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The main purpose of this research study was to investigate the influence of social networking sites (SNSs) usage and time management on academic achievement as perceived by Physics students in tertiary institutions in Lagos State. The instruments employed in the study comprised of a questionnaire and a Physics Achievement Test (PAT). Both were subjected to face, content and empirical validations. The reliability coefficient of the PAT and questionnaire were calculated to be 0.722 and 0.763 using the split half and Cronbach-Alpha respectively. They were distributed to 159 respondents in tertiary institutions in Lagos state, Nigeria selected through the purposive sampling technique. Two colleges of Education, one Polytechnic and two Universities were used for the study. The data collected were analysed using frequencies, percentages, graphs and the mean while the Pearson’s Product Moment correlation coefficient and the independent t-tests were employed for the hypotheses.  The study concluded that there was no significant difference in social networking sites usage between the University and Non-university (Polytechnic and Colleges of Education) students. In the same vein, there was no significant relationship found between students’ social networking sites usage and their academic achievement. Similarly, social networking site usage was not related to a student’s gender. Also, no significant difference existed between a students’ gender and their academic achievement. However, it was revealed that there exist a significant relationship between students’ time management and their academic achievement. Facebook was the most favoured site by the students and they majorly use the social networking sites to keep in touch with friends and family. Though the sites were employed for academic use too. It was deduced that gender did not really influence academic achievement, time spent studying or SNSs usage. The study recommended that social networking sites be used as channels of educational interaction in tertiary institutions as against the use of obsolete means of information transfer as paper mail or e-mails in order to get to today’s digital natives. A more accessible internet and stable power supply will encourage the use of these sites, which can be incorporated into education to enhance academics as is obtainable in some developed countries. Multi-tasking seems to be inevitable in this day and age, hence courses on time management should be taught to freshmen in tertiary institutions.


Keywords: social networking sites, time management, tertiary, university and non-university students, academic achievement, digital natives.




Title page                                                                       i

Certification                                                                                   ii

Dedication                                                                                   iii

Acknowledgement                                                                  iv

Abstract                                                                                       vi

Table of content                                                          vii



1.0   Background to the Study                                                           1

1.1 Statement of the Problem                                                       7

1.2 Purpose of the Study                                                        9  

1.3 Research Questions                                                            9

1.4 Research Hypotheses                                                    9

1.5 Significance of the Study                                        10

1.6 Scope of the Study                                               11

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms                                  11

