INFLUENCE OF INTERNET ON THE READING CULTURE OF STUDENTS OF UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN
1.1 Background to the study
Globalization has changed our lives and one of the ways in which it is changing our lives, everyday, is how we communicate; thanks to advancements in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). One of the ICT’s which is seeing rapid advancement is Mobile Phone. Mobile phone is popular since the late 1990s (Meek, 2006) and today, with 7 billion mobile connections worldwide and unique mobile subscriptions of over 3.5 billion (Twum, 2011), they are very popular with young people and are commonplace in our educational institutions. These phones are no more just voice communication tools. Functions like short message service (SMS) or texting have become global phenomenon. Not many of us keep wallet photos of loved ones.
Internets have become an almost essential part of daily life since their rapid growth in popularity in the late 1990s, Ling (2004). A nationwide survey conducted in 2010 shows that internets are the most necessary medium of communication for students. It has virtually affected the society’s accessibility, security, safety and coordination of business and social activities and has hence become a part of culture of the whole world. Ling (2004), states that traditional agents of socialization are families and schools. With the expansion of educational system as a result of the need for highly skilled workers lead to the school system taking increasing larger responsibilities in socialization. Surprisingly, research on the influence of internet on our schools today has not been given much attention. There is the conflicting priority of young people, parents and teachers in relation to the internet device, with teachers more concerned about issues such as discipline in the classroom and parents worried about means of contacting their children at every point in time.
Ling (2004) discovered that the use of internet in schools is problematic. As Ling and Helmerson (2000) states, the internet is “at cross purpose with the mission of the school”. While in school students are supposed to take on their prescribed roles as students with full concentration on their studies and free from contact with the outside world. However, the
internet gives room to blending students’ roles with other roles thus distracting and disrupting the students’ academic work (Gergen, 2002; Halpen,2003; &Franzini, 2002). In the past when fixed telephones were the norm in schools, there were minimum distractions and disruptions but presently with the invasion of internet and the eagerness of parents to maintain contact with their wards, the device is becoming part of the classroom. Thus, the internet has the power to undermine the schools’ authority and weaken their control over students as well as affects their level of academic performances.
The recent technological advancements, the innovation of computer and other discoveries in the field of information technology bring about the introduction of the mobile phone and its multi functions ranging from voice calls, messaging, data use, multimedia, games (both online and offline) and other social media services(Jackson, Zhao, Kolenic, Fityerald,Herold,&Venoye, 2008). The mobile phone is used as means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks (Blumstock& Eagle, 2010). It also uses a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 that allows the creation and exchange of user-generated contents(Mayer&Mereno, 2003).
Furthermore, the mobile phone is used for storing different contents on the micro SD cards or the phones’ internal memory (Meek, 2006).Over the past decade, technology has become increasingly important in the lives of students. As a group, students are heavy users of newer electronic communication forms such as instant messaging, e-mail, browsing, uploading and downloading, games and text messaging, as well as communication-oriented Internet sites such as blogs, internet, and other sites for sharing photos, videos and ideas, all of which is as a result of the mobile phone.
Internet access has exposed many students to different kinds of contents. Just of recent, the availability of different kinds of affordable and inexpensive android mobile phones made it very easy for the students to have access to different types of social media and pornographic sites where they access, download, exchange and watch pornographic films of different sexual orientations from all over the world. The situation is worsened by the ignorance and carefree attitudes of parents who are mostly oblivious of and careless about these students’ needs and challenges. Also, guidance and counseling services are either absent or inactive in most schools and the school teachers are not helping the situation (Taylor & Harper 2003). Most youths of today are highly influenced and so much affected by what they watch on these social media sites over the internet that one can easily see the consequences in their academic performance and life styles. The continuous downwards spiraling in academic performance, the rise in cases of drop-outs, the increase in most of the unacceptable, immoral, and antisocial behaviors perpetrated by students in the institution today, which include truancy, massive failures, exam malpractices, improper dress codes, indiscriminate sexual relationships with opposite as well as same sex and most violent behaviors, can mainly be attributed to the influence of the mobile phone. It was against this background that the researcher is conducting this study to investigate how the mobile phone usage influences their academic performance.
Furthermore, Abdul Karim and Oyefolahan (2009), investigates the appropriation of wireless phone technologies by building on the technology appropriation theories. To understand the patterns of wireless phone use through the concept of appropriation, their study looks into the choice of mobile phone use through various attractors, the purposes of MP use and the extent of use of various MP applications and features by the targeted users.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Mobile phone has gained immeasurable ground in the lives of students all over the world. Mobile phone is a common sight today in our schools as you see students going to school/class with some of the most expensive and sophisticated mobile phones, tablets and ipads that has all the applications, facilities and software that can connect them to the internet andall forms of social media platforms, other web sites and so on, where they chat, access, stream, download, upload, exchange and play different kinds of media contents, which most often, are pornographic innature (Olofuniyi,Fashiku&Owombo, 2012). The portability and memory capacity of some of these gadgets made it easier for them to keep materials for viewing whenever and where ever it seems conducive for them.
As a result of that, most of the mobile phones in the hands of these students contain one form of pornographic content or the other (McGuigan, 2005). This may be partlyattributed to high usage of Mobile Phone telecommunication gadgets. Insteadof concentrating on their classroom work, they gave more emphasis to theuse of the mobile phone in their classes, dormitory and even on the football field. This may be partly attributed to poor teaching methods, lack ofteaching materials, lack of supervision by the parents and the teachers etc,and this may affect the students’ performance or achievement in school. Themobile phone usage pattern of most of these students, during and after schoolhours, such as their level of engagement in free night calls, chatting, instantmessaging, internet and exam malpractices etc. is greatly influencing their academic performance. It was against this background that this study sought to investigate the influence of the use Internet on reading culture of students.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of the use Internet on reading culture of students. (A case study of University of Ibadan).
1.4 Objectives of the study
The study intends to achieve the following objectives to:
Find out the influence of internet usage on tertiary institution students reading culture
Determine the influence of the frequency of mobile phone usage reading culture of male and female students of University of Ibadan.