1.1 Background to the Study
The internet revolution changed the information world with regard to sharing, speed, storage and retrieval of information in whatever form regardless of the person‘s location. Through the internet, a number of web technologies emerged, and one technology that is making waves with regard to information sharing and communication are the social media networks. The evolution of social media has cut across all facets of society (education inclusive) with its positive and negative impacts. Social media has transformed and impacted on communication, learning, research and education in general. Among the vast variety of online tools which are available for communication, social networking sites (SNS) have become the most modern and attractive tools for connecting people throughout the world (Aghazamani, 2010).
Social media technology (SMT) refers to ―web-based and mobile applications that allow individuals and organizations to create, engage, and share new user-generated or existing content, in digital environments through multi-way communication‖ (Davis, 2012;). Through this platform, individuals and organizations create profiles, share and exchange information on various activities and interests. An interesting aspect of social media is that it is not limited to desktop or laptop computers but could be accessed through mobile applications and smartphones making it very accessible and easy to use. Examples of these social media platforms both on the web and mobile application include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, blogs etc. These sites are used to interact with friends, peers, and others that are found in groups on these sites. The sharing of information ranges from news, debates, gossips, feelings or statement of mind, opinions, research and other academic works in universities and colleges. The Internet usage statistics for the world reported that, there were 7,517,028,970 estimated Internet users with a penetration rate of 100% as at 31st March, 2017 in the world. Also, the estimated population of
African internet users were was 1,246,504,865 as at 31st March, 2017. Out of the total Internet users in Nigeria which make accounts for about 16.6% of internet users in Africa, 16,000,000 Nigerian internet users were on Facebook which mark the country at 2nd position after Algeria with 17,000,000 Facebook users (Internet World Statistics, 2017). A report by the National Communications Commission (2017) indicated that mobile data subscribers in the country have increased exponentially with a penetration rate of 90, 003, 101 as at 31st March, 2017 reaching to almost 89.3% and expected to reach up to 92million.
ASSESSMENT OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL MEDIA UTILIZATION AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN NORTHWEST NIGERIA