SOCIAL MEDIA USE, CHANGES IN READING /WRITING CULTURE, AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF UNDERGRADUATES IN THE NIGER DELTA UNIVERSITY, BAYELSA STATE
Keywords:Facebook, WhatsApp, Academic performance, Reading and writing culture, Social media
This study examined the impact of social media usage on the reading and writing culture of undergraduate students of Niger Delta University vis-a-vis the academic performance of the students. No doubt, the use of social media has brought significant changes to all aspects of human lives within the past decade. Despite this, there is a dearth of empirical studies analysing the change it has brought to reading and writing culture of undergraduate students in Nigeria. Uses and gratification theory was adopted as framework for
the study, while a survey research design was employed. The Niger Delta University was purposively selected as the research locale based on its lack of empirical analysis on the subject matter. The university was clustered into faculties and a sample of 392 respondents was drawn using Yamane (1967) formula. Simple random sampling was used to proportionately administer a structured questionnaire on students. Descriptive statistics and Multiple Linear Regression at P<0.05 were applied to analyse Data. The average age of the respondents was 21.29±2.49 years. The majority used WhatsApp (100.0%) and Facebook (30.9%) to study or write as undergraduate students. They also used these platforms to read journal articles (47.2%), academic books (85.7%) and watch movies (99.0%) among others. These activities, however, jointly predicted academic performance at (R=0.895, R2=0.801, Adj. R2=0.797, F(8,
383)=192.854). Using the social media to read Journal articles (β=0.112), academic books (β=-0.308), magazines (β=-0.123), newspapers (β=-0.265), watch movies (β=0.107), pictures (β=-0.496) and advertisement (β=-0.974) correlated student academic performance. The study recommended that, students academic reading materials be distributed on social media platforms following the students’ level of trend and addiction to social media.
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