Social media is the new unbounded human spirit which like a wild fire if not controlled holds the potential to cause great damage to the peace and security of the entire society.
Going under the guise of freedom of speech and expression, lately, we have seen private individuals and politicians allegedly sponsored by enemies of the state and people living within the country and abroad broadcasting without licenses very inflammatory political messages clearly intended to divide the country sharply down the middle as was threatened to be done by the APC and SLPP radios. Government must wake up quickly to this danger and nip it promptly in the bud. In this lies great potential to do good and bad.
On the positive side, the reason why Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, etc, have attracted hundreds of millions of active global users lies in people’s desire to feel connected. At our very core, we all long to experience a sense of togetherness and belonging. But in our own context, mischievous people who mean to throw the county into division have started misusing it by using its free space to throw ‘mammy kurs’ ‘fiti-fata’ and generally behaving lawlessly.
The sense of being connected with others makes us feel loved, secure, and happy – it helps break our attachment to our tiny little egos and identify ourselves with something bigger–a community; which is what social media is supposed to do.
As a revolution in communication across boundaries, social media is here to stay and once used with diligence is a fantastic tool to network with others. However, users need to be very aware of the potential threats and dangers of it and be vigilant when using social media sites.
Looked at this way, despite its positive aspects in uniting us, social media can also become a means to separate us. However, this negative, dangerous side lies not in social media itself but in the way we use it and our expectations from it.
Social media, just like most tools in existence, can be used in favor of or against ourselves. If we use it for the purpose of fulfilling our inner emptiness, we will not achieve much.
If, on the other hand, we use it in conscious awareness of its limits in how it can serve us to connect and communicate, we will be able to utilize it for our own benefit, without feeling entrapped in or betrayed by it.
By the way it has become ubiquitous, social media is a huge and growing phenomenon, with people of all age groups accessing Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, etc.
On its beneficial side, there are lots of opportunities to reach out to people and search for jobs through these avenues which may have otherwise been inaccessible to you or your business. However with this brings some potential dangers which are important to consider when using social media.
When administrators allow users in their groups to use the media recklessly and criminally, they too should be held criminally liable and accountable for such permissiveness.
Posting rude pictures, profanities, hate speeches and messages are all tantamount to gross misuse of a free communications platform that is supposed to build a wide civilized social space for decent people; not perverts and freaks. It is time the Ministry of Information and Communication in tandem with SLAJ, the Law Officers Department and NATCOM come together to outline the boundaries of the use of this medium; or else…