1.9 Limitations                                                                  12



2.0    Introduction                                                                        13

2.1 Concept of Social Networking                                               13   

2.1.2 Social Networking Sites use by Students                                16

2.1.3 Time spent on Social Networking Sites                              19

2.1.4 Gender and Social Networking Sites Usage                      21

2.1.5 Empirical Studies on Social Networking and Academic Performance          21

2.1.6 Time Management                                          24

2.1.7 Empirical Studies on Time Management and Academic Performance                          25

2.1.8 Gender and academic performance                           26

2.1.9 University and Non-University Students                       28

2.2   Appraisal of the literature review                                      30



3.0       Introduction                                             33

3.1       Research Design                                             33

3.2       Population                                                             33

3.3       Sample                                                                    33

3.4       Sampling techniques                                             33

3.5       Variables in the study                                          34

3.6       Research instruments                                                   34

3.7       Validation and reliability of instrument                     34

3.8       Procedure for administration of instrument              34

3.9       Method of data analysis                                              34



4.0  Introduction                                                             36

4.1 Analysis of demographic data                                     36

4.2 Research Questions                                              37

4.3 Research Hypotheses                                           43



5.0  Introduction                                                          47

5.1 Summary of Findings                                     47

5.3 Discussion of Findings                                       48

5.4 Conclusion                                                 52

5.5 Recommendations                                                   53

5.6 Suggestion for Further Studies                                  54

References                                                               55

Appendix                                              63

Appendix II                                                                 67




1.0      Background to the study

In recent times, there has been considerable discussion regarding the frequent use of social media tools such facebook or twitter by high school and college students, and the likely effect of those tools on students’ academic performance (Connolly, 2011; Hargitai, &Hsieh, 2010; Karpinski, & Duberstein, 2009). At the centre of this debate is whether the increasing use of social media by students actually improves or worsens a student’s academic achievement or performance. The boom in the telecommunication industry and the increased accessibility to the internet has somewhat led to a boost in Social Networking Sites (SNSs) use globally. More than 3.4 billion people have access to the internet worldwide as at 2016, (internet live stats, and 2016). Hence, using the internet people access the Social Networking Sites (SNSs) to get connected to others, acquire or give out information and even get entertained. The proliferation of these sites has risen tremendously in recent years, with a significant increase in student membership to different social networks. These sites are used for quite a number of purposes. Poushter (2016) reported that once online, people in emerging and developing nations are hungry for social interaction.


Social networking sites (SNSs) are online communities of Internet users who communicate with other users about issues that they find common, these issues may be personal or formal. Although the various social network sites kind of differ slightly in there rules of engagement. Boyd (2007) reported that the first recognizable social networking site (SNS) launched was in 1997. Today there exist numerous social networking sites such as facebook, twitter, whatsapp, bbm, youtube, instragram, pinterest, google plus+, LinkedIn, nimbuzz, badoo, hi5, Myspace, skype, Wechat and so on. There are no restrictions on the number of these sites to which an individual can subscribe, hence it is common to get users belonging to more than one of them. Most Nigerians are involved with one or more of these social Network Sites with a greater percentage them being youths or students.


Mobile is the native language of today’s and tomorrow’s students. They don’t go anywhere without their smart phone or digital mobile communication devices. It is the first thing they reach for upon waking up and the last thing they put down before falling asleep (Cairns, 2014). She emphasized also that a picture is worth a thousand words and critical to getting students’ attention in a media saturated world. Though Universities often rely on relics like paper mail or e-mail as the main communication channels to reach students. She opined that, these methods feel cumbersome, slow and irrelevant to today’s app-driven student so they opt not to engage. On average, less than 15% of emails are actually opened by students and we can expect that rate to further plummet. Stu dents have vacated their in-box and jumped to real-time mobile communication sites like twitter, bbm chat, whatsapp chat and the likes to help navigate their academic and social day with greater relevancy and ease. To give further illustration on the progression of social networks, think about how paper “snail” mail was replaced by email, how email and the inbox is being replaced by chat, how desktop software is being replaced by cloud-based software, and how the mouse click is being replaced by tap navigation,(Cairns, 2014). Today’s generation of learners usually labelled by some authors as ‘digital natives’ have  spent their entire lives surrounded by and using digital devices, spending less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading and like to multitask (Prensky, 2001). Hence, it’s clear that there exist a difference between the digital natives and their more conservative teachers.


The use of SNSs cuts across different generations, though its frequent use seems to be observed among most students who have accounts in about 1-3 or more different SNS’s and can be seen usually engaged online on the go.Even in classrooms and lecture theatres, it has been observed that some students are always busy ‘pinging, 2going or Facebooking’, while lectures are on (Onyeka, Ibrahim and Dalhatu, 2013). Therefore, time that ought to be put into academic work is channelled to frivolous online chatting on trivial issues.Most students therefore get to multitask in order to catch up with information online on the social networks sites. Prensky (2001) claimed that students of this generation, which he named “digital natives”, grew up alongside the technological era, love to get information at a fast pace, multi-task and perform optimally when networked. It makes one to wonder if the use of these SNSs has an effect on students’ academic achievement. Especially on a subject like Physics which has been termed difficult in some quarters.


