Social Networking among Library and Information Science Undergraduate Students

Social Networking among Library and Information Science Undergraduate Students

Onome Norah Alakpodia (Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2015070108
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine social networking use among Library and Information Science students of the Delta State University, Abraka. In this study, students completed a questionnaire which assessed their familiarity with social networking sites, the purpose for which they use social networking site and their most preferred sites to use. Furthermore the study tested two hypotheses. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test and chi square tests of significance. Results indicated that almost all of the sampled students were familiar with social networking and their most used site is Facebook. Findings also revealed that there is no significant difference in the usage of social networking sites by male and female LIS students and that there is significant relationship between the age of the students and social networking sites that they use.
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Introduction

Before the deregulation of the Nigerian telecommunication sector, fewer Nigerians had access to computers while the lack of sufficient technological infrastructure such as the Internet and mobile phones constrained communication within the society Ogbe (2013). In 1999, the telecommunication sector was deregulated and this brought about unlimited access to communications and Internet connectivity. Along with this trend came social networking as an innovative way for individuals and families to communicate. The traditional way of having to meet with an individual before a message can be delivered or passed from person to person has long gone and given way to a world where complete strangers meets on social media websites and become great friends.

According to BusinessDay (2013) between 2000 and 2012, internet penetration in Nigeria grew from a paltry 0.06 percent to 34 percent. Presently, Nigeria has the largest internet population in Africa and is 11th in the world. With a population of 167 million and 48,366,179 (28.4%) internet users as at 2013, Nigeria is the biggest internet market in Africa, with students representing 45% of the Nigeria’s internet population (Terragon, 2013).

Daluba and Maxwell (2013) stated that social media is a means of interactions among people of different ages in which they create, share and exchange information and ideas in a virtual communities and network. It is a powerful new form of communication and its use cut across rank, profession, age etc. similarly, Gelber (2011) believes that social networking is a 21st century phenomenon that is an instrument of communication that gives information and interacts with its users while giving the information.

Zakaria, Watson, and Edwards (2010) stated that social media applications have already being accepted by younger generations as a platform to socialize, collaborate and learn in an informal and flexible manner, although their level of involvement and contribution varies significantly. According to Seal-World (2014) previous studies suggest that when Nigerians go online (predominantly with their mobile phones) they spend much of their time on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on).

BusinessDay (2013) observed that in Nigeria, there is a draught in a comprehensive attempts to profile Nigeria’s online users and to give a description of what they do online, where they do it, what devices they use to access the internet, and the factors which affect what they do online at any particular time, furthermore, no study has been carried out on the social media usage of Library and Information Science students of Delta State University. Consequently, the intention of this study is to explore the students’ familiarity with and the purpose for which they use social media sites. Previous examinations of student on social media usage showed that undergraduate students form a large proportion of users on social media networks (Ikolo, 2009; Pempek, Yermolayeva, & Calvert, 2009; Lenhart, Purcell, Smith, & Zickuhr, 2010).

Research Objectives

The following research questions were answered in the study:

  • 1.

    To find out how familiar students of Library and Information Science department are with social networking sites.

  • 2.

    To investigate the purpose for which Library and Information Science undergraduate students use social networking sites.

  • 3.

    To find out which social networking sites is mostly used by students.

  • 4.

    To determine if there is a significant difference between male and female students use of social networking sites.

  • 5.

    To determine if there is a significant relationship between the social media site used and the age of the students.

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