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This study investigates the influence of Facebook and Whatsapp and its effects on student’s academic performance in the Buea municipality. Specifically, the study examine the usage of Face book and WhatsApp, the study also identify the reasons for the use of Facebook and Whatsapp by students of the Buea Municipality, brings out the advantages/disadvantages in the usage of Facebook and Whatsapp by on Students and examine the factors that account for the variations in the usage of Facebook and WhatsApp by students. Literature related to the work was reviewed. The Uses and Gratification theory and the technological acceptance model were used in this study.

The accessible population of the study was made up of form four, five, lower sixth and upper sixth students of selected secondary schools in Buea Municipality while the sample size was made up of 100 students.

This sample was selected using purposive and simple random technique. The descriptive survey research design was used; the instrument used in collecting Data was questionnaires. Questionnaires were administered to students in form five and upper sixth.

Frequencies and percentages were used to analyze the closed ended questions. Findings revealed that despite the beneficial socialization features of social media, it was discovered that it had a negative impact on secondary school academic performance in Buea. As a result, parents of secondary school students should closely monitor Facebook and WhatsApp.




This research is focus on the influence of facebook and whatsapp and its effects on student’s academic performance in the Buea municipality. In this chapter we will look at the background of the research, the statement of the problem, the research objective, the research question, the hypothesis of the research, the statement of the problem, the research objective, the research question, the hypothesis of the research. Significance of the research, scope and delimitation of the research and operational definition of Term


The background talks on what the research is all about. In this section, we will discussed the social media and its effects on students academic performance.


Studies have also demonstrated similar findings, Andreas and Michael (2010), assert that social media is a group of internet based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of web and that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content.

Kietzmann and Hermkens (2011), elaborate on this, stating that social media depends on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content.

Social networks are the main applications under the umbrella of social media. Social media is the fastest web application in the 21st century. Research shows that the age distribution   of facebook users is concentrated on the younger category.

It is believed that the emergence of social networking sites like facebook has created a lot of attention and patronage by all ages a cross the world but significantly people around college or university going age are mostly found on this social network.

Valenzuela,Park and Kee’s  study(2008), attest to this claim as it was found that students between the ages of 18 -29years have accounts on facebook and use online network daily.

In Saudi Arabia, it shows that academic performance is greatly affected by facebook. In USA, research explored the impact of social media on students’ academic performance and it reveals that it greatly affects their performance.

The use of social media affects the academic performance of students more negatively than positively. A study conducted on college women’s engagement in social media revealed that high usage of social media among college women negatively affects their grades(Davis 2013).The study also revealed that in a day, students spend 12hours on social media sites.

Charlene Li et. al. (2007), also indicated that students visit social networking sites every day or even more. For example, the use of social media for cyber bullying, which occurs in most universities as highlighted by Walker, Sockman and Koehn(2011), research which surveyed 134 university students, found out that 62 percent of students had experienced cyber bullying and 40 percent of the students had taken part in the act. In 2010, a student called Tyler Clement who was a freshman at Rutgers University committed suicide over the broadcasting of an intimate encounter through a web camera over twitter.

This camera had been set up by Tyler’s roommate (Pilkington,2010). This tragedy highlighted the power of social media and the psychological impact it can have on students’ life and their performance.

Also, the use of social media plays a variety of roles in education as it provides a platform to share ideas as well as allowing students study online, but the problem is how students tend to misuse it, instead of using it for their studies.

Most University students now use social media as an arena for chatting with friends, loved ones, playing games and scamming just to name a few.


Social media is defined by Kaplan and Haenlein(2010) as internet based applications that allows users as well as communities to create, collaborate and edit user content. Also according to Mathew Hodson social media is a series of websites and applications designed to allow people to share content quickly, efficiently and in real time.

According to Boyd and Ellison (2008),social networking sites can be defined as web-based services that allows individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, articulate a list of other users within whom they share a connection, and view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

Studies show that social media helps to educate students at all levels, provide necessary information for studies, help in distance studying that is online studying. It still has a negative impact on the academic performance of students especially with the coming of new applications like WhatsApp and Snap chat.

These applications have now become the owners of students that is, instead of the students having control over the media, the media now controls them. This as a result leads to poor performance of university students as they spend most of their time browsing and doing illegal acts instead of studying.


The Uses and Gratification Theory of mass communication as proposed by Katz and Blumler, it clearly states that people are held on particular channel of communications based on the satisfaction they derived from the channel (David, 2016). In other words, people feel more comfortable in using communication channels where their needs (desires) are met.

Since the inception of the Facebook and WhatsApp mobile app, it has been widely accepted in institutions as well as organizations to be used as a main means of communication within and without the institutions.

In the Buea Municipality, Facebook and WhatsApp are the major ways students communicate among themselves. Students create Facebook and WhatsApp forums that enable them to share messages and information to one another.

On the same vain the Technological acceptance model argues that people use technology based on its usefulness and ease of the technology his model suggest that the ease of a technology and its usefulness makes people to easily adopt a particular technology.

The ease and mobility of the Facebook and WhatsApp app to communicate has spread like wild fire in recent days. WhatsApp and Facebook enable its users to get messages in their comfort zone as well as to communicate from one person to another.

The ease and usefulness of this communication technology has made Facebook and WhatsApp to become one of the most widely used communication app in the world today.

Statement of the problem

Social media which is a tool for education, health, businesses and other issues has now become a tool of failure for the students in Buea Municipality. The media has now become a place where students spend most of their time.

It has affected the students in Buea municipality in various domains like via education, morals, physically and psychologically and in a socio-economic view.

This is so because a lot of university students and high school students in Buea municipality spend most of their time on the internet looking for latest fashionable dresses, hair styles, music, celebrity life, night clubs and hotels just to name a few, instead of doing research which can help them in their studies.

Many students are usually victims of social media ills because they use it for nasty reasons like uploading naked pictures. This may result in psychological effects as the student lacks focus when these pictures are being exposed.

Moreover, Facebook and Whatsapp affects the performance of students as it is time consuming; as students spend most of their time on the internet, going through pictures and so on. It distracts some students to the extent of them not having time for themselves and their families.

For instance, a student who lives in a family house and has household chores to carry out before and after lectures; hardly has time to perform the duties assigned because he/she spends most of her time on the Facebooka and whatsapp

The media also affects students’ punctuality in their classes as they are not time conscious because the students spend most of their time on their phones browsing.

In addition, Facebook and whatsapp affects the dressing and lifestyle of students in Buea municipality as most girls tend to emulate celebrity dressing habits they see online which are most often indecent.

Research questions

Main research question

This research therefore dwells on: What are the effects of Face book and whatsapp on student’s academic performance in Buea municipality.

Specific Research questions

Specifically the study seeks to answer the following questions;

  1. How do students use Facebook and WhatsApp
  2. What are the reasons for the use of Facebook and whatsapp by students of the Buea Municipality
  3. What advantages/disadvantages do the usage of Facebook and Whatsapp have on Students academic performance?
  4. What factors account for the variations in the usage of Facebook and whatsap usage by students?

Research objectives

This research is guided by the following objectives;

Main objective

The main objective of this study is to determine the effects of the use of Facebook and WhatsApp on the academic performance of students in the Buea Municipality.

Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the study include;

  1. To examine the usage of Face book and WhatsApp
  2. To critically identify the reasons for the use of Facebook and Whatsapp by students of the Buea Municipality
  3. To bring out the advantages/disadvantages in the usage of Facebook and Buea on Students?
  4. To examine the factors that account for the variations in the usage of Facebook and WhatsApp by students?
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