The impact of Facebook on university students: a case study of the undergraduate students at the University of Nairobi's school of Journalism
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This study aimed at investigating the impact of facebook on university students guided by uses and gratification theory. Facebook allows the university students to interact as well as articulate themselves freely. The extensive groups on facebook, include both academic and social sites, which can either impact students positively or negatively depending on use. The use of facebook among a high percentage of students is a daily activity whose positive attributes and contributions need to be harnessed to ensure full benefits for its users in the wider academic field, some of whom are addicted and admittedly consent, thus necessitating the need for this study. The high numbers of university students in. Kenya with elaborate profiles, made students the best choice for this study. The objective of the study was to find out the impact of face book on the personal and social life of the university students, how it affects their relations and academics, its uses for each individual and how they have been influenced by this site. The research adopted a case study of the University of Nairobi's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Stratified and simple random sampling techniques facilitated the choice of 100 students and a focus group discussion with 10 students, from whom data was collected using researcher administered questionnaires and a discussions guide respectively. Data was analyzed and presented using descriptive statistics, cross tabulations, graphs and pie charts by the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 12. The study found out that most of the students were aged between 18 and 24 years most of whom specialized in public relations with outstanding academic performance and most of them having daily access to the internet, with facebook registration nearing a 100%. Most of the students were excited to join facebook which provided a means of reconnecting with friends from high school as well interacting with people with common interests like academics. Among other activities that the students were involved in on facebook were reading and commenting on friends walls, posting of photographs, creation as well as joining groups. Academic activities on facebook by students included, knowing when and where lectures are conducted, facilitating of group courseworklterm papers and sharing of class notes. Invasion of privacy, loss of time and less emotional bonding were some of the negative effects of facebook. The study concluded that as addictive as facebook maybe, there is need for restraint and moderation.