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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1     Background to the Study

Robbins (1932) in his scarcity definition of Economics sees economics as a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which has alternative uses. Smith (1776) offered a classical definition of economics when he described economics in terms of “wealth”. Smith, the great Scottish economist following the mercantilist tradition viewed economics in terms of “inquiry into nature and causes of the wealth of a nation”. Another great economist, Marshall (1890) offered a welfare definition of economics when he deviated from the classical view and opined that economics is the study of men in the ordinary business of life. The researcher sees economics as the rational allocation of scarce resources to satisfy human wants. The present study seeks to examine the role of social networking sites on students’ academic performance in economics as a discipline.

In the last decade, the online world has changed dramatically; young men and women now exchange ideas, feelings, personal information, pictures and videos at a truly astonishing rate. According to Oberst (2010) Seventy-three percent of wired American teens now use social media websites. Martins (2008) and Lusk (2010) share the same concept of social media. To them social media is the use of Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, My Space and LinkedIn for the purpose of communication and sharing of photos as well as videos. In Nigeria, Adeboye (2012) and Asemah and Edegoh (2012) view social network as a social structure made up of individuals or organizations called “nodes”, which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. Social network can also be referred to as a map of specified ties, such as friendship, between these nodes. For the purpose of this study, social network, used interchangeably as social media is captured within the use of internet through Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Skype, MySpace as well as Yahoo Messenger for communication sharing of ideas, sharing of photos and videos by users. The increased use of Social Networking Websites has become an international phenomenon in the past several years. What started as a hobby for some computer literate people has become a social norm and way of life for people from all over the world.

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