This study is a quantitative analysis of the level of social media addiction among students of the University of Nigeria. Using the Uses and Gratification theory and Media Systems Dependency theory as the theoretical framework, the study investigated the level of addiction to the various social media platforms among a sample of Students of the University of Nigeria. The objective of the study was to see whether social media addiction existed among students and the extent to which they were addicted if in fact the phenomenon existed.

Two hundred students from the four colleges of the University of Nigeria were sampled for this study. Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires which was made up of 13 items from the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) which was developed by Dr Kimberly Young to measure the level of addiction to social media by students. The uses and gratifications and media Systems Dependency theories underpinned the study.

Findings show that while scores from almost 19% of the respondents are not within the social media addiction bracket, only 1% of the respondents is severely addicted. Scores from the remaining 80% of the respondents established that they are moderately and mildly addicted to social media.

Findings from the study also revealed that the most subscribed to and most used social media platform by students is WhatsApp and also a majority of the students use their social media accounts for entertainment.

• Background
The ease of internet access worldwide has made it one of the most popular medium of seeking information and for communication (Ramamohanarao et al, 2007). The internet is now very vital in the modern world. It has become an important instrument in education and social life such that it is gradually becoming indispensable in the daily life of many people (Pew Internet Research, 2004). The internet is a highly enlightening and entertaining medium, therefore people engage in several activities on it; some of which may be potentially addictive. One of such activities is the use of social media (Kuss & Griffiths 2011).

The introduction of social media in the last decade has largely attracted many people. This has therefore shifted their focus from mainly using just traditional media and traditional forms of social networking for social interaction (globalwebindex, 2015). The mass appeal of social media could be an issue of concern, especially with regards to the steady increase in the time users spend online. Also, the qualities of social media make it a desirable escape for many of these people increasing their dependency on it; thereby contributing to the growth of the social media addiction phenomenon worldwide (Brewer, 2013).

• Overview of social media
Social media has become a global phenomenon and a very important means of communication among peers, families and all manner of persons.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, instagram, LinkedIn and mobile instant messaging services (IM) such as WhatsApp, Viber and IMO and video calling services like Skype have become a popular means of communication in the past few years. Statistics show that active social media users the world over are estimated at about two thousand two hundred and six billion, a global diffusion of 30% which is a rise in number of users by about one hundred and seventy-six Million users in the last year alone (

Boyd and Ellison (2007) define social media as “a public web-based service that permits users to create a personal profile, identify other users with whom they can relate to or have a connection with, read and react to posts made by other users on the site, and send and receive messages either privately or publicly.” Kuss and Griffiths (2011) also define Social media as “virtual communities where users can create individual public profiles, interact with real-life friends, and meet other people based on shared interests.” Any website that enables social interaction by users is considered a social media site. Such sites are powered by web 2.0; an online technology with the ability to allow users to interact and share information online.

The increase in number of these social media sites, combined with the fast growth and advancement of mobile device technology in the last few years, coupled with the ease of access to broadband and mobile data services have created a major avenue for daily social interaction; encouraging regular profile updates and replies to comments and messages in real time.

People are now logging on to social media on mobile devices everywhere, at any time and on the go; making it a common everyday activity and this can be confirmed by statistics released by which estimates that about 1.925 billion users of smartphones make use of their devices for Social Media.

The level of popularity and use of social media has increased greatly over the years since it was first introduced. In a survey carried out in September 2014, the Pew Research Centre found that the popularity of Facebook continues to grow as it is still the most popular social media site though there has been a slowdown in its growth. The number of engaged users on the platform has however improved while other social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram saw a substantial rise in usage.

In Nigeria too, the use of social media has risen considerably over the past few years. The growth in the rate of internet usage and in effect social media can be tied to the advancement of communication technology in Nigeria i.e. the growth in the usage of smartphones and the ease of access to broadband and mobile Internet (

• Internet and social media use in Nigeria
According to, there were 297,885,898 internet users in Africa which represents about 9.8% of the total population of internet users the world over as at June 2014. 5,171,993 of the 297,885,898 internet users in Africa as at Dec 31, 2014 were from Nigeria representing 19.6% of the population. This is an improvement on statistics from June, 2012 when the number of Nigeriaian users stood at 3,568,757(14.1%) according to data released by showing a significant increase in usage. Currently, it can be said that Nigeria has over 1.6 million active Facebook subscribers as the number of users stood at 1,630,420 representing 6.4% of the total population of internet users in Nigeria as at Dec 31, 2012 ( This has contributed in Facebook being the 3rd most visited website in Nigeria. YouTube and Twitter follow as the 5th and 16th respectively ( Making them the top three most visited social media sites in Nigeria. These three sites are amongst the most used social media sites worldwide ( therefore being ranked in the top twenty most visited sites in Nigeria suggest a high rate of usage of social media in Nigeria.

