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THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON STUDENTS’ READING CULTURE IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

ABSTRACT

This research focused on the impact of social media on students’ reading habits at postsecondary institutions. The study focuses on the sorts of social media that students often use. The study also looked into whether students’ use of social media in higher institutions has an impact on their reading habits. In addition, the survey looks into how often students go to the library to read books. Finally, the study looks at how much social media is used by students in academic institutions. The survey yielded a total of 30 valid replies.

The findings revealed that the sorts of social media most commonly used by students are facebook, twitter, instagram, and whatsapp, based on the replies gathered and assessed. Students’ reading habits are also influenced by their use of social media in academic institutions. Furthermore, students frequently visit the library to read literature. Finally, students in postsecondary institutions use social media. As a result, the study suggests that students be encouraged to join an English or literary group in order to further their interest in reading. In order to improve students’ reading habits, the University administration should hold a reading competition at the end of each academic session and recognize the best readers. Furthermore, comprehensive reading should be integrated into the minimum university level in Nigeria as an independent general study course for students to develop their reading habits.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Reading is a process that needs the employment of complicated thought processes to interpret printed symbols as meaningful units and grasp them as a thought unit in order to understand them. This means that reading is a process of deducing meaning from symbols in order to mold the mind. Reading is a crucial component of everyday activities of being informed, in addition to developing the intellect. Reading is described as an enveloping activity that is integrative in character and influences the reader’s perceptual, cognitive, and affective domains by Ogbuiyi, Oriogu, Momoh, and Ogbuiyi (2013). It can also refer to an individual’s decision to read whatever they desire. Reading allows a person to grow and create new perspectives on life and the world at large. Individuals can also make decisions that lead to personal health and happiness via reading. Reading, according to Owusu-Acheaw and Larson (2014), gives information vital for daily survival. This implies that reading acts as a bridge between ignorance and knowledge. Reading is defined as the ability to recognize and comprehend characters or words on paper, whether printed or written. It is defined by Ogugua, Emerole, Egwim, Anyanwu, and Haco-Obasi (2015) as the ability to derive meaning from words, to comprehend words contained in a document, and to apply that knowledge to personal progress. Reading, according to Palani (2012), It aids in the development of critical thinking skills that aid in the making of sound decisions. Reading, according to Hall(2012), is the realization of a general interpretative process that underpins all communicative acts. This means that when you read, you’re predicting, questioning, assessing, and redefining an idea. Reading, according to Issa (2012), is reasoning since it incorporates critical, analytical, creative, imaginative, evaluative, judgemental, and problem-solving thinking. Reading, according to Kamalova (2016), is an integrative activity that begins with the reader and encompasses the effective, perceptual, and cognitive domains. Reading is made up of activities that help pupils achieve academic achievement and high exam results. Reading entails paying close attention to printed words and the meaning they communicate. When pupils read, they are engaging in a process of knowledge acquisition that involves both the reader and the text. Individuals can improve their knowledge by reading. This claim is backed up by Nyam(2015), who claims that reading is critical to getting more informed and understanding ourselves and others. Reading is regarded as the foundation of education. Learners at all levels of education are obliged to participate in this activity. It is a strategic exercise aimed at improving pupils’ knowledge. Reading is an important technique for transferring knowledge. Reading is essential for academic and intellectual development at all levels, according to Ogbonna (2014). Reading, according to Skinner(2013), is one of the most significant activities in tertiary education since it provides material that has been investigated, structured, and documented according to academic discourse rules. As a result, it is critical for college students to cultivate the habit of reading in order to attain academic success. Reading ability permits learners at every level of education in Nigeria, where English is the national language, to read and understand other subjects in the school curriculum. As a result, reading is an academic activity that improves reading abilities for academic advancement. According to Onwusu-Acheaw (2014), pupils’ reading habits have a significant impact on their academic outcomes. College success necessitates knowledge of facts and the cultivation of abilities in the learners’ subject of study, which is accomplished through a good reading habit. Reading habits describe the conduct that reflects a desire to read and a taste for reading (Boateng, 2016). Reading habit refers to the practice of reading on a regular basis. Students’ capacity to develop a reading habit, on the other hand, can broaden their intellectual horizons while also improving access to essential material for academic success. According to Nyam(2015), reading habits are the single most important factor of success.

