Social Media Participation and the Nigerian University Student: The Problems and the Potential

Social Media Participation and the Nigerian University Student: The Problems and the Potential


Social Media Participation and the Nigerian University Student: The Problems and the Potential


It would appear a truism that the world has changed dramatically because of the advent of the internet. From a small beginning as a communication tool for a few scientists, today, the lives of individuals around the world especially youths, seem to be built around the internet. From computers and smart phones to watches and eye wear, the seamlessness of the internet makes it that almost anything can now be connected to what is essentially one huge global network which is constantly evolving. That most youths are dependent upon the internet for activities ranging from cooking to illness diagnosis. This implies that youths who grew up knowing the internet, have the tendency to be dependent on it.. The first website was possible because of the World Wide Web programme designed by the British computer scientist Tim-Berners Lee.

The internet also provides a forum for sharing opinions. The popular social media ,Twitter,For instance, has had over 25 billion tweets, since its inception( The internet enables long distance learning via video conferencing. Internet-based health care is being utilized by many countries to deliver primary health care through Webcams and live conferencing. Internet penetration spurs new businesses and encourages enterpreneurship. Internet shopping not only affords and product and price reviwes.


Definition: Social media is defined as new information network and information technology that uses a form of communication utilizing interactive and user-produced content, and where interpersonal relationships are created and maintained.

We have seven different catergories for social media which they arrives at based on the import of social processes theories.They are as follows:

  1. Collaborative projects like Wikipeida
  2. Blogs and microblogs,(E.g Twitter)
  3. Social news networking sites like Sahara reporters and Leakernet
  4. Content Communites (Eg You Tube)
  5. Social Networking sites like Facebook
  6. Virtual game-worlds( E.g World of Warcraft)
  7. Virtual Social worlds like Second life

Brief history of Social Media

  • The First means of communication towards far distances were conducted through written and correspondence delivered by hand from one person to another. This earliest form pf postal service dates back to 550 B.C
  • In 1792, Telegraph was invented. It allowed short messages to be delivered over a long distance
  • In 1865, The pneumatic post was developed. it was an innovative way to deliver letters between recipients, using underground pressurized air tubes to carry capsules from one area to another
  • In 1890 and 1891,the telephone and the radio came to stream
  • In the 1940s, The first super computers were created
  • In the 1960s Computer serve were developed and also primitive forms of email were also developed
  • By the 70s, networking technology had improved and 1970’s UseNet allowed users to commuincate through a virtual newsletter.
  • In the 1980,Home computers were becoming more common and social media was becoming more sophisticated
  • 1997,the first recognizable social media site. Six Degrees.was created.It enable users to upload a profile and make friends with other users
  • Invention of blogging, social media began to explode in popularity. Sites like Myspace and Linkedln and Sites like Photobucket and Flickr Faciliated online Photo sharing
  • You Tube came out In 2005 creating an entirely new way for people to communicate and share with each other across great distances
  • By 2006. facebook and Twitter both became available to users throughout the world. This sites remain popular to this day as social network on the internet. Alongside these, Other sites like Tumblr, Spotify, foursquare and Pinterest had pooped up and are helping to fill specific social networking niches


The greatest problem of the social media is Facelessness. People have uncontrollable power, when they engage in a faceless environment that makes it hard to know who is real and who is not. Social media may be faceless but what is posted is, potentially, irretrievably permanent.

Another problem is the addictive aspect of social media which could be associated with the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO).


Social media is so popular because it allows people to personalize their interactions online. Social media therefore can make studying more collaborative and efficient if the right strategies are adopted by students. According to communication Team (2015), in the quest for educational attainment, social media can help students:

  • To create a community
  • Continue conversation
  • Organize learning resources
  • Supplement course materials

Social media should not be an obstacle to studying. It can help students create and manage a study community, make the best use of study time, and find new resources to help them and retain knowledge

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