The high rate of technological advancement in the world seems to have caught us unaware. Indeed the innovations that have occurred in the media lately have changed the way we communicate and relate with other people across the world.
As we tighten our grip on the social media platforms, we are slowly but steadily losing some of our cultural values that have kept us together for a long time.The situation is getting worse with the young people and if it is not checked, it may have adverse effects on them. In the current situation, if an individual is not on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or Viber, he is considered to be backward.
I acknowledge the fact that there are several benefits that the young people get from the social media such as being able to connect with many people from all over the world. Some of them get inspired by some local and international celebrities like politicians, social critics and religious leaders that they connect with online.
However, there are some negative aspects that the social media is associated with Many young people are addicted to social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. They waste a lot of time chatting with friends online and in the process, they encroach on the time that they would spend revising and doing academic research.
It is very hard for the teachers to restrict learners from facebooking while they are in the computer labs as long as the Internet is on. At the end of the lessons, they get out when they have not achieved much in terms of academics.Overexposure to the social media platforms has made many of our young people to become anti-social. They have developed tendencies of being more attached to the thousands of online friends than the people that they live with.
I wonder how someone can be more attached to the friends that he even does not meet than those that he lives with! Moreover, there are individuals who post wrong information about themselves and they even post wrong photos to hoodwink the unsuspecting young people. Just imagine a situation where your son or daughter is closer to an unscrupulous person on face book who shares with him harmful information which continues to set you apart from your child. This contradicts our cultural values that require us to interact physically.
Many young people use Facebook to engage in premature sexual relationships which pose a danger to their lives. There are several immoral individuals who mislead them to engage in sexual relationships online after accessing their profiles. They manipulate them and expose them to lots of evils.
I would like to suggest that we should put in place mechanisms that help to protect the young people from the dangers associated with the global social media. I think it is not right for us to just look on as the young ones get addicted to face book and Whatsapp. There is need for a comprehensive strategy that involves regulating the young people’s use of the social media and guidance on how best to use such platforms. Schools should encourage learners to make good use of the Internet by equipping them with adequate research skills that help them to carry out self-study other than endless chatting online.
Parents also have the duty of restricting the children from over using Facebook and WhatsApp at home. It may not be very practical to stop them but I think that the idea of assigning tasks to the children while at home is effective because some young individuals get addicted to the social media as a result of being idle during holidays.
The current situation requires constant surveillance of the children to protect them from certain evils.
Culled from : AllAfrica.com