One aspect that appears to influence reading culture is the use of social media. The newest technology explosion in the information age is social media. It is an online networking platform that focuses on fostering, strengthening, and reflecting on social relationships between people who share a common interest, purpose, or activity. Since the introduction of social networking sites in 1994, social media has allowed users to communicate with people all over the world. It is general known that millions of individuals utilize social media on a daily basis for a variety of purposes, thereby making the world a global village. Social media usage is widespread among all age groups in society. Young people, notably university students, are among those who use social media intensively. The number of young people using popular social networking sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram is rapidly increasing around the world. According to Onuoha and Saheed (2011), young people in society, particularly tertiary students, utilize social media extensively. Scholars such as Danladi (2018) and Ailakhu (2017) believe that social media facilitates communication with youngsters and provides them with information to stay up with societal events. Although numerous experts have looked into the use of social media and the reading habits of undergraduate students in various contexts.

Statement of the problem

The decline in reading habits and interest among students in higher education is a challenge to education stakeholders, particularly those who train teachers in various fields. Most students at education colleges have a low interest in reading, which has contributed to their poor academic performance. According to Onwusu-Acheaw (2014), most students’ lack of healthy reading habits correlates to their low performance in tests and examinations. Similarly, Palani (2012) finds that in most postsecondary institutions, students do not read, and those who do read do so mainly to pass their exams. According to Ezeah (2013), teaching and learning in tertiary institutions is beset by challenges from the learner’s perspective. In this regard, investigations suggest that the majority of students who graduate from such schools have low reading skills, which can be linked to a lack of reading habits during their school days. The introduction of social media as a medium of communication among students has exacerbated the situation. They spend more time on electronic media, such as browsing, sending text messages, and chatting with pals on their phones, rather than reading books or other printed materials. According to Danladi (2018), social networking sites have proven to be universally addictive for tertiary institution students who spend a significant amount of time maintaining social communications, developing new acquaintances, and having a diverse group of friends during their years of study.

Objective of the study

The study’s overall goal is to determine the impact of social media on tertiary students’ reading habits. The research will be guided by the following objectives in particular:

Examine the various sorts of social media that kids often use.

 

To see if students’ use of social media in higher institutions has an impact on their reading habits.

 

To find out how frequently students go to the library to read books.

 

To determine how much social media is used by students in tertiary institutions.

Research Questions

The following study questions have been prepared.

  1. What are the most popular social media platforms among students?
  2. Does the use of social media by tertiary students have an impact on their reading habits?
  3. How frequently do students go to the library to read?
  4. What percentage of tertiary institution students use social media?

Significance of the study

The impact of social media on tertiary students’ reading habits will be investigated in this study. As a result, it will be important in the following ways:

University management board: This study will be important to the university board since it will design a method to educate students on the importance of improving their reading culture in order to succeed academically.

Academia: This study will be important to the academic community since it will add to the existing literature on the impact of social media on tertiary students’ reading habits.

Scope of the study

This research will look into the different sorts of social media that students utilize often. The study will also look into whether students’ use of social media in higher institutions has an impact on their reading habits. The research will look into how frequently students go to the library to read books. Finally, the study will assess how much social media is used by students in academic institutions. As a result, this research will be limited to the University of Ilorin in Kwara State.

Limitation of the study

The researcher faced some challenges in conducting this research, including time limits, money constraints, language barriers, and the respondents’ attitudes.

Furthermore, there was the issue of researcher bias. The researcher may have had certain biases, which showed up in the method the data was obtained, the kind of people questioned or sampled, and how the data was evaluated afterward. All of this has the potential to have an impact on the findings and conclusions.

Furthermore, because the results of this study are limited to a sample population in the study area, they may not be applicable to other firms or places.

Definition of terms

Websites and programs that allow users to produce and share content or participate in social networking are referred to as social media.

Reading culture refers to the practice of reading books and information sources on a regular basis.

Any institution that offers post-secondary education on a full-time, part-time, or distance basis is referred to as a tertiary institution.

 

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