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Background of the Study

Electronic communication has become an integral part of our global society. Presently, information is at the doormat of everybody because the world is in the era of information technology. This cannot be compared to few decades back when it takes weeks for one to communicate through letter writing to a beloved one within in or outside the country. In this technological era, information is no longer left for only a few privileged people who can afford the use of land line telephone in offices and homes. Even the people in the remotest village in Nigeria and elsewhere can access information through the cell phone, available internet and social networking sites.

Social networking is a means of communication through which tools like wall posts, status updates, activity feeds, thumbs ups and profiles are used and perhaps characterized online communications namely face book, Myspace Metlog, flicker and twitter (Akaneme, Ibenegbu & Nwosu, 2013). Also, Mashable (2015) opined that social networking service is an online platform or site that focuses on facilitating the social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds or real life.

In the opinion of Ferguson (2007), social networking is online destination which focuses on connecting people they already know and those they do not know. Similarly, Abd-Rahman (2013) described social networking as the use of


online sites (social networking sites) for people to get to know new people, share their profiles, trace their old friends, share pictures, videos, publish upcoming events of their societies, and counties.

In operational terms, social networking is a platform through which individuals’ interest, profiles, pictures, activities, events or news and academic issues are shared and communicated so as to maintain and adopt substantial balance between their academic requirement and individual interest. Social networking as advent of era of information is the use of dedicated websites which enable social interaction and applications to interact with other users or find people with similar interest to their own.

Presently, social networking as a new development has been described as a stage for facilitation and development of adolescents’ social adaptation (Subrahmanyam & Green-Field, 2008; Zhao, Grasmuck & Martin, 2008). Also, people use social networking to share their feeling and disposition to individuals of their networking (Young, 2011). It is a platform through which people communicate and disclose their personal thoughts, feelings and life events (Zhao, Grasmuck & Martin, 2008). Operationally, social networking, therefore, imply platform or online media where individual privately unleash their identities, problems and views to life for others in the same network to comment. Social network platform includes 2go, facebook, whatsapp, twitter, instagram, google, to mention a few.


The outbreak of social networking has both negative and positive implications. In recent times, students are becoming addictive in their social networking communicative skills (Abd-Rahman, 2013). No wonder, Ojo and Omoyemiju (2008) found out that students spend larger percentage of their time on social networking sites like e-mail, facebook and 2go while they spend less time on the internet for academic proposes. Boyd (2009) maintained that social networking has impacted negatively on the adolescents and this has caused anxiety on families and friends. The involvement of students in social networking has deprived them the opportunity to read their books and other necessary things (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011). Invariably, Idakwo (2011) lamented that school work and social interaction have been affected at the advent of these social media. In essence, students have lost control due to their unrestricted commitment and engagement in social networking, making them vulnerable to academic problems such as poor result, poor study habits, truancy, examination malpractice, disrespecting school rules and regulation and other inappropriate behaviours.

Furthermore, excessive mental preoccupation with social networking, repetitive thoughts about limiting or controlling the use, failure to prevent the desire for access, craving for using the internet when access is not available are the remarkable problems with social networking addiction (Adedeji, 2011). In the same vein, Itodo (2011) decried that there seem to be an alarming role of social networking obsession among adolescents today; a trend that could affect their academic, social and spiritual lives negatively if not properly controlled. The


pathetic position social networking is taking towards falling standard of Nigerian educational system has become dangerous because it is left unchecked (Bello, 2012).

It is through social networking that students chat and share issues pertaining sex, communicate embarrassingly or hostile information about others, engage in interaction that would arouse their desire to indulge in smoking, witch-hunting each others and exposing them to raping strategies (Collins, Martino & Shaw, 2011; Ogbevoen, 2012; Yharra, Espelage, & Mitchell, 2007). Due to addiction to social networking, the individuals suffer complications and disturbances which affect them negatively in their academics. It therefore implies that adolescents have made social networking part and parcel of their lives and as such, cannot imagine life without that. This has made many students feel passive during family gatherings and school activities. In the class where students’ attention is highly needed in order to adjust and make maximum use of the time, some students appear not to be paying attention to anything and to anybody even in the thick traffic roads, simply because of earphones.

