SOCIAL MEDIA: Good or Bad?
I escorted a friend to meet a date but at some point i was upset with him. He claimed he couldn’t wait to meet her and yet while we were there (even when i left them alone) , he was spending more time pressing his phone and checking social media. With the way we use social media today, one can’t help wondering how humans communicated before it or what we will do without it. If you agree with this thought especially the latter, then you’re probably already addicted to social media. With the development of technology over the years came the advent information technology, the internet and web 2.0 which brought about innovations in human interactions and communications like the new media and social networking (Creeber & Martin, 2009). Now all aspects of human endeavour can be significantly influenced by social media such as politics, business, and religion.
Some argue that social media has more negative influence than positive, however, it’s worthy to note that without humans technology cannot work. This implies that social media does not exist of itself, as it is manipulated by human persons to suit his purpose to the extent of its potential; social media effects we see today is simply a mirror of our society.Thus when we argue that social media is bad, it’s like we have seen our true reflection (as a society), but instead of changing it, we want to break the mirror. Social media amplifies who we are and what we do or how we feel as a society.
The social media can be explained as a set of tools and applications that enable interactions on the web. It is a social networking tool, dependent on internet connectivity, which allows interaction among users across geographical locations forming a virtual community. Social presence is that feeling of belonging to virtual community for the purpose of interacting. Examples are Facebook, Twitter, Snap-chat, Instagram, YouTube, Blogs, Whatsapp etc. Social media due to its ubiquitous nature now allows citizenship journalism, global communication, many-to-many interaction, transmission of societal vibes, business opportunities, free-range publicity/advert. It is simultaneously used as a platform for fraud, cyber-bullying, sexual misadventures, identity theft etc. Some of these bad things happen because ;
- i. Many users are not aware of how to protect their online identity
- ii. Increasing trust in social media platforms
- iii. Lack of gatekeeping and monitoring of these platforms. Those who know the truth and right approach to life are quiet or avoid social media
- iv. Some users are naïve, idle, desperate and lost a sense of reality
- · Media regulatory agencies like National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON) and other international regulatory agencies should devise means censoring content on social media like China.
- · Media practitioners need to brainstorm so as to come up with possible means of reducing the negative effects of the social media.
- · Media consumers need to identify the importance of media literacy and learn it.
- · Users should only invite people to their network that they know personally or have met, as opposed to friends of friends and strangers.
- · Users should be more probing and research before agreeing to meet a person physically that they met online.
- · The country and its citizens can use the media as an instrument to launder national image
- · Parents must learn to use social media and follow their children on it
- · In some cases online dating has worked while in some cases it has resulted in disaster, users need be more discerning so as not to fall into any criminal’s trap.
- · Users should watch where they post and what you say, as it can be used against them later.
- · Users should not give out their username and password to third parties.
- · One possible solution would be for the organization to install software that does not block social media, but rather monitors the amount of time it is used. In this way employers can keep employees accountable, but give them some freedom as well.
- · Employees who are on these sites for an excessive amount of time would be subject to potential disciplinary action. Businesses should begin to embrace social media in the workplace, rather than ban it.
- · Also, be aware of the policies of whatever social network they are using. Every social network has policies for people who are abusive.
- · Generously make use of your block button against people who are abusive. Also, you can make a formal report of a serial cyberbully and he will be banned from using the site.
What is your social responsibility as a citizen using Social Media?
- The traditional media has a duty and responsibility to transmit values
- A duty and responsibility to respect the dignity of the human person
- Users of the Social media should also promote a sense of responsibility in the use of the social networking sites
- Every social media user should be responsible to fellow human persons
- If the society and human persons are responsible, no-one will post dehumanising images/text of others to blackmail, stigmatise or ridicule the other person
Enjoy this video showing how we have allowed our use of social media to ruin society. Do right with social media today. how we can use social media more productively?
– Beryl Ehondor