Social media Vs decline of reading culture 

Social media Vs decline of reading culture

Feature Issue

Social media Vs decline of reading culture 

By Abdul Ahmed


In all the nation’s academic institutions, the story remains the same, dying reading culture. The situation has raised a lot of questions in the academic sphere on what might have brought such an unhealthy development that stares everyone in the face.

Reading culture among students in the country is on the decline. It is unarguable that a vast number of students have completely lost interest in reading, both in and out of higher institutions.

To say that the reading competition and zeal among students is fast declining is simply stating the obvious.

Poor reading culture is one of the most critical factors posing a threat to the development of education in the nation. Some believe that it is caused by a combination of many factors among which is the advent of the social media.

In a study conducted on “children reading habits and their use of media: suggestion on encouraging reading habits among children” revealed that 40 per cent of the nation’s adults never finish reading a fiction book from cover to cover after leaving school.

The same study showed that about 30 million people of the nation have graduated from secondary schools with poor reading skills attributing it to the poor reading habit cultivated during their stay at schools.

Most students do not read much these days, even the ones that read do so in order to pass their examination.

The library as a place meant for reading and sourcing educational materials both offline and online has been converted into browsing centers, place of reference and copying of notes.

Only few students visit the library for the purpose of reading in order to advance their intellectual capabilities.

Amina Abdulrazak Yusuf, Librarian II at Bayero University, Kano said that the attitude of students towards reading culture is low.

Nowadays most of them do read to pass exam unlike in the past whereby students read further by browsing through resources that are available in the library collection.

They are often overwhelmed by the resources find online or offline, most especially on the internet.

Social media Vs decline of reading culture 

“Students do read to pass their examination. Most of them do not even read or consult the resources, and they only read their lecture notes. You hardly find students who try to update their lecture notes or harmonize what had been taught in the class with the available resources in the library. It is only when they have assignments that you find them using for a particular title to satisfy their need,” she said.

On how the social media has contributed to the decline of reading culture among students, she added that in reality, it is supposed to boost up the reading habits of the students, but it is so shameful that instead of the young minds to read via the social media, all they do is chat.

“They rarely make use of it to the effect of updating their knowledge,” she highlighted.


According to Abubakar Muhammad, a Level 100 student of Sociology Department, he reads for five hours in a day from which is in the library.

He said that he used to read in the library even if it is not during the examination period.

He believes that social media has a positive impact on his academic life because he uses to surf for material related to his discipline online.

Oche Jacob, a 300 Level Accounting student said the most he reads in a day is one hour and he does not use to read any books but he does read newspapers in the serial section of the library.

To him, the social media do not impact on his academic studies instead he relies on the material provided by the lecturers.

“I spent three hours reading but not consecutively, it might be in the morning or evening and I don’t use to read in the library, I prefer reading in the classes.

“To me, the social media has a negative impact on my studies because I noticed that whenever I have data I read less by spending most of my time chatting online,” said Jumoh Abdulrahman, 300 Level student of Agricultural Engineering Department.

Aliyu Ibrahim, a Level 200 student of Computer Engineering said: “I read for two hours every day, I also visit the library to read articles, newspapers and other books not related to my discipline.”

To him, the social media or internet had a positive influence on his studies; at times he uses to search for information online even for assignments.

Sani Ubah, a 200 Level student of Economic Department, said that he uses to read in the morning before he attends his lectures and he only visits the library when it is time for examination.

He also said that social media discourage him from reading his book in the sense that he always uses most of his time online chatting or listening to music or watching videos.

However, despite the negative use of the internet by most students, it can be used positively to facilitate online learning.

The use of social media has helped the students to learn through various online learning platforms available to them.

The use of YouTube to watch educational videos has helped the students to gain wider knowledge.

Furthermore, there are many groups that students can join through online platforms that are related to their courses of studies, peer group, school, environment and much more.

Social media Vs decline of reading culture 

Joining this group on Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and others will help the students to have access to quality information as at when needed.

The emergence of the social media has helped in influencing the academic life of students.

Information can now be easily accessed unlike in the past. Students should set their priorities right.


Ahmed is a student of Mass communication, Bayero University, Kano –        

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