Notwithstanding, researches have shown that social networking has positive implications. For instance, Mason (2006) claimed that social networking sites have enough capacity for a good official education matching the social context of learning and promoting critical thinking in learners. It also has the capacity to change educational system radically, motivating students for better learning rather than being passive attendees of a classroom (Ziegler, 2007). Social


networking is very interesting because of its innovation and solutions to long lasting human problems. Ekponimo (2013) opined that social networking can help to solve the problem of hunger and reduction of waste in the country. This is because social networking adds value to the economy of the nation. Supporting the contribution of social media and internet to national economy, Juwah (2014) stated that the telecoms sector contributed over 8.53 percent increase to Nigeria Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the year 2013. The importance of social networking sites cannot be glossed over especially Nigerians because it explores their communicative skills and exposes them with current trends in society. Social networking can speed up communication and make conversation more interesting and acceptable to people. Digitalization and globalization have offered students the opportunity of communicating with their peers at the other side of the globe and to model whoever that captivates interest whether the model is good or bad. Consequently, students seem to be finding it difficult to adjust and face their academic demands and the desire to access social networking sites

Adjustment is the attitudinal process through which man and animal maintain equilibrium over their desires between their needs and the challenges of life (Romald, 2000). Adjustment is also regarded as peaceful co-existence between a living organism and its environment (Jose, 2010). In the same vein, adjustment is a process that refers to the patterns and means through which living organisms set balance between itself and the surroundings without reference to the consequential effects in terms of success or failure (Paramanik, Saha & Mondal, 2014). In this


study, adjustment means an individual modification of behaviour in order to interact well with the environment. Invariably, the students’ ability to harmonize school variables (school attendance, class work, school rules and regulations) with the student’s psychological and physiological demands shows that the person has adjusted academically. Academic adjustment spans through school adjustment.

Academic adjustment is interpreted to be students’ educational outcome (Birch & Ladd, 1996). Newman (2000) opined that academic adjustment is the process of adapting to the role of being a student and to various aspects of the school environment. Contextually, academic adjustment is the process of setting a balance between students’ psychological and physiological demands and academic requirements. Academic adjustment is the modification of both internal and external demands which gives adolescents facilitation to participate actively in the classes activities in the school.

Academic adjustment is a veritable predictor of psychosocial adaptation because new experiences are learned in school (Phinney, Horenczyk, Leabkind & Vedder, 2001). Also, Gurubasappa (2009) posited that a significant positive high correlation exists between academic achievement and adjustment.

Adolescence is referred to as important stage of intellectual, psychological and instructive feelings (Kelly, 2004). Adolescence is a transition period from childhood to adulthood. The age of the adolescence ranges from 11-19 years for girls and from 13-21 years for boys (Eze, 2005). In the opinion of Osa-Edoh and Iyamu (2012), adolescence is that period in every person’s life that lies between


the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. Operationally, adolescence is a human transitional period which begins from 11years and ends when the individual’s physiological, psychological, intellectual and emotions must have developed to perform adult roles say 18 years. Adolescence is a period of personality formation and shaping of behaviors. The adolescents try to build up their identity and make use of information to build their ego structure. The identity formation leads the adolescents to rely on the information available to them to make up and so they rely on social networks to provide solutions to problems they are encountering.

Adolescents are individuals who are within the transitional period childhood to adulthood (Eze, 2005). Eggen and Kanuchak (2013) opined that adolescents are young individuals who are physically, but not mentally ready for parenthood. Contextually, adolescents are teenagers who are passing through the stage of growth spur within age range of 11 to 21.

In-school adolescents are sensitive to self identity in-school necessary for academic adjustment when their peers provide expected support, intimacy, belongingness and advice they need (Brody, 2004). Emphasizing on how in-school adolescent become social and recognized among peers, Ito (2011) asserted that social networking sites have facilitated adolescents to develop important and amazing connections. In-school adolescents are adolescents who are in secondary schools (Idankwo, 2011). Contextually, in-school adolescents are young boys and girls ages (11-18) who are pursuing intellectual education in secondary schools.


Social networking becomes useful to introverted in-school adolescents to socialize behind the safety to various screens ranging from a 2 inch smart phone to a 17 inch Laptop (Rosen, 2011). For instance, social networking kills ineptitudes, inferiority. In-school adolescents use of social networking has shown to be very large for instance, a national survey in 2009 found that 73 percent of adolescents use social media indicating an increase from 55% three years earlier (Lemhart, Purcell, Smiths & Zickuhr, 2010). Meanwhile, students nowadays spend so much time chatting online rather than their academic pursuit Decrying on this ugly situation, Aren (2010) found that the more time University students browse on net the more their grade decreased in examinations. Aren further posited that in-school adolescents who use facebook usually have low academic achievement. In essence, social media is a challenge to academic performance of in-school adolescents because it is energy sapping and time consuming.