From the foregoing, it may be suggested that the current generation has, through practice, developed the ability to quickly switch between different tasks or different media. Unfortunately, this does not mean that it is beneficial or positive for them to do this or for learning. Kirschner and Karpinski (2006) concluded that such rapid switching behaviour, when compared to carrying out tasks serially, leads to poorer learning results in students and poorer performance of tasks. Due to the proliferation of 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. Obi, Bulus, Adamu and Sala’at (2015) observed that the use of these sites also affects students’ use of English and grammar. Even Jain, Verma, Tiwari and Vishwavidyalaya (2012) opined that many researchers in their study have found that Facebook was eating the study time of the student. While one might be quick to blame the poor quality of teachers for students low achievement academically, the reason students are performing badly in school might not be far-fetched, one might have to think even harder, about the Facebook frenzy according Oche and Aminu (2010) (as cited in Onyeka, Ibrahim and Dalhatu, 2013).  This implies that times that should be allotted to academic work is misused due to the trend of wanting to connect with new friends online and keep up to date with issues that are trivial. Olubiyi (2012) noted that these days’ students are so engrossed in the social media that they are almost 24 hours online.  In the same light, Jain et al (2012) affirmed that many researchers in their study have found that Facebook use is consuming the study time of students. There is hope then that online social networking can be an instructional instrument to enhance school learning when it complements classroom learning activities.


Many parents and educational personnel in Nigeria are worried that students at the university level are spending too much time on social network sites and not enough time studying or concentrating in school. Kirschnera (2016) observed that even running a social networking site on the background on a student’s personal computer while studying lowered student’s grade. In the same study, it was revealed that the American Educational Research Association conducted a research and it was declared on its annual conference in San Diego, California in 2009 that social networking sites users study and generated lower grades. Although there are contrary reports on the influence of social networking site on students’ grades, it can be said that from the foregoing social networking sites can be identified as one of the factors which influences the academic performance of students.


Physics as one of the science subjects has remained one of the most difficult subjects in the school curriculum (NERDC, 2004). This implies that, Physics requires focus, planning and adequate concentration which can be impeded by the use of the busy social network sites. Students these days tend to be active members of quite a number of social networks. Therefore to be up-to-date with the happenings in the various network sites students have to multitask, joggling between their writing materials and their mobile phones through which they are linked to the various sites. Physics being a demanding subject might not be given the full attention that is required by students.

With influx of so many social networking sites and information now at students’ fingertips, it would have been fair to think that students’ population and performance would improve in Physics Department in tertiary institutions. Findings from the research conducted by Onuoha and Saheed (2011) revealed that majority of undergraduates in Ogun State Universities make use of online social networks mainly for social interaction than academic purposes. Most of the respondents, however, agreed that the use of online social networks had positive influence on their academic performance. The work, was in contrast with the assertion of Oche (2010), who attributed failure in the National Examination Council (NECO) to use of Facebook. It was also in contrast with the finding of VandenBoogart (2006), who found out that lower GPAs (grade point averages) associated with heavy use of Facebook. The debate goes on as many researches claim Social Networking can be tempting and addictive with the use of features such as dating, photo and video-sharing, instant messaging, etcetera; others claim they can be advantageous as they lead to better interaction, sharing of information and cooperation among users.  However, there is still lack of strong empirical evidence to show how the use of these tools affect academic achievement especially for undergraduates in tertiary institutions in Lagos State, hence the need for this study.


Time management is an art and a science which some people have a good skill at but not everybody (Adebayo, 2015). Time is seen as a priceless resource and continues to pass by without coming back. There isn’t one acceptable universal definition of time management, Shellaenbarger (2009) viewed time management as behavioural change techniques that help people get organized, clarify thinking and increase output. Eilam and Aharon (2003) was of the opinion that time management is a way of monitoring and controlling time. However, Claessons, Eerde, Rulte and Roe (2007) observed that time cannot be managed because it is an inaccessible factor. Students in tertiary institutions have to distribute the time available to them among various activities such academic responsibilities, religious activities, social programmes and even sporting activities. They try to do everything and get everywhere and with the influx of so many hands-on electronic devices, it is rather a herculean task to get an average student to keep up with the personal daily study timetable. With the implication that students are spending less time studying. The basic problems or constraints related to time management for students of this generation may include: time spent on social networking sites, having long phone conversation, no proper schedule, no goals or objectives, working part-time, even engaging in numerous social activities with friends, procrastination and so on. University students are particularly vulnerable to difficulties with time management because many high or secondary schools do not teach time management strategies. Students in tertiary institutions seem to struggle semester after semester to find the right balance between studying and socializing, students are self-directed as they decide how to spend their time.


