Implications of social networking on learners’ studies and behaviour
Social networking has become an ideal mode of communication around the world for both young and old, especially learners. Seen as a valuable tool for learners to access information, social networking is now turning out to be an addiction, which constantly interferes with their daily responsibilities as well as distracting them from their studies. This study was aimed at investigating the implications of social networking on learners’ studies and behaviours. Phenomenological qualitative approach was adopted and involved ten Grade 10 to 12 learners who were purposively sampled from five secondary schools to participate in two focus group interviews. Data collected through interview schedules were thematically analysed with a computer loaded with ATLAS. TI. The key findings of the study reveal that though social networking may offer a platform for learners to engage and share matters of great educational importance, it is so addictive to learners in such a way that it interferes with their study time. Learners expressed that they are spending a lot of time on social networking sites just chatting with friends and sometimes even strangers and that they do not discuss educational matters. The study concludes that even though we are living in technology-advancing world with added benefits from social networks sites, learners should be guided on the proper usage and how they can benefits from those of the social network sites.
Key words: implications, social networking, addictions, exploitations, distractions.