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1.1 Background to the Study

The world is today celebrating the improvements in communication technology which has broadened the scope of communication through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Modern Technology in communication no doubt has turned the entire world into a “Global village”. But as it is, technology like two sides of a coin, bring with it both negative and positive sides. It helps people to be better informed, enlightened, and keeping abreast with world developments.

Technology exposes mankind to a better way of doing things. Social networking sites include: Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Blackberry Messenger (BBM), Whatsapp messenger, 2go messenger, Skype, Google talk, Google Messenger, iPhone and Androids. These networking sites are used by most people to interact with old and new friends, physical or internet friends (Asemah and Edegoh, 2012). The world has been changed rapidly by the evolution of technology; this has resulted into the use of technology as the best medium to explore the wide area of knowledge.

The evolution of internet technology has led to its use as the best medium for communication. Whereby, two-third of the world’s internet population visits social networking or blogging sites, thus serving as a communication and connection tool. Social networking sites (SNSs) are online Communities of Internet users who want to communicate with other users about areas of mutual interest, whether from a personal, business or academic perspective‖ (William ,Boyd, Densten, Chin, Diamond & Morgenthaler 2009). The millions of social networking sites have transformed the thought of global village into a reality whereby billions of people communicate through social networking sites. Numerous benefits have been obtained through distant communication through the use of social networking sites.


Internet and smartphones enable users to be permanently online and permanently connected (Vorderer et al., 2018). As a consequence, users can permanently be distracted by social media. Social media distraction refers to the process by which social media cues draw individuals’ attention away from a task that they originally pursued (e.g., working). Due to especially mobile access to social media, distractions by social media can occur frequently. Previous studies on multitasking have consistently demonstrated negative effects of distraction on performance (Jeong and Hwang, 2016), on academic performance among students (Junco and Cotten, 2012; Giunchiglia et al., 2018) and on well-being (e.g., Brooks, 2015). By drawing away users’ attention, distractions take up limited cognitive resources.

According to Inyang, (2021), Social media distraction is the phenomenon of being drawn away from a task by social media cues, such as notifications, updates, or posts. This can happen when we are trying to focus on work, school, or other activities. Social media distraction can be caused by a number of factors, including: The constant availability of social media. We are now able to access social media at any time, from any device. This makes it easy to check our feeds or respond to messages even when we are supposed to be focused on something else. The addictive nature of social media.

Social media platforms are designed to keep us engaged, often by using techniques such as notifications, likes, and comments. This can make it difficult to put down our phones or laptops, even when we know we should be focusing on something else. The fear of missing out (FOMO). Social media can make us feel like we are missing out on something if we are not constantly connected. This can lead to us checking our feeds more often, even when we do not have any new notifications and when this happens, the student is bound to decline in his or her academic achievement because the number of hours allocated to his or her social media platforms more than hours allocated  academic activities.

Academic excellence or achievement plays an important role in an individual placement, be it in the academic institutions or job placement. Due to this, many people are concerned with the ways they can enhance their academic achievement. The emphasis on academic excellence which is also prevalent worldwide has encouraged many studies about the conditions promoting it.

The role of academic achievement as one of the predictors of one’s life success and also in the aspect of academic placement in schools to higher institutions as well as the level of employability in one’s career is inevitable (Kyoshaba, 2009). Academic performance, which is measured by the examination results, is one of the major goals of a school. Hoyle (1986) argued that schools are established with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills to those who go through them and behind all this is the idea of enhancing good academic performance.

Academic performance or achievement is the outcome of education, the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Academic performance is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important, procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts (Annie, Howard & Mildred, 1996).

A direct relationship exists between Social media usage and the academic performance of students in secondary school. However the darker side within technological evolution has resulted in dilemmas such as the setback of real values of life especially among students who form the majority of users interacting through the use of social networking sites. Online social networking sites focus on building and reflecting social associations among people who share interests and or activities. With so many social networking sites displayed on the internet, students are tempted to abandon their homework and reading times in preference for chatting online with friends. Many students are now addicted to the online rave of the moment, with Facebook, Twitter etc.

