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 Apr 25, 2020 |  09:13 am |  938






What are the influences of Social Media on youth perception on indigenous cultures? Past studies on Social Media and culture reveal that Social Media erode the perception of youths towards the values of indigenous cultures; others argue that youths are not easily dupes of Social Media video clips, messages, uploads and its entire activities that can build up wrong perception against indigenous cultures in them. This study tends to resolve these differences by focusing on the influence of Social Media on youths perception on indigenous cultures; a case study of youths in Oyo State as a Yoruba indigenous culture.

The term culture has been defined differently by different scholars. The different definitions attached to culture are based on the differences in the orientation of the people.  According to Edward Taylor (2001), in his anthropological sense, culture is defined as the complex totality of values, attributes, skills and other capabilities acquired by a man as a member of society. It is the total way of life in which he dress, his norms and traditions, believes, the food he eat, his communication styles (language) their shelter, greetings, occupations etc. Culture is the learned behavior of members of a given social group. Many writers and thinkers have offered interesting expressions of the definitions. “Culture is learned, socially acquired traditions and lifestyles of the members of a society, including their patterned, repetitive ways of thinking, feeling and acting.” (Hams, 2000, p. 5)

Culture lends significance to human experience by selecting from and organizing it. It refers broadly to the forms through which people make sense of their lives. (Rosaldo, 2002)

However the culture of a people is what marks them out distinctively from other human societies in the family of humanity. The full study of culture in all its vastness and dimensions belongs to discipline known as anthropology, which studies human beings and takes time to examine their characteristics and their relationship to their environments. Culture, as it is usually understood, entails a totality of traits and character that are peculiar to a people to the extent that it marks them out from other peoples or societies. These peculiar traits go on to include a people’s social norms, taboos and values. Values here are to be understood as beliefs that are held about what is right and wrong and what is important in life.

Culture has been classified into material and non-materials aspects. Material culture refers to the visible tactile objects which man is able to manufacture for the purposes of human survival; non-material culture comprises of the norms and mores of the people. The form of artifacts and crafts, non-material culture is abstract but has a very pervasive influence on the lives of the people of a particular culture which are concrete are also known to be material culture Adeosun (2006). Hence beliefs about what is good and what is bad, together with norms and taboos, are all good examples of non-material culture. We are not alone in this observation as Antia (2005, p. 17) states that ‘’culture is not fixed and permanent.’’ Once an aspect of culture adjusts or shifts in response to changes from within or outside the environment, then other aspects of the culture are affected, whether directly or indirectly. It is necessary to know that elements of culture are related to the whole system. It is in this respect that we can see that even technology is part of people culture. The medium evolved by humans to survive is culture. Nothing is free from cultural influences. It is the keystone in civilization’s arch and is the medium through which all of life’s events must flow. “Culture is a historically transmitted pattern of many embedded in symbolic forms by means of which people communicate and develop their knowledge about and attitude toward life.” (Greetz as cited in Taylor, 2001, p. 91)

Social Media is an important part of lives because it promotes the interconnectedness and interdependence of our culturally diverse world. Media or social interaction allows for people to communicate and engage with information that is quickly accessible on the Internet. In today’s society, there is increasing number of internet users so new Social Media has become more popular in daily patterns and routines. New technology is changing the way people receive and consume Mass Communication. The media of today are becoming more specialized and personal as well as having more impact in reshaping society’s reality.

Bray (2007) posits that society has always been impacted by technology. Each invention has affected how people relate to one another and how cultures have expanded or ended. Social Media has come to stay as a solid platform for communication and information in this 21st century. Technology has become a critical part of our day to day activities, and has enabled Mass Communication to move beyond traditional media radio, television, newspaper, magazines, film, and book. The internet and its platforms are revolutionizing the communication process. New form like phone media, Social Media and New Media have come up and are being used in various ways to disseminate information to a large heterogeneous group of people in  the same or different environment who are socially related or emotionally connected to us. This media form enable millions of people to simultaneously create content, share experiences, build relationships and engage in other forms of productive work and meaningful activities. Edosomwan et al (2011) explained that Social Media is a phenomenon that has transformed the interaction and communication of individuals throughout the world; impacting many aspects of human communication, behaviors and reaction.

