Author:Oyeboade, John Adeboye


Today, we are living in the information age. Postindustrial age is called information age. The age where information is a human product; where information is the result of human thinking. National Task Force for Information Technology and Software Development (NTFIT) desires that computer education and internet use should be promoted at an early stage of education. Thus, computers are a manifestation of the scientific and technological revolution; their actual creation, utilization, and further development caused new theoretical and applied problems especially in education (Tay, 2010). University as higher institution of learning provides facilities for teaching and research and is authorized to grant academic degrees; specifically: one made up of an undergraduate division which confers bachelor's degrees and a graduate division which comprises a graduate school and professional schools each of which may confer master's degrees and doctorates. Institution of higher education, usually comprise a liberal arts and sciences college and graduate and professional schools that confer degrees in various fields. A university differs from a college in that it is usually larger, has a broader curriculum, and offers advanced degrees in addition to undergraduate degrees (Merriam-Webster, 2014).

Undergraduate students are students in a university or college who has not received a first, especially a bachelor's, degree. In other words, an undergraduate is a person studying in a university for a first degree. An undergraduate is someone who is yet to be awarded an associate or a bachelor degree by a recognized university (Collins English Dictionary, 2009). Undergraduate education is the post-secondary education previous to the postgraduate education. In Nigeria, it includes all the academic programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree and it takes a minimum of 4 years to complete. Undergraduate students are known to select and use information sources based on the accessibility rather than the quality of information; they seem to have developed some effective strategies that can help assess the information from social media.

In a study conducted on Social Network Addiction among Youths in Nigeria, Ajewole, Olowu, and Fasola, (2012), concluded that majority of the respondents spend more time on social media, which affects their academic productivity negatively. They equally found out that youths in Nigeria are spending too much time on social media at the detriment of other necessary things such as their studies. A study conducted in 2013 to find out students' use of social media revealed that students view social media sites for the purposes of leisurely entertainment, to watch films, to expose themselves to pornography, discuss serious national issues like politics, economy, and religious matters on the new media (Buhari, Ahmad and HadiAshara, 2014).

There are a number of indicators that determine the use of social media especially, among the undergraduate students. These indicators include: peer pressure, socio-economic background, among others. Paye (1996) reiterated the effects of socioeconomic status of parents on the Nigerian students. According to him, poverty syndrome imposed by economic crunch, maladministration, corruption and emergency closure of firms, has imposed hardship among parents/workers. They in turn have not been able to provide adequately for the basic fundamental, social and academic needs of the students (Paye, 1996). The affiliation of the undergraduate students especially with reference to the financial background of their parents and social status influence would predict, most of the time their economic position and the nature. Perhaps, the type of job the students' parents are engaged in can also be a factor to predict what the attitude of the student would be towards use of social media. The aim of education goes beyond the development of academic competence (Mayer, 2000).

Universities have the added responsibility of preparing self-assured and fully functioning individuals capable of pursuing their hopes and ambition. Parental involvement has become an era of increasing concern about the quality of education world over. Since parents want assurance that their children will receive adequate preparation to lead a rewarding adult lives (Mayer, 2000). Peer relationships play an important role in the development of a student's self-concept. Peers influence is a kind of reaction that a peer group, observers or individual exerts that encourages others to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform to group norms. The influence of peers declines upon entering adulthood (Stephanie, 2012).

Peer pressure occurs when an individual's thoughts or actions are affected by other people. The process of interpersonal influence that affects actors' attitudes and opinions is an important foundation of peer socialization, identity, and decisions. Social media (SM), such as Facebook, Orkut, Flickr, and LiveJournal, have become very popular and continue to grow their user base. Users on these SNS usually have explicitly labeled friends, which we consider to be proximity relationships on the networks (Anagnostopoulos, Kumar and Mahdian, 2008). Users can choose to create or join a group or community based on common interests, such as affiliations, hobbies, political stands, or religions. Peer pressure can manifest when people of the same interest realize that they can invite other users to join the same groups. As students move into the larger world of friends and school, many of their ideas and beliefs are reinforced by those around them. It is commonly believed that the close proximity peers, such as friends and friends of friends, have social impact on the joining of a certain group of that node (Stephanie, 2012).

As in any social networks, online or offline, the effect can also be the other way around, when people get to know others by virtue of their common interests and memberships in the same groups. These acquaintances then become new social relations. In social media, these new relations may result in links between users and thus new neighbours in the network topology (Friedkin and Johnsen, 1997; Friedkin and Johnsen, 1999). This research therefore aimed at investigating undergraduate students' perception about the use of social media in learning process at the university level of education. It is also aimed at ascertaining the alternative social media that Undergraduate students visit more often for academic matters and other private purposes. The research was borne out of the need to investigate what could be responsible for the inability of the appropriate authorities to successfully integrate use of social media into university education system in Nigeria. Particular attention was paid to variables of socioeconomic status and peer pressure as it affects use of social media for by Undergraduate students in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Statement of Problem

Many researchers have carried out series of research on how social media influence sharing of information among students in higher institutions. Many parents are worried that university students nowadays spend too much time on Facebook, WhatsApp, 2Go and other social media and do not have enough time for their academic matters. Stakeholders in Nigerian education sector (librarians inclusive) have observed that most students cannot even go two-three hours without checking or updating their profiles on social media networks, yet they do not have time for their academic activities both within and outside the university environment. Some researchers even perceived that undergraduate students from a very rich or averagely rich family background could afford to buy expensive tools such as smart phones and other facilities in order to access and use social media and as such spend a longer amount of time on social media than students from a poor family background without smart phones. Hence, most of the undergraduate students believe that using social media is a way of "fitting in" with peers, just like many other types of groups in high school. In other words, they believe that if they are not on social media like Facebook, Badoo, Twitter, MySpace etc. they do not belong. The ultimate goal of social media is creating an active and knowledge network community that individuals can exchange and share their valuable information. This study therefore intends to contribute to knowledge by paying keen attention to variables of SES, peer pressure and use of social media with reference to Undergraduate students in University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Research Questions

The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

  1. What are the types of social media used by undergraduate students in University of Ibadan, Nigeria?

  2. What are socio-economic factors that determine undergraduate students' use of social media in University of Ibadan, Nigeria?

  3. What are peer pressure influences on use of social media in University of Ibadan, Nigeria?

  4. Why do undergraduate students use social media in University of Ibadan, Nigeria? Research Hypothesis

    The following are the hypotheses that are set to test for the purpose of this study.

    Ho1: There is no significant relationship between socio-economic status and use of social media by undergraduate students in University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

    Ho2: There is no significant relationship between peer pressure and use of social media by Undergraduate students in University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

    Ho3: There is no significant joint influence of socio-economic status and peer pressure on use of social media by undergraduate students in University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

    Ho4: There is no significant joint effect of socio-economic status and peer pressure on use of social media by undergraduate students in University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

    Literature Review

    Social media use by undergraduate...

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