BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The speed of Internet has changed the way people receive the information. It combines the immediacy of broadcast with the in-depth coverage of newspapers making it perfect sources for news and weather information. Even with the multimedia excitement of the web, Electronic mail (email) is the most frequently used application of the Internet. Many people, who have access to the Internet at school, home and at work place use the Internet for no other purpose than to send and to receive the mail. It‘s not just friends and co-workers that are receiving email. Wherever you look, the web is providing email addresses. This has made communication between the strangers easier than ever. Chatting is one of the more popular activities on the Internet- people can talk to anyone across the world.
Introduction of social media networking sites has facilitated communication. These are web-sites where users can create a profile and connect that profile to others to form an explicit personal network. They are web-based services that allow individuals to:
- Construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system
- Articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection
- View and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the
The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.
Through social media, people can use networks of online friends and group memberships to keep in touch with current friends, reconnect with old friends or create real life friendships through
similar interests or groups. Besides establishing important social relationships, social media members can share their interests with other likeminded members by joining groups and forums. Some networking can also help members find a job or establish business contacts. Most social media websites also offer additional features. In addition to blogs and forums, members can express themselves by designing their profile page to reflect their personality.
The most popular extra features include music and video sections. The video section can include everything from member generated videos from hundreds of subjects to TV clips and movie trailers (You tube).
It is therefore the aim of this study to establish the impact that these social media has on the young individual‘s behavioral change.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study will try to find out Media Influence On The Lifestyle Of Youths In Nigeria. Technology has many positive aspects but, in the wrong hands, it can become dangerous. For the young people it is experiments to do what they feel is good or exciting to them and the friends and at the same time avoid adult supervision. Livingstone (2008) opines that for teenagers, the online realm may be adopted enthusiastically because it represents ‗their‘ space, visible to the peer group more than to adult surveillance, an exciting yet relatively safe opportunity to conduct the social psychological task of adolescence – to construct, experiment with and present a reflexive project of the self in a social context, as well as, for some, for flouting communicative norms and other risk-taking behaviors.
Technology brought about social media which is a valuable tool but is somewhat misused by today‘s youth. The two main forms that the youth use to access social media are cell phones and the Internet which have brought about major changes in their lifestyle.
With the current exposure and easy access that the youth are able to get out of these mediums, this study will establish the impacts it has have on the youth. Issues that are expected to arise out of this research include exposure to problematic materials, online victimization of youth, exposition to unnecessary online marketing and advertising, exposure to dangerous online behaviours, issues of identity theft, the emergence of digital divide and generation gap between parents and the youth.
According to Ritchel, Matt in an article, ―Growing up Digital, Wired for Distraction.” on The New York Times. 21 Nov. 2010, others include wastage of time, building of shallow and harmful relationships, and, eventually, causing rather than alleviating, users‘ depression, loneliness, social isolation, and withdrawal among others.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The goal of this research is to address the impact and implications of media on the Nigerian youths especially those in private and federal Universities on the way they are using these medium and the consequences of that use on their behaviour.
- To determine how the youth in Nigerian private and federal university use social media in their daily lives
- To determine if the youth in Nigerian private and federal university prefer social media as means of communication as opposed to traditional
- To find out the impacts social media has on behavior changes among the Nigerian private and federal university.
- To determine the risks that comes with use of social media on the Nigerian private and federal university
The following research questions guided the study:
- How do the youth in Nigerian private and federal university use social media in their daily lives?
- Do the youth in Nigerian private and federal university prefer social media as a means of communication as opposed to traditional methods?
- What are the impacts of social media on the behavior change of youths in Nigerian private and federal university ?
- What are the risks that come with use of social media among the youths in Nigerian private and federal university ?
JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that the findings of this study will bridge the gap of lack of sufficient information on the effects of social media on the youth and behavior change. The findings of this study may also be useful to the policy makers in various sectors of the government. For instance, in the educational sector curriculum developers will be informed when developing curriculum for the youth. In the health ministry, it will help doctors especially those dealing with counseling of the youth to know which tools to use to effectively communicate to the youth. The results of the study are likely to influence further scholarly research by other researchers who may be interested in this field of knowledge and initiate appropriate mitigation.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study seeks to find out the impacts of social media among the youth on behavior change. While the study recognizes that new interactive technologies have impacts on other age groups outside the youth bracket, and as such this study will limit itself only to the youths in Nigerian private and federal university .
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study is limited by time and financial resources and as result the research will have to source for more financial resources and use alternative means. Since few similar studies have been done especially in institutions of higher learning, there is limited empirical literature on the area of impacts of media on behavior change especially in the context of Nigerian private and federal university . Another expected limitation is that the youth might fail to give correct information on the basis of invasion of their privacy. The researcher will explain to them that the study is purely for academic purposes and not motivated by any other interests whatsoever.
The researcher will basically proceed with assumption that she will be able to locate the respondents and that they will be willing to co-operate and give truthful and sincere answers to the items listed in the questionnaires.
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