The Corona virus (Covid-19) is an infectious disease causes respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory difficulties. It originated from the Hunan seafood market at Wuhan, China where live bats, snakes, raccoon dogs, wild animals among others were sold in December 2019 (Shereen et al., 2020, pp. 91–98) and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020 (WHO, 2020). Since its identification, the virus is said to have accounted for about 512,311 deaths globally out of a swooping statistic of 10,514,028 positive cases which sadly increases exponentially daily (WHO, 2020). The first victim of the virus in Nigeria was an Italian man who arrived in the country on the 25 February 2020. He was admitted to an Isolation Centre in Yaba Lagos after showing symptoms of the virus (NCDC 2020). Subsequently, the cases increased and, as at the time of this study, almost 28,711 positive cases and 11,665 recuperated persons have been identified (NCDC, 2020).Noticeably, Nigeria is trying to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19 through immediate lockdown of the major epicenters of Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja: commercial and administrative hubs of the country; where there have been spike of coronavirus cases. Some state governors have also taken proactive actions by closing their “borders” in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus. Other measures include prohibition of mass gathering of people at churches, sports arenas and burials while schools were closed nationwide. The achievement of these feats can be attributed not just to proper healthcare facilities but also to the impacts of social media in the country. Its platforms: WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have become varying means of communication and engagement by not just the government but by the general populace. Contrarily, social media is also utilized as a means of propaganda in disclosing news and information, which at most are based on assumptions and speculations. On this note, this study intends to investigate the effect of covid-19 on the increase in the usage 0f social media in Nigeria.
Social networking service, also known as social media, is an online platform that focuses on building social relations among people, who share interests, background or activities. The use of social media is growing in importance among undergraduates in our tertiary institutions. Social media therefore has opened up a whole new world of social interaction in the educational sector. It has transformed the way and manner with which undergraduates communicate and interact in a global world.
Social media is the use of electronic means to communicate and interact. Social media, as buttressed by Sokoya, Onifade and Alabi (2012), is popular because it allows people to connect in the online world to form a group, a forum and community where ideas and information can be exchanged without geographic barrier. Apparently, there is a shift from the conventional meaning of communication to a more globalized approach of communication. this was evident in the heavy usage of social media platforms like facebook, twitter, instagram, and whatsapp during the covid-19 pandemic.
1.2 Statement of research problem
The use of social media in Nigeria provides citizens with the ability to get more useful information, to connect with learning groups and other educational systems that makes it convenient. Social network tools affordedNigerians with multiple opportunities to showcase their talent and many Nigerian made a lot of money during covid-19 lockdown and it also improve learning activities. Contrary to this, some Nigerian have diverted social media usage towards non-educational, unethical and inappropriate actions and behaviours. It appears that some Nigerian, instead of taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by social media for learning and other important purpose, have shifted their attention to using it for other reasons, like fraud, and other societal vices, Although social media can potentially increase Nigerian learning activities through interactions, it can also impact negatively on the country populace’ achievements. Taking into consideration this situation, the study therefore examines the effect of covid-19 on the increase in social media usage in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The primary objective of this study is to:
l To find out the effect of covid-19 on the increase in social media usage in Nigeria.
l To find out if the increase yielded positive effect among social media users in Nigeria.
l To find out how the increase in social media usage can be used as a mechanism in the growth of Nigeria
1.4 Research questions
1. Does covid-19 have effect on the increase in social media users in Nigeria?
2. Do you think the increase in social media users in Nigeria have a positive effect among social media users in Nigeria?
3. Do you think the increase in the usage of social media can be used in the measurement of growth in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the study
The significance of this study cannot be underestimated as:
l This study will lay emphasis on the investigation of the effect of covid-19 on the increase in social media usage in Nigeria.
l The findings of this research work will undoubtedly provide the much needed information to government organizations, social media users, ministry of information and communications, individuals, NGOS, and academia.
1.6 Scope of the study
This study intends to investigate the effect of covid-19 on the increase in social media usage in Nigeria.. Hence this study is delimited to student of university of Lagos(UNILAG) social media users in Lagos state and as such, will be used as our case study
1.7 Limitations of the study
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
Financial constraint is inevitable considering the present economic situations. Due to lack of finance at the researchers disposal to get materials and in printing of questionnaires. it was not possible to visit some of the UNILAG social media users..
In developing countries like Nigeria, there is the problem of insufficient data.
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher
1.8 Operational definition of terms
Increase: to become or make greater in size or degree
Covid-19: this is a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. 'CO' stands for corona, 'VI' for virus, and 'D' for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as '2019 novel corona virus' or '2019-nCoV.'
Social media: websites and applications that enables users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
NCDC . (2020). Twitter @NCDCgov. Retrieved 14 July, 2020 [Google Scholar].
WHO(2020).http://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronavirusesRetrieved April 14, 2020. [Google Scholar]
Sokoya, A. A, Onifade, F. N. and Alabi, A. O. (2012). Establishing connections and networking: the role of social media in agricultural research in Nigeria. Available at http://conference.ifla.org/ifla78. Retrieved August 2012.
Shereen, M. A. , Khan, S. , Kazmi, A. , Bashir, N. ,& Siddique, R. (2020). COVID-19 infection: Origin, transmission, and characteristics of human coronaviruses. Journal of AdvancedResearch24,9198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jare.2020.03.005 [Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science], [Google Scholar]
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