Can social media promote students’ reading habit?

10Mar 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Can social media promote students’ reading habit?

Social media networking is one of the latest technological explosions in the world of information. It is an online platform or site that focuses on building and reflecting on social relations among people, who share common interests or activities.

It also includes activities, practices and behaviours among communities of people who gather online to share information, knowledge and opinion using interactive media.

The interactive media are web based applications that make it possible to create and easily transmit content information of text, pictures, videos and audios. Social networks have a positive impact on the communities -- online communities.

It is these that if well used can offer students academic assistance and support. It provides easy access to virtual space which students can explore with friends having similar academic needs.

Students who may be reluctant to speak up in class find blogs and other interactive internet tools rewarding. On the other side social networks have negative impact on children’s as well as adults reading habits.

In our society today, while technology is slowly taking a steady control over individual lives, the reading habit is fast vanishing into thin air. Students now lack the skill of reading. Instead they spend more hours on electronic media.

Browsing the net, playing with handsets and passing SMSs seem to be the order of the day, thereby making reading a book or any other piece of written material in a quiet or peaceful corner of a library or home become an outdated idea for most school children and adults.

I agree with president Obama who in his speech pinpointed that children cannot achieve unless they raise their expectations and turn off television sets.

Students are rarely interested in reading for pleasure and enjoyment instead they read only to pass examination. The declining interest in reading culture among people (especially children in primary and secondary schools) is a cause for alarm and a challenge to all and something need to be done to alleviate this yawning problem.

Unfortunately, reading is not taught or included in school curriculum. Reading is not a subject and cannot be taught separately as most other subjects in the curriculum rather it is subsumed in every other subject and is regarded as a tool facilitating many other types of learning.

Nowadays, due to the rat race syndrome, parents pay little or no attention to their children's reading ability, parents themselves lack the skill and the culture of reading such that some do not read to their kids.

I suggest, we all to launch a readership promotion campaign which will help to inculcate the culture of reading in children. It is also important to start early to inculcate the culture of reading early enough in a child. We should also imbibe the reading culture in all our endeavors.

Lack of reading culture among youths nowadays has greatly affected quality of graduates being produced by the nation's higher institutions. It is against this background that this study tries to investigate on the influence of electronic media on the reading habits of pupils in homes and schools.

Improving access to relevant information and promoting a reading culture are prerequisites for strengthening literacy skills, widening education and learning. On the other hand, social media use has negatively associated with academic performance on college student.

They also reported that about two-thirds of the students are found using social media while in class studying or doing home work. This multitasking increases distraction and becomes detrimental to student performance.

Also as social media websites, such as face book, YouTube and twitter gain popularity, they are also becoming increasingly dangerous as they create modes to students to procrastinate while trying to complete homework and assignment. In their survey of 102 students, 57 percent stated that social media has made them less productive.

The increase use of social networking sites among student has no doubt affected students reading habit negatively. Reading habit is a deliberate effort towards understanding and acquiring knowledge. It is also a systematic conscious task of acquiring specific knowledge geared toward a set of standards.

Reading habits are behaviors that are easily manifested without conscious exertion on the part of the learner. Many activities of ordinary life require the ability to read. Depth reading helps to develop the mind and personality of a person, it enriches intellectual abilities, provides insights into human problems, and influences attitudes and behavior.

In other words, reading helps to mould a person’s character. Since technology is the main order of the day, it could be used wisely on promoting reading habits , not only for keeping in touch with friends, but could be used wisely to source for vital information that would be of great benefit to the student and the society of large.

As it being an effective tool of transformation should be used an intensify campaign enlightenment on the negative effect on student’s future on delaying reading books.

This campaign should be reinforced by way of interpersonal communication among individuals and groups in schools and gathering places, the message should be imparted through music, drama, lectures displays and other forms of interaction.