THE GOOD, BAD AND THE UGLY SIDE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS.

Filed under: Global Issues,National Issues |

Before the advent of social networks in Nigeria, men, women and even children of reasonable ages relied heavily on signs and symbols. Sending and receiving telegrams, writing of letters and perhaps the use of analog telephones. Then Nigeria Telecommunication (NITEL) was still very effective. The invention of Internet which took the world by storm, created a great revolution in the field of information technology, it provided the platform and became the mother of all invention that gave rise to further development of different applications as well as softwares to make human jobs much easier and less complicated. Gradually, the means of communicating with one another, sharing messages, photos and files became paramount. That hunger was quenched by the birth of Yahoo, Google, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, 2go and most recently Akaagi, just to mention few. These are innovations of different categories of individuals who carved out a niche for themselves and are now billionaires. Social networks were made with every possible positive intentions, not to cause harm in the society but to make communication between business partners less cumbersome and more economical, to connect lost friends, make new ones and be constantly in contact with one another.

When letter-writing and other means of communication was in vogue, individuals around the world were well tutored and groomed in the act of letter, essay, and article writing in schools. Children can easily make simple and correct sentences without babbling, and can also put forward a comprehensible write up devoid of grammatical parapraxis. What do we have this days? Students who attend classes and lectures with mobile phones, during classes they ping, make and receive calls, browse all sorts of social networking sites. Prior to the birth of social networks, students were drilled in spelling through dictations which gave them the spelling advantage but, the people you find around this days can hardly spell there names let alone spell correctly a particular vocabulary to complete a grammatical construct, as a result of too many abbreviations used during there different activities on social networks and, SMSing with their mobile phones.

The introduction of Blackberry, popularly known as “BB” into the Nigerian market by Research In Motion (RIM) worsened the situation. Men, women and children spend half of their daily hours pinging with old and newly made friends. Some are so addicted to it that they eat with one hand and ping with the other. Some married woman ping all through and forget to prepare dinner for there family or attend to their little babies.

Social networks is an excellent and brilliant idea which has reshaped the universe, but the whole intent and fun has totally been sabotaged by the few bad eggs in the society. So many people has lost their Social Security Numbers, credit card information compromised, hearts has been broken; every now and then people are promised fake love on Twitter, Facebook etc. and at the end there hopes and love are thrown into the waste bin, some killed in the process. Individuals who trust easily are robbed of there valuables. Some populate there pages with pornographic pictures and films forgetting that under-aged children also visit the Internet on regular basis.

I am not advising against the use of social networks, but to caution users to be more civil in using social media sites.

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