general social networking habit of senior secondary school students in Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State
(c) investigate the general writing performance of senior secondary school students in Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State
(d) establish the relationship between social networking habits and writing performance of senior secondary school students in Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State
(e) ascertain the relationship between male students social networking habits and writing performance of senior secondary school students in Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State
(f) investigate the relationship between female students social networking habits and writing performance of senior secondary school students in Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State
(g) find out the relationship between public students’ social networking habits and writing performance of senior secondary school in Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State.
(h) ascertain the relationship between private students’ social networking habits and writing performance of senior secondary school in Oorelope Local Government, Oyo State.