Social Media have become a phenomenon where users can continuously modify contents and applications on web in a participatory and collaborative way which has enabled the creation of numerous online applications that support user generated content. Examples of such applicants are blogs collaborative projects such as Wikipedia, social network sites such as Facebook, and content communities such as YouTube.

However, Social Media must be able to preach cultural values among our youth through this activity the Mass Media help to transmit culture from one generation to another. Social Media should greatly and constantly assist in providing the medium for transmitting knowledge and education on culture to the youths. While functioning as an agent of mobilization, the Social Media should set an agenda for priorities within our culture, which translate into consciousness for popular participation and indeed a proper democratic culture. They should ensure a deep sense of objectivity, ethics, truth and respect for culture to the youths. The literacy level of the youths is not proven by stripping them of their indigenous culture.

Social Media has influenced youths through different cultures being displayed on it. As we all know, Social Media are from the western (foreign) part of the world so it has a lot of western ways and it also portray their culture which influence a lot of youths here in Nigeria. Most of them find it difficult to possess some moral values of culture. Dancing nude and uploading it on Social Media; Facebook or Twitter and doing all forms of immoralities. All these have killed the perception of the youths toward the culture of morality. A thesis states an assumption that authentic traditional cultures are being destroyed by commercial products from countries like the United States. (Tunstall, 1997)  


The fact remains that indigenous cultures are under threat. These cultures are in fact been pushed beyond their limits of tolerance in manners that suggest danger. Unfortunately, the time to begin to appreciate and re-appreciate the cultural importance to regional growth is critically now as experiences suggest that the pathways to Nigeria’s development are strategically hidden in the cultures and cultural-political determination and resoluteness of the country and the region. Culture holds the key to growth, oneness, integration, identity and development ultimately. There is a strong relationship among culture, growth, progress, development and national integration.

However, the confounding power of culture to drive growth can never be underestimated even when they are in their traditional forms and isolated let alone when they are recognized and valued in a nation as viable as Nigeria. Unfortunate, these cultures have been largely seen as given, familiar, problematic and unimportant to national growth and development.

The influence of Social Media on youth’s perception of indigenous culture is presumably a serious problem facing indigenous culture. Some of these problems are inadequate policy to guard the Social Media towards youth’s perception on indigenous culture, the youths are brainwashed about their culture through Social Media, the indigenous cultural values have been jeopardized, and then the imitations of western culture through Social Media by the youths.


1.         To find out the negative effects that the exposure to Social Media contents have had on the youths’ indigenous values and orientations.

2.         To evaluate the extent to which this exposure has altered the youths’ perception of the indigenous culture.

3.         To find out the probable measures of eradicating the Social Media negative impacts on the youths’ perception of the indigenous cultural norms.



1.         What negative effects does the exposure to Social Media contents have on the youths’ indigenous cultural values and orientations?

2.         To what extent has this exposure altered the youths’ perception of the indigenous culture?

3.         What are the probable measures of eradicating the Social Media negative impacts on the youths’ perception of the indigenous cultural norms?



H0: Social media does not influence the youth's perception on indigenous culture.

H1: Social media influence youth's perception on indigenous culture.



           This study focuses on the influence of Social Media on youth perception on indigenous culture, and will be of significance of the following:

1.         Eliminating the idea of imitating the western culture, through Social Media, by Nigerian youths.

2.         Enable the government and policy makers to put adequate measures in place to monitor Social Media activities in Nigeria.

3.         The research will help in dilution, domination and finally absorption of the indigenous culture by the youths which until the present has been characterized with good values, orientation and knowledge.

4.         Enable the youths  to have a good perception about culture without being captivated by the influence of the Social Media.

1.7.  SCOPE OF THE STUDY                                                                                                              

Due to the constraint of time, the researcher has deemed it appropriate to limit the scope of this study to the Yoruba cultural society with the major focus on the youths in Ibarapa East Local Government community in Ibadan, Oyo State as a Yoruba indigenous culture.


The only limitation of this study is getting the appropriate respondent (intelligent and brilliant youths) in Ibarapa East Local Goverment area, Oyo state to administer the questionnaire for the study.


1.         SOCIAL MEDIA: Social Media are computed-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

2.         CULTURE: Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture is considered a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of phenomena that transmitted through social learning in human societies.

3.         INDIGENOUS: Originating or occurring naturally in a particular place, also described as native.

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