Mass Communication Project Topics

Influence of Social Media on the Writing and Reading Ability

Influence of Social Media on the Writing and Reading Ability

Influence of Social Media on the Writing and Reading Ability

Chapter One

Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the influence of the social media on the reading and writing culture of students in Bowen University.

Specifically, the study aims at identifying the following:

  1. The activities students engage in at home, school or in their hostels.
  2. The time students devote to reading books, magazines, playing games, watching chatting with friends and listening to music.
  3. The Influence of the social media on the students’ reading hours.
  4. The influence of the social media on the students’ writing ability.



Definition of Social Media

Social media can be defined as forms of electronic communication through which users interact among people in which they create, freely share, exchange and discuss information, ideas, personal messages, and other content about each other and their lives using a multimedia mix of personal words, pictures, videos and audio, utilizing online platforms while they are connected to the Internet (Cox & Rethman, (2011). Since their appearance, social media have changed different aspects of people‟s lives. Social media that were emerged by the rise of Web 2.0 technologies are characterized by several significant features such as user generated content, online identity creation and relational networking (Margo, 2012).

Social media are modern interactive communication channels through which people connect to one another, share ideas, experiences, pictures, movies, messages and information of common interest. They are social interactive networks which information and communication technologies (ICTs) bequeathed to the modern society through the instrumentality of the internet and the communication engineered gadgets.

Social media have become very popular means of both interpersonal and public communication in Nigeria and the world at large (Awake, 2011). As the influence of emergent social media continues to increase, individual members of publics are starting to demand participatory communication with and from organizations (Kang, 2010; Edelman, 2008). The use of the social media has become widely recognized by people of all ages and geographical dispensations (Kim and Johnson, 2009). People rely on the internet as a source of information, and as a way of getting fast information

The great influence of the ICTs on human communication was hailed by Edogor (2008, p.1) when he opined that one of the monumental innovations which happens in this century is Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). These facilitate human communication at both interpersonal and mass communication levels. The novel innovation gave birth to the computer which in turn begot the internet that has transformed the hitherto existing mass media.

This, perhaps made Oyero (2007, p.169) to aver that, “the traditional lines between media are disappearing.” The internet has eroded the distinctions among media, thus merging them up into one. Also, on the contribution of the internet to mass media messages, Agu (2011, p.131) succinctly asserts that:

The internet makes it possible to expand the networks and to increase the possibilities for communicating with wider audiences on the globe. The invention and the introduction of the internet…have allowed breaking news stories to reach around the globe within minutes. This has given rise to what is known as “cross-media” which means the distribution of same message through different channels.

In fact, it is a common knowledge that breaking news has become synonymous with the Social media. Before the reporter gets his pen to paper, the social sites are awash with the stories being reported. The social media trend particularly, is significantly repositioning the entire media world in a phenomenal pattern. Constant accessibility, availability and ease of use are the most visible advantages of the new media over the conventional ones. This accounts for their unprecedented popularity all over the world. Also, the ubiquity of the social media within their short period of arrival is unparalleled in the annals of media industry. Awake!  (2011, p.24) buttress this point by noting that “Social networking has become hugely popular. Consider this: It took 38 years for radio to reach 50 million users, 13 years for television to attract the same number, and 4 years for the internet to do so. The social networking site Facebook gained 200 million users in a 12-month period!”

Academic media

Academic media include things such as textbooks, educational programming and other such forms that are produced specifically with educational aims in mind. While these forms of media do standardize seemingly high-quality material for lots of different students, educators such as Leon Kamin assert that when education becomes standardized in this way, excellence is impossible. Kamin states that when educational media companies start to push pre-packaged curricular materials, including textbooks and informational videos, the individual creativity of students and teachers is bulldozed in favor of a so-called “universal” educational program (Hamilton, 2013).





Research design

This study is a descriptive survey. The engagement of descriptive survey design was because of its ability to predict behavior and assist in gathering identical information concerning all cases in a sample (Bordens & Abott, 2002; Aldridge & Levine, 2001).

 Area of study

This study was carried out in Bowen University, Osun state. Osun is an inland state in south-western Nigeria. Its capital is Osogbo. It is bounded in the north by Kwara State, in the east partly by Ekiti State and partly by Ondo State, in the south by Ogun State and in the west by Oyo State.

Sources of data

The primary and secondary sources of data collected were adopted in this research work.

Primary Source: Data in the category were collected mainly though visits, personal participation and observation and distribution of questionnaires to the respondents under study.

The various methods were adopted independently to reduce the incidence of bias or subjective views about the subject on investigation.

Secondary Source: Secondary data in this research work were collected through the review of related literature; the relevant literatures were obtained from books journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Consequently, libraries were consulted, prominent among them were the institute of management and technology library, national library and school library.


Data Analysis and Discussion of Findings

This part focuses on the analysis and interpretation of data that were collected for this study to establish the extent of the influence of the social media on students’ reading culture in Nigerian Universities with Bowen University as an example. Data collected for this study were analyzed using frequency distribution and simple percentages.

Of the 50 respondents, 21 (42%) are in year 1 class, 19 (38%) are in their second year, while 10 (20%) of the students respondents are in the Year 3. This shows that students from different levels were examined in order to give the study a wider spread.




Based on the research findings, it is concluded that reading should be inculcated in the students by incorporating the internet into the leaching and learning process. Because of its popularity, the internet if effectively managed can enhance the reading culture of the students in no small way. Also, the study revealed that adequate books if provided in the school libraries will enhance the reading ability and stimulate interest among learners.

This research will go a long way in finding a lasting solution to the over bearing influence of the social media on students reading culture by looking at ways through which these electronic means can be incorporated into the curriculum in order to help improve the fast culture of reading among youths especially those in tertiary institutions. The findings from this study will also help the teachers in finding ways through which students can be made to read books and also ways through which the positive aspects of the social media can be incorporated into the school curriculum. This study is of scholarly importance. Students undergoing research works similar to the present study and other scholars alike will find this work as a reference material or a spring board for their own research.


The following recommendations are made based on the research findings:

  1. The internet should be adequately monitored and incorporated into the teaching and learning process in schools because of its influence on the way the students read and study.
  2. The federal Government should establish functional libraries which are adequately catered for and well equipped with current biographic material which will in turn stimulate the interest and increase the reading habits of students.
  3. Reading should be promoted through partnership and collaboration between the public and private sectors such as publishers, booksellers, librarians, teachers and all employers of labour to encourage readership campaign.
  4. Parents should as a matter of fact encourage reading by buying the children books as gifts during their birthdays and when they pass examinations.
  5. Libraries should strive to create an environment conducive to reading so as to make the school children feel at home and comfortable.
  6. Schools should organize debates and essay competitions for students. This exercise will help in generating reading interest and the habit of gathering information.
  7. Parents should set out time for watching television, playing video games and chatting with friends and also surfing the internet so as to avoid distraction from the social media.


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