Today most youths and students possess Facebook accounts. The reason most of them perform badly in school might not be far- fetched. While many minds might be quick to blame the poor quality of teachers, they might have to think even harder, if they have not heard of the Facebook frenzy (Oche & Aminu .2010). Olubiyi (2012) noted that these days’ students are so engrossed in the social media that they are almost 24 hours online. Even in classrooms and lecture theatres, it has been observed that some students are always busy pinging, 2going or Facebooking, while classes are on.

Times that ought be channeled towards learning, academic research and innovating have been crushed by the passion for meeting new friends online, and most times busy discussing trivial issues. Hence most students’ academics suffer setback as a result of distraction from the social media. In (Obi, Bulus, Adamu & Sala’at 2012), it was observed that the use of these sites also affects students’ use of English and grammar. The students are used to short forms of writing words in their chat rooms; they forget and use the same in the classrooms.


However, according to Lawson, (2021) Social media distraction can have a number of negative consequences, including: Reduced productivity. When we are constantly distracted by social media, it can be difficult to focus on our work or studies. This can lead to missed deadlines, errors, and lower grades. Increased stress levels. Social media can be a source of stress, especially if we are constantly comparing ourselves to others.

This can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems including problems with relationships. Social media can take away from our time with our friends and family. This can lead to conflict and decreased communication. Given these negative consequences, it is important to understand users’ underlying reasons for social media distraction. Understanding the reasons for social media distraction can help to increase users’ agency to deal with unwanted social media distractions.

Social media’s strong pull factor–others have described it as “hedonic appeal” (Brooks, 2015) or temptation (Hofmann et al., 2017)–makes users “drawn to distraction” (Aagaard, 2015) and leads them to override their primary goals and tasks. This strong pull of social media has a high potential for distraction. For instance, research has found that students cannot focus for long on a task such as studying, and that, on average, they switch to social media after about six minutes of focused work (Rosen et al., 2013) and react to notifications shortly after their arrival (Pielot et al., 2014). In order to limit these distractions so that goals can be successfully accomplished, it is necessary to understand the underlying reasons for the distractions.

In recent times the world has witnessed a rapid increase in technological innovations, this era ushered in the advent of social media among other modern technologies in the society. At present the use of social has been linked to every part of human endeavours, such as industries engineering, agriculture, education etc. also, the inception of social medias has imparted positively in teaching methodology, research and developments, information and other related areas.

The integration of these Medias into the teaching and learning process in Nigeria Institutions (Primary Post-primary and tertiary) is a very welcomed development towards, improvement and advancement of education in line with the global standard. Akeem (2016) asserted that, the integration of social media in school system helps the students to learn independently, be updated with the school information and stand a better chance to obtain better academic achievement, since the world itself id technologically inclined.


He went further to say that the use of social media  like the computer systems will help the teachers in preparing the lesson content, assist in curriculum design and stand a chance of delivery their lessons to the students in a more effective and comprehensive manner. Braith, (2013) asserted that, social media are medium or channel through which students get involve with social networks like facebook, whatsapp, twitter and the rest of them.

Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks (Boyd, 2017). Students usually access social media services via web-based technologies on desktops and laptops, or download services that offer functional educational information to their mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets) which help them in their academic endeavors.

As users engage with these electronic services, they create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities, and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, participate and modify user-generated content that can help them improve both academically and otherwise. Kaplan and Haenlein (2010), defined social media as a group of internet- based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 and allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.

The Oxford dictionary (2011), also defined social media as “applications used for social networking”. Another definition of social media is that it is a ‘’communication channel which is very popular, extremely fast and broad, has proven to be highly effective, as well as trusted by billions of people , to share and discover content concerning individuals, brands, information, entertainment and knowhow’’ (Dearborn, 2014). One theme that all these definitions underpin is that social media involves some form of communication between individuals over the internet.

Today, social media has taken a new dimension and has encouraged more participation through the introduction of mobile phones that support social networks. The use of mobile phones that are powered by Android applications for social network, with these developments in technology social networking sites have become more and more popular among students because of the use of social media, and a major concern have arose over how the use of social media sites among undergraduate students affects their academic performances. It was on this background that the researcher was interested to examine social media distraction and students academic performance in economics in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In educational system, success is measured by academic performance or how well a student meets the standard set out by the institution. The menace of failure among the young school students has stared parent, government and stakeholders in the face. There is a consensus of opinion about the fallen standard of education as a big problem that is hindering the posterity of the Nigerian nation in terms of quality man-power resources. Most students in secondary schools experience academic challenges that manifest itself in the form of poor academic performance mostly in Economics subject.