From observation, poor time planners seem to be faced with low productivity, inefficiency, ineffectiveness and low morale, stress and frustration with themselves. Time is always available although it waits for no one, and is no respecter of gender as reflected in the research conducted by Omolola (2010) that both male and female undergraduate are affected by time management. In some advanced countries unlike Nigeria students are offered courses in time management at various levels of their education to enhance their academic performance. Time management is very important for students in tertiary institutions because it could help boost their academic performance and efficiency. However, it seems most students are faced with the problem of not getting to complete tasks at the stipulated time due to procrastination which results from their inability to manage the time available to them.


There are many contributing factors to the falling standard of  education at the tertiary education level in Nigeria, such as: the inadequacy of lecturers, teaching methods, students’ attitudes and interests, lecturers’ qualifications, inadequacy of textbooks, especially indigenous authors and inadequacy of evaluation, Ali (2013).  However, as it is, much attention must now be given to what students do with their time. There has been an increased involvement of a huge percentage of undergraduates in online social Networking and it has led to the deliberation on how their academic achievement could be affected due to their taking part in this activity.


Furthermore, it’s quite clear that the male folk dominates the population of Physics students in Lagos State higher institutions. In Lagos in particular and in Nigeria in general one tends to wonder if there exist a difference in the rate at which each gender gets to access the SNSs. If so, can it be said that a particular gender is academically better than the other. In the same vein, does the type of tertiary institution a student belong determine the frequency of SNSs use? These are also some information this research will endeavour to obtain.


It is against this background that this study investigated the influence of the social networking participation and time management on the academic achievement of Physics students at the undergraduate level. The research hopes to discover if there are ways by which students are harnessing the resources in the various SNS’s in such a way that it becomes favourable to their academic achievement in tertiary  institutions, since it has carved a niche for itself. In the same light, discover the level of students’ time management abilities and how it impacts on their grades. Hence, this study is intended to analyse the self- perceived impact of social networking sites and time management on the academic achievement of Physics students in tertiary institutions Lagos State.


1.2       Statement of the Problem

Kuppuswamy and Shankar (2010) explained that the social networks grabs the total attention and concentration of  students and diverts it towards non educational, unethical and inappropriate actions such as useless chatting, time killing by random searching and not doing their jobs. Most students in tertiary institutions in Lagos State and Nigeria in general own mobile phones, tablets, ipads and laptops which can be use anywhere and at any point in time to hook up to  social networking sites. Numerous students are addicted to many of sites which could lead to low scores on test or quizzes, sleeping in class due to sleep deprivation and eventually poor academic achievement. The literature shows that students spends much time  participating in social networking activities, with many students blaming the various social networking sites for their steady decrease in grade point averages, (Kimberly, Charles, Nicole, Sittie, Gemeile, April & Ikka, 2009). In some quarters it is believed that facebook is the most subscribed social network site and that girls are more into social networking then boys in the tertiary institutions. Speculations have it that an average Nigerian youth spend about 6 -7 hours on the internet daily, some do all night browsing according to Kadala (2011) (as cited in Onyeka, Ibrahim and Dalhatu, 2011) . When then do they have the time to read/study their books or make research? This study therefore investigated the effect of social networking site usage on the achievement of students of tertiary institutions in Lagos state, Nigeria. The question then is, does the use of social networking sites by students of various tertiary institutions in Lagos State have an impact on their academic work? Also, does gender and type of tertiary institution play significant role on the amount of time spent on these social networking sites?