In-school adolescents tend to channel energy, time and whole being in social networking because of the unlimited satisfaction and pleasure which it offers to these young people. In-school adolescents are the most users of social networks. Mueller (2005) posited that million of adolescents are online whether in the school, at home, in a friend’s house with their cell phone and almost everywhere. Ogbe (2014) has this to say:

The social networking and Nigerian youth, no doubt, the phenomenon of the social media has no small measure impacted positively on the Nigerian youths and indeed, Nigerians at large, for one it has made the youths to


become better informed and educated by being abreast of global news and information (p.24).

Though, the social networking offers all possible information to the in-school adolescents. However, this information is not censored. In-school adolescents try to explore all environment, they tend to neglect the positive and important aspect of the social networking which is helping to access information for academic adjustment. In-school adolescence may pursue pleasure and enjoyment at the detriment of academic pursuit. Akaneme, Ibenegbu and Nwosu (2013) reported that 31 percent of a in-school dolescents who are social network users interviewed agreed to have flirted with someone online that would not have been done in person.

However, Ito (2009) highlighted on those in-school adolescents for whom social networking has facilitated important (connections) and amazing connections. So, looking at social-networking as a coin of two sides, one can use it positively when this is channeled towards success and it can also lead one to doom when it is not utilized properly. One can rightly conclude that the problem is not on social networking par-say but what one makes out of it. Social networking can make or destroy depending on the usage irrespective of gender and location.

Gender is the socio-cultural dimension of being male or female (Santrock, 2007). In operational terms, gender is a socio-cultural construct used to describe behaviours of boys (males) and girls (females). Emphasizing on whether difference exist between male and female adolescents with regards to academic


adjustment, Maureen, John and Anyere (2011) argued that difference does not exit between girls and boys in school adjustment. Also, Kaur (2012) observed that girls have more adjustment power than boys. On contrary, Basu (2012), observed that difference exist a between the adjustment of secondary school students when compared on the basis of gender and location.

Location is a specific place where something exists (Chigbu, 2011). That is to say that location can be an urban or rural area. United Nation International Education Fund UNICEF (2012) defined an urban area as an area within the jurist diction of a municipality or town committee, with a minimum population size of 2,000 people population density, an economic function of surplus employment, presence of urban characteristics such as paved street, electric lighting and sewerage. Contextually an urban area is regarded as an area that is characterized by high population density, a number of houses and presence of government establishment(s). On the other hand, Ede (2014) opined that rural area is an area outside cities which is characterized by few people and typically agricultural, woodland and mountainous settings. In this study, rural area is a geographical location that has less population density, farmland and lack accessible road. In operational terms rural area is a place with few people in natural environment of mainly forest grasses bush and domestic animals.

Statement of the Problem

Evidences abound that in-school adolescents spend so much time in social networks such as facebook, 2go, whatsapp, twitter, instagram, google and others.


Some of these in-school adolescents experience academic maladjustment in school.

There has been a decline in the performance of students in both internal and external examination Senior Secondary Certificate SSCE, Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) and National Examination Council (NECO) point to this observation. It appears that the addiction of in-school adolescents to social networking makes them to lack concentration while studying and consequently lead to poor academic performance. It seems also that the in-school adolescents who are always on the net lack necessary skills that are required for academic adjustment in schools. For example, some of the adolescents do not use study time table to study and some lack study habit skills.

Consequently, some of the in-school adolescents who are always on social networking sites are more likely to have reduced academic performance. Some of these adolescents fail in both internal examinations repeat the examination and skill fail again. The in-school adolescents’ academic maladjustment leads to other antisocial behaviours such as examination malpractice, truancy and dropping out of school. It is against this background that the researcher has investigated the influence of social networking on academic adjustment of in-school adolescents in Enugu Education Zone of Enugu State.

Purpose of the Study


The purpose of the study is to determine the influence of social networking on the academic adjustment of in-school adolescents in Enugu Education Zone of Enugu State. Specifically, the study seeks to:

1.      identity the various categories of social networking that adolescents are exposed to in Enugu Education Zone of Enugu State

2.      find out the dangers associated with the use of social networking

3.      ascertain the influence of social networking on academic adjustment of male and female in-school adolescents

4.      ascertain the influence of social networking on academic adjustment of in– school adolescents from urban and rural areas.

Significance of the Study

This study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the findings of this study would support and sustain social learning theory of Albert Bandura who maintains that children learn through observation of models and imitation. Hence the adolescents learn by observing and imitating other people.

Practically, the findings of this study would be of immense benefit to the teachers, school psychologists and counsellors, parents, students and curriculum planners

Teachers: it would help the teachers to identify the various categories of social networking that adolescents are exposed to and their influence on students’ academic adjustment. Teachers would understand the important role they should


play in adjustment patterns of adolescents with regards to their academic achievement. These would be achieved by depositing one of the copies of the study in the school library.


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