Since the advent of social media sites in the 1990s, it is assumed in some quarters that the academic performance of students is facing a sort of neglect and divided attention between social networking activities and their academic work. It is observed that students devote more attention to social media sites than they do to their studies. Students in today’s digital world rely heavily on various social media sites. There are many advantages to using these platforms, such as being able to keep in touch with loved ones, learn new things, and interact with people from all over the world.

 Despite the profitability of social media, there are worries that students’ academic performance may suffer as a result of the popularity of social media. Time management and distractions are two major issues that might arise while using social media. Students who spend too much time on social media may struggle with time management and become less productive in the classroom. Students are easily distracted from their studies by constant alerts, endless scrolling feeds, and the appeal of viral material. Hence, this study seeks to examine the impact of social media distraction on students’ academic performance in economics in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study will be to examine the influence of social media distraction on students’ academic performance in Economics in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. determine the extent to which the use of Facebook distracts the academic performance of students.
  2. examine the extent to which the use of Whatsapp distracts the academic performance of students.
  3. examine the extent to which the use of Twitter distracts the academic performance of students.
  4. examine the extent to which the use of Tiktok distracts the academic performance of students.

1.4  Significance of the Study

This study is significant to the teachers, parents and students. This study will serve as a guide and help the teachers of the school to know the influence that social media has and is still wielding over the academics of students especially in economics, and also as an eye opener for them to assist in enlightening and creating awareness for the students, enumerating to them the possible negative influences it could have on them if not checked.

The study is of significant to the parents in the sense that they will have an informed knowledge of the possible negative effects of the social media on their children and serve as a watch-dog to help checkmate the unnecessary exposure of their children to the social networking sites, after all the parent is the first teacher of any child.

In the same vein, the study will enable the students of the senior level to have an understanding that, apart from the social benefits of this social networking site which is more projected, using the sites more than necessary will pose possible dangers to their life and career. It will be relevant in assisting students in understanding the diversity of social media. It will provide relevance material for students and other researchers undertaking similar research.


1.5       Research Questions

In order to achieve the derived objective of this research, the following research questions were raised to guide the study:

  1. To what extent does the use of Facebook influence the academic performance of students?
  2. To what extent does the use of Whatsapp influence the academic performance of students?
  3. To what extent does the use of Twitter influence the academic performance of students?
  4. To what extent does the use of Tiktok influence the academic performance of students?

1.6 Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were postulated to guide the study:

  1. the use of Facebook does not significantly influence the academic performance of students in Economics.
  2. the use of Whatsapp does not significantly influence the academic performance of students in Economics.
  3. the use of Twitter does not significantly influence the academic performance of students in Economics.
  4. the use of Tiktok does not significantly influence the academic performance of students in Economics.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

In conducting a research study of this kind, there are bound to be some challenges. Thus, some of the challenges encountered in the course of this study are as follows:

Time constraint: time duration allowed for the completion of this research work could not be enough for the research to have a wider scope. Hence some schools were sampled and student out of all the schools in the area.

Financial problem: this constituted one of the major limitations to the researcher especially as the researcher had to source for relevant materials on the topic and visit the sampled schools under the investigation for data collection.

Insufficient references materials: this also was a problem as the researcher needed enough relevant literature on the topic.

1.8 Delimitation of the Study

There are many factors affecting the academic performance of students, but this research study will only focus attention on the distract of social media on students’ academic performance in Economics in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms used in the research work will be properly defined thus:

Social Media: Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks

Social media distraction: In this study, social media distraction is defined as the phenomenon of social media cues (the distractors) drawing the attention away from the task at hand and directing it instead toward social media.

Academic performance: this refers to the outcome of learning activities in the school system. In this study, it refers to student scores or grades in Economic test or examination.

Economics: This is the study of how people make choices under conditions of scarcity. It is a social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economics is concerned with how individuals, businesses, governments, and nations make decisions about how to allocate resources.

Social Network: Are social media website that aid the communication and sharing of information via facebook, whatsapp, twitter, etc.

Students: a group of learner in an academic institution.

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