Students in tertiary institutions are faced with the responsibility of how best to manage their time optimally for efficiency in their academics and other areas of their endeavour. Given the competing myriads of responsibilities and activities of students of higher learning the question is: could time management among the students also affects their academic achievement and are they any likely differences along gender lines.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

This study was designed to:

1.      determine the amount of time spent by University and Non-university Students on social networking sites.

2.      determine which SNS are subscribed to by students.

3.      determine which SNSs are the students’ favourites.

4.      determine what the students are using the social networking sites for.

5.      determine if gender has an influence on the time spent studying each day.

6.      determine the effect of SNSs on Physics achievement



1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study.

1.      How much time do the University and Non-university students spend on social networking sites daily?

2.      Which of the SNSs are subscribed toby students?

3.      Which of the SNSs are the students’ favourites?

4.      What do students use the SNSs for?

5.      Does gender have an influence on the time spent studying each day?

6.      What is the effect of the SNSs on Physics achievement?


1.5       Research Hypotheses

HO1:    There is no significant difference in the use of social networking sites by University and Non-university students.

HO2:     There is no significant relationship between students’ academic achievement and social networking sites usage.

HO3:    There is no significant relationship between student’s time management and their academic achievement.

HO4:    There is no significant difference between gender and academic achievement.

HO5:    There is no significant relationship between gender and social networking usage.


1.6       Significance of the Study

This study would reveal the degree of influence that social networking has on the society’s youths. It would help focus and review what of helping students harness the potentials of the social networking sites to becoming advantageous to them in the academic environment and beyond. This research has the potential of showing that the youths of today the need to make productive use of the time available to them. This research would be of relevance to:


Curriculum Developers: curriculum developers will benefit from the findings of this study because it would shed light on how learners at the tertiary level are affected by social networking sites and the need for time Management. Hence, show the need to capitalize on the use of these social networking sites for the betterment of education. The study would also highlight the relevance or need to incorporate Time management courses into the curriculum to help learners plan and manage their time efficiently or effectively.

Lecturers: This study has served as an eye opener to the teachers in various tertiary institutions on the need to incorporate the use the social networking sites as an instructional tool. This would further enlighten them on the level of students’ involvement with these sites. Therefore, the need to discover ways of getting to the learners via these sites. This would likely bridge the gap between teachers and their students by promoting efficiency in communication. Teachers in the various higher institutions would also be able from the findings, help in inculcating time management strategies to their students to make learning more effective.

Students: students will be encouraged by this study to channel their use of the social networking sites not only for social issues but to also improve their performance in academics. It would also reveal to them the impact of time management on academic achievement and hence help them use their study time more efficiently to improve their grades. 

1.7       Scope of Study

This study covers students in Lagos State tertiary institutions that are currently studying physics at the undergraduate level.


1.8   Operational definition of terms

In this study, the following terms were defined as follows:

Social networking Site:  Social Networking Site abbreviated as SNS is the phrase used to describe any web site that enables users to create public profiles within that web site and form connections or relationships with other users of the same web site who access their profile and it can be used to describe community-based web sites, online discussions forums, chatrooms, instant messaging platforms and other social spaces online, example include facebook, twitter, bbm, youtube and so on.

Multi-taskings: Multi-tasking is the simultaneous execution of two or more processing activities at the same time.

Academic achievement: Score on the PAT (Physics Achievement Test).

Physics student: Undergraduate at any tertiary institution studying Physics, Education physics or Physics and Electronics.

Time management: Time management refers to the way that one organizes and plans how long he or she spends on specific activities.

Tertiary institutions: Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

Non-university students: Students of the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.


1.9       Limitations

The study was limited to undergraduate students of tertiary institutions in Lagos State Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, the use of questionnaires and a Physics achievement test.

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