Social media platforms have become prominent parts of life for many youths today. Parents allow their children engage in social media without thinking of the effects of social media on the average Nigerian youth. Everyone just wants to post pictures/comments to gain hundred or thousands of likes. Most youths see pictures of celebrities and try to emulate their lifestyles without any idea what goes on in their private lives.
I cannot count how many times people dissed girls on social media because they “want to belong”. After they get dissed they go through a phase in their lives where they lose friends, go through emotional trauma or get savage comments on their media accounts which will eventually lead to taking the account down and being socially inactive.
In the end, the victims realize that they know what they want but self assurance terrifies the unsure because it forces those around them to live up to the flakes that they are, they believe that perfection is formed from imperfection so they try to reform their lives in another way.
POSITIVE ASPECTS OF ENGAGING IN SOCIAL MEDIA
1. AWARENESS: Information spreads faster online than any other media. 27.8% of people get their news online, 28.8% get it from newspapers and 18.8% from radio. More than 50% learn about breaking news on social media. Social networking provides academic research to everyone with online access, allowing people to access the previously unavailable resources. Social media sites inform and empower individuals to change themselves and their communities.
2. JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Great for professional marketing, connecting and finding business opportunities. Employers find employees and the unemployed find work. 89% of job recruiters have hired via online sites. Therefore we can say that social media platforms have created thousands of jobs and new avenues of income.
3. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: Voters participation is increased Facebook users said they are more likely to vote if they see that their online friend voted. During the election of 2010, users who visited Facebook more than once a day were 2.5 times more likely to say they will vote . Social media facilities political changes. Online networks gives social movements a quick, cheap method of disseminating information and mobilizing people.
NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF ENGAGING IN SOCIAL MEDIA
1. A DETRIMENT TO WORK/SCHOOL: College students’ grade dropped 12 points while grades did improve for light users, the grades of students who are heavy users of social media tend to suffer. One study shows that student users have an average GPA of 3.06 while non users have an average of 3.82. Social media sites harm employees’ productivity. An average percent of them check social medias at work.
2. USERS VULNERABILITY TO CRIME: Social networking sites allow hate groups to recruit and distribute propaganda online. Unauthorized sharing of copyright infringement threatens intellectual property and causes loss of income as criminals use social media to commit crimes. Stalkers get information about your whereabouts via social media. Social predators find, stalk and assault victims through social media .
3. CYBER BULLYING: The use of electronic communication to bully someone usually by sending intimidating or threatening messages. This is common placed online, it causes emotional trauma and sometimes lead to suicide.
Paradoxically, social media sites can make us not only more capable but also more inept. We also share too much with too many. We have our own thoughts influenced by external phenomena that we believe everything we see online. In many cases it is clear that social media have become not only part of people’s lives but the things lives revolve around.