WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?
- According to Wikipedia, social media can be described as computer mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
- Some of the applications include: Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, twitter, LikedIn, Snapchat, Google, Skype, Messenger, Telegram, and so on.
- Social media can be defined as the facilities and tools that reduce the world to a global village; websites and applications that enable users to create, share contents and participate in social networking. The social media platform provides opportunities for users to create online communities to share ideas, information, and personal messages.
Who are the youths, especially Nigerian Youths
- Research has found that you youths are predominantly the users of the Internet for social interaction. You are the people who cannot imagine life without the Internet, the group seeking for ways to connect virtually to everyone in the world.
- The Commonwealth defines youth as individuals who are between 15-29 years of age
- The African Youth Charter defines youth as “any individual between 15-35 years of age
- Wikipedia stated that Youth in Nigeria includes all members of the Federal Republic of Nigeria aged 18–35
- In Nigeria, prior to the emergency of the NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY 2019, The Nigerian national youth policy (2009) defines youth as between 18-35 years. However, the 2019 National Youth Policy has changed the above classification. By the new Policy, a youth in Nigeria is a person between 18-29 years.This explains why NYSC is limited to graduates under the age of 30years.
Various aspect of Youths Life
- Youths are affected by social media in their various areas of life as listed below:
- Personal & Lifestyle
- Spiritual aspect
- Educational area
- Financial aspect
Positive Impacts on the Personal life:
- An avenue to contribute to the emotional wellbeing of others by offering positive advice.
- Access to opportunities to create meaning and acquire peace.
Positive Impacts on the relationship life:
- Social media aids social interaction especially among youths. It enables them to create and exchange information in one way or the other via technological devices and ensures connection between friends when they are not able to see each other.
- Great communication tools to connect with loved ones and old friends irrespective of locations.
Positive Impacts on the Spiritual life:
- Access to positive and free information regarding spiritual knowledge being shared on Social Media.
Positive Impacts on the educational/informational life:
- Social media keeps you up to date with things going on around your environment and things you are not familiar with. For example, with the emergence of blogs, people get the latest news on social media, ranging from politics, business, entertainment, etc.
- Youths can also use the platforms to express themselves and develop skills like writing, reading, acting, calculations, business and lots more.
- Access to positive and free information being shared on Social Media.
Positive Impacts on the career & financial life:
- Opportunities to promote their businesses to a larger and wider audience.
- Opportunities to launch businesses online
- Real time sharing of information for businesses through paid and unpaid advertising.
- As youth, you must harness your creativity for the economic growth of Nigeria and this can be achieved through social media, as the internet opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities to the youths.
Negative Impacts on the Personal life:
- Youths can get addicted to it and abandon other important aspects of their lives.
- Youths are sometimes exposed to social vices
- Youths are also prone to giving false impression about themselves on social media
- Lack of control of and over personal information: Youths post private information online without realizing the associated risks.
- Cyber bullying
- Mental Health issues
- Long hours on Social Media platforms
Negative Impacts on the relationship life:
- Peer pressure which can lead to unnecessary envy and jealousy, in the long run damage good existing relationship
Negative Impacts on the Spiritual life:
- Dissemination of false information regarding religious knowledge.
Negative Impacts on the educational/informational life:
- Poor grades in your academic pursuits, as a result of lack of time management.
- Spread and ability to receive fake news
Negative Impacts on the career & financial life:
- Tendency to be encouraged by the high rate of scam on social media
Solutions to negative impacts and taking full advantage of social media opportunities
- Do not be controlled by social media, as youth you have to take advantage of the social media opportunities and use it the fullest.
- There are opportunities for all the 6 aspects of the youths life, so you can effectively achieve good here and hereafter.
- Be disciplined and adhere to a time when you will be accessing social media platforms. There is an high need to develop your time management skill
- Audit yourself on how the social media platform has impacted your life, what opportunities has it brought for you.
- As youths you need to begin to see social media not only as an entertainment tool, but also as a tool to achieve personal, professional, career, financial and spiritual objectives.
- You must also see social media as a tool to help develop Nigeria as a country.
- Youths need to engage in more meaningful and constructive activity on social media.
- You also as youth need to encourage other youths to use social media for constructive purposes.
All youths should be careful audit the impact of social media in their lives, any negative impact should be checked and all positive impacts should be carefully sustained.