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The effects of Facebook and WhatsApp on academic performance of UCC students were investigated using UCC as a case study. The study examined the reasons for students’ use of WhatsApp and Facebook, how students use WhatsApp and Facebook on campus, the negative effects of WhatsApp and Facebook on students’ academic performance, and the positive effects of WhatsApp and Facebook on students’ academic performance.

The study used a survey research approach and enlisted individuals at random. A total of 99 replies were validated from the registered participants, all of them are UCC students. The findings show that undergraduates use both Facebook and WhatsApp for academic purposes, that the frequency of use is high, that the platforms aid learning, and that the positive impacts outweigh the negative impacts. The findings also revealed that WhatsApp is a better platform for collaboration than Facebook, and that despite the academic benefits, negative side effects are noted. WhatsApp and Facebook use and awareness for academic information are linked. Undergraduates pointed out that it is time-consuming and expensive to subscribe to the internet; suitable advice were given.



1.1 Background to the Study

People in their imaginative methods of creating the globe a global village where people can get linked to family and friends, via virtual platforms, came on board social media platforms in the current face of globalization where technology is on the increase. Social media may be defined as the many types of online communication that individuals use to build networks, groups, exchange information, ideas, messages, and other content such as photographs and videos (Keith, 2019). We may define social media as a wide variety of things, including messaging applications like WhatsApp and Viber, profile-based platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, video portals like YouTube, and email programmes like Gmail. The origins of social media may be traced back to the 1990s, when personal computers became increasingly widespread, paving the way for the birth of social media. Six Degrees and Friendster were the first two social networking networks to go live, in 1997 and 2002, respectively. Following their popularity, many social media network platforms such as LinkedIn in December 2002, MySpace in 2003, Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006, WhatsApp in 2009, Instagram in 2010 and Snapchat in 2011 were created (Keith, 2019).Globally, there are about 2.62 billion social media users, with this figure predicted to rise to over 3 billion by 2021 (Keith, 2019).In Ghana, however, there are 5.60 million active social media users, accounting for 19% of the total population; WhatsApp was shown to be the main social media platform, with 30% of the population utilising the popular text messaging service. This was followed by 28% for Facebook, 15% for YouTube, 15% for Facebook Messenger, and 12% for Instagram (Kweku, 2018). This growing phenomenon has made social media an intrinsic part of humanity, particularly among the youth. With the growing popularity of social networking websites, our social interactions are being influenced in a variety of ways as we adapt to an ever-changing technological environment. The way online users connect and communicate with one another has evolved and will continue to change. These users now socialize via the internet, which has changed us away from the traditional person-to-person interaction.

The primary function of social media is to provide access to its customers and users. They can communicate with others and build social relationships over the internet. They may also publish their thoughts and personal information on social media, such as daily events, hypotheses, images, videos, and links. Individuals can also advertise their business and personal skills. Because of the ability of internet networking to swiftly disseminate useful information, it has become the fastest growing way of association. Social media networking has impacted many companies, but the most noticeable influence has been in classrooms and the whole education system (Alsaif, 2016).

However, for the sake of this study, social media is defined as the use of the internet by students to communicate via Facebook and WhatsApp – the sharing of ideas, information, images, and videos by handlers. According to Ismail and Sandra (2016), students spend more time on social media than on academic pursuits, which has damaged their Grade Point Average (GPA).The purpose of this study is to discover the impact of WhatsApp and Facebook on the academic performance of UCC students. Respondents for the researcher are full-time undergraduate students from the faculties of planning and land management (FPLM), integrated development studies (FIDS), and business and law (SBL).

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The internet is definitely the most significant area where knowledge can be easily obtained in this modern technological environment, and the rising consumption of social media by students in tertiary education institutions cannot be underestimated (Konlan & Patience, 2018). Students have been found to dedicate more attention and time to social media than to their academics, and they cannot pass their exams if they do not study (Oshrive, 2015). Furthermore, Konlan and Patience (2018) claim that social media use contributes to poor academic achievement, low self-esteem, and a lack of interest in careers that are college-oriented. Despite the fact that social media has been extremely beneficial, especially for communication among friends and family members, students are transferring their techniques of writing and speaking (short hand writing and pijin) on social media platforms into examination rooms (Joynews, 2014).Students’ usage of social media has reached epidemic proportions, affecting their study time, causing bad language and spelling when chatting on social media, and diverting their focus away from their academics (Ndaku, 2013). This begs the question of how WhatsApp and Facebook as social media platforms affect the academic performance of tertiary students, given that they are clearly the leading social networking platforms in terms of active social media users, as observed by Kweku(2018) in the background to the study above. As a result, this study is being conducted to investigate the effects of Facebook and WhatsApp on academic performance of UCC students.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objective of the study is to determine the Effects of Facebook and WhatsApp on academic performance of UCC students. Specifically, the Research Objectives are;

  1. To examine the reasons for students’ use of WhatsApp and Facebook
  2. To examine how students use WhatsApp and Facebook on campus
  3. To examine the negative effects of WhatsApp and Facebook on students’ academic performance
  4. To examine the positive effects of WhatsApp and Facebook on students’ academic performance

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the reasons for the students’ use of WhatsApp and Facebook?
  2. How do students use WhatsApp and Facebook on campus?
  • What are the negative effects of WhatsApp and Facebook on students’

academic performance?

  1. What are the positive effects of WhatsApp and Facebook on students’

academic performance?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Students, lecturers, parents, policymakers, and other academics will benefit from the findings. The study will assist students in understanding the impacts of WhatsApp and Facebook on their academic performance so that they may make the most of them. It will be used as a handbook for parents and professors to counsel their students. The study contributes to the current literature on the subject and provides as a resource for stakeholders such as students, lecturers, parents, and other educational researchers..

1.6 Scope of the Study

The focus of this research work is to study the effects of WhatsApp and Facebook on students’ academic performance. The location of the study is UCC. Empirical data for analysis of this research work is expected to be collected between March and April.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

1.8   Definition Of Terms

Motivation: this the process through which individual are charged to increase their action or performance either by internal or external factors.

 Academic Performance: this is used in the study to refers to students’ attitude to competition for excellent in their attitude toward participating in classroom activities and home work. It also used to students’ interest in learning.


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