Most people especially young ones can’t think of a life without the Internet. From the years of NITEL and the post office, messaging has evolved with the advent of internet technology, and with it has come social media. Today, websites and apps like Facebook, Twitter, BBM, Whatsapp have become a basic part of our lives. And its fast changing our personal and social lives.
Episode 4 of your favourite social discourse platform – #NascoMoments with Joy Isi Bewaji on City FM 105.1 discussed this topic – The social media generation – what makes this generation tick? Okechukwu Ofili, Writer, Creative Leader (ofilispeaks.com), Engineer and Founder of Okadabooks, an e-Book platform, was a worthy guest on the show.
The discussion centred around answering the question – Is the social media as beneficial as it is believed to be?
Okechukwu began by saying that the social media has been responsible for a lot of activism and waves in the society where people don’t have to go on the streets but can sit in the comfort of their homes and make things happen. He said that social media plays an important role, and is of course beneficial as long as individuals see it as an amplifier to their ground efforts. It makes a difference as long as it is used properly. The majority belief that the social media, especially Twitter, played a big role in the success of the current government’s presidential race, this was cited as an example.
Just like many things in life, the social media has both its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages of social media as mentioned are that it bridges communication gap and allows people express their opinions on social and political issues without interference from government authorities. It is also one medium that cannot be controlled as would media houses and print.
On the distraction of the social media – It was noted that this generation is obviously obsessed and addicted with social media but, just like other mediums, TV and print, social media also has its drawbacks. Ofili however doesn’t see it as a disadvantage to users as long as they focus on what is beneficial. The social media is a tool that if used properly can amplify your positives but if used negatively can amplify your negatives and ultimately be a unpleasant distraction.
Another question answered was – Are we building meaningful relationships using the social media? – Yes, it can contribute positively to human relationships, but all depends on the way the individuals decide to use them.
The point was made that with all of the different social media platforms, individuals need to have a strategy and direction when using this medium. You need to have a focus; a compass to guide you. If you have a compass its easier to stir but if not it could drown you. Ofili, who has been able to use the social media to his advantage advised that instead of just spending so much time on the internet you can make money out of it.
Joy pointed out her observation that even with all of the free flowing information on the internet, this generation is still not as enlightened as they should be. This could be owed to the fact that we, as a country, are yet to take the internet as an educational tool; many still view it as frivolous.
The issue of minors and the social media was equally addressed and it was agreed that owing to the highly technological era, they should be exposed to it but need to be controlled and properly guided.
In conclusion, the social media is something very powerful, and like everything in life, it has its good and bad side. According to Obama, social media is permanent therefore you need to be careful about the kinds of activities you engage in on social media. This generation should be equipped with the knowledge that social media can be used for very beneficial ventures.
People have lost their lives and many have become millionaires all on social media. Young people only need to make the right decisions. Social media will wear your personality, whatever you put in there is what it shows, just like a mirror.
The Nasco trivia question for this week is: Name three types of biscuits under the Nasco brand. Send your answers to 08033286604 or #NascoMoments to win a goody bag.
Keep a date for the next episode.