The effect of the use of social network sites towards the social values among the youth at university: a case study of youth (18-25) years in Makerere University, Kampala
Kajura, Karlmax Allan
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In Ugandan communities, the declining social values and moral behaviors among the youth has been attributed to several factors one of them being the unlimited access to the internet and social media. This study focuses on revealing weather the exposure and consumption of social network sites has contributed to the decline in social values and moral behaviors. The study was conducted among a sample of 100 youth in Makerere University using a semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics using frequencies and proportions were generated. Hypothesis testing was done using a Chi-square test except where the cell sizes were too small and Fishers Exact test used. Results showed that 78% of the youth are regularly using the services of social network sites with WhatsApp being the most common social network site. The main purpose for using social media is communication. 85% of the youth using social media are aware that their social values and moral behaviors are influenced (both negatively and positively) by social media confirming the main objective of the study. Despite this fact, the study revealed no evidence showing that the youth are willing to quit social media because their social lives and moral behaviors have been affected by it. In fact, the main factor that influenced their willingness to quit social media if it was having a negative implication on their lives was their level of attachment toward social network sites. A focus group discussion revealed that the youth do not care much about their relations with their own families and as a result were losing out on their social values. It was recommended that more emphasis be passed on to the youth by the older generation about importance of social values and moral behaviors such that they learn to cherish and protect them as well as educate them on how to fully utilize social network sites for their own benefits without negatively impacting their social values. Key words: social values, moral behaviors, youth, social media, social network site.
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