Students at the tertiary level may form a large chunk of social media users in Nigeria as research has shown social media is largely used by young people between the ages of 18 - 34(PEW research centre, 2014) and many students fall within this age bracket.

1.1.3. The social media addiction phenomenon
The magnitude of the use of these various platforms have become a cause for concern in recent times as this phenomenon has driven many researchers across the globe to undertake studies in the area both from the psychology point of view and the angle of communication studies. Like any other place in the world, users of social media in Nigeria can be affected by the Social media addiction phenomenon.

Social media addiction is a term used to describe a situation where a user spends too much time on social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, instagram) such that it negatively affects other aspects of his or her daily life like school, work or relationship with others (Walker, 2011). Addiction as described by the American Psychological Association refers to a compulsive behaviour that leads to negative effects. In other forms of addictions such as drugs, gambling, video gaming, overeating etc., people feel bound to particular activities such that they become harmful habits, which then obstructs other important activities in their lives and this can be said of people who use social media excessively.

According to Pavlicek (2013) a social media addict can be considered as one with an urge to use social media excessively. For instance, engaging in activities like “frequently checking status updates and posts or "stalking" the profiles of other users for many hours” and this behaviour or habit conflicts with his/her everyday responsibilities, such as family, school, work or other social obligations.

• Statement of Problem
It is an undeniable fact that social media commands a significant number of users worldwide. It has transformed the way information is received and sent and has greatly bridged the geographical gap that exist between people. The situation is no different in Nigeria, especially with the proliferation of smartphones, the number of social media users have increased significantly. Social media has produced a new type of communication among social network groups like family members, friends, acquaintances, school mates, work colleagues among others. It enables people to stay in touch and connect with people with similar interests and ideas. Social media may have an adverse effect on human behaviour because of gratifications derived from its use and studies in other parts of the world have shown that it is potentially addictive.

Many studies carried out in different parts of the world have confirmed the existence of the social media addiction phenomenon among users. Social media users utilize the various platforms for certain gratifications such that over a period of time they become dependent on these platforms.

As studies have proven the existence of social media addiction in other countries, there is a possibility for the phenomenon to exist in Nigeria.

This study therefore sought to examine addiction among users of social media in Nigeria by studying students of the University of Nigeria. The study sought to find out the social media platforms they use, what they use social media for and to determine the extent or level to which students of University of Nigeria are addicted to social media.

• Research Objectives
The main objective of the study was to find whether students of the University of Nigeria are addicted to social media and the level of their addiction. The following objectives guided the study:

• To identify the social media platforms students use.

• To determine what they use these platforms for

• To find whether students of the University of Nigeria are addicted to social media and the level of Social media addiction among them.

• Research Questions
From the above listed objectives the following questions were constructed to address the research problem:

• RQ1. Which Social media platforms do students of the University of Nigeria use the most?

• RQ2. What do students use these social media platforms they are on for?

• RQ3. Are students of the University of Nigeria addicted to social media and to what extent?

• Significance of the Study
Using Social media has become one of the main daily activities of people. Accordingly, there is an increasing interest in research on social media by scholars around the world. However, there is scanty literature on all aspects of social media with respect to Nigeria. Most of the literature that the researcher came across that were related to Nigeria in this field were non-scholarly articles mostly blog posts and opinion pieces without empirical studies backing conclusions that were made. A number of studies have been carried out in other countries which have looked at not only internet addiction generally, but addiction to social media sites especially Facebook while very little has been done in Nigeria. Finding literature on various aspects of the social media which is now an essential part of the lives of many people in Nigeria is quite difficult. Therefore, there is the need to build on the knowledge base of social media studies in Nigeria for future reference and therefore this study is aimed at adding to the body of knowledge in this area.

• Scope of the study
This research sought to find out the level of addiction to social media among students of the University of Nigeria. It focused on 200 students drawn from the four colleges of the University of Nigeria during the 2015/2016 academic year.

For more Mass Communication Projects Click here
Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 55 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Search for your topic here

See full list of Project Topics under your Department Here!

Featured Post


A hypothesis is a description of a pattern in nature or an explanation about some real-world phenomenon that can be tested through observ...

Popular Posts