social media platforms

The emergence of social media in Nigeria over the last two decades and more has had a lot of good and bad influences on the social and psychological wellbeing of people most especially the youthful and elite class.

Irrespective of its various flaws, the advantages of social media outweigh its disadvantages outrightly. However, before we go further, what is social media? 

Social Media can be defined as websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. 

Social Media includes interactive and internet-based applications, it is content generated such that you can copy, post, paste or send messages to friends and fans on a general or individual level. 

According to Investopedia, social media is a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts and information through Social Media Marketing (SMM). It is also an interactive technology that allows the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expressions via virtual communities and networks (Wikipedia). 

Freedom of Speech on the other hand is a fundamental human right that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. It could also be defined as the right to say whatever you like about whatever subject of discourse on going especially on wider coverage or social media platforms. 

Social Media have thus made social interactions and friendship assume a much easier outlook as you can interact with thousands of people in a split seconds from the corner of your abode or your internet connecting devices like your phones, laptops or even desktops. 

Social media has made the dissemination of information, education and entertainment to be very easy, thereby creating better business opportunities and environments for a lot of young minds globally. 

Some of the popular Social Media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Baddo, Instagram, 2go and a host of others some of which have also gone into extinction. 

The emergence of Social Media technologies as I have mentioned earlier has enhanced social interactions, networking and made many business ideas a reality as it aids easy connectivity to prospective customers and clients. 

It has set a positive platform for educational, religious and entertainment activities. The likes of Facebook have helped people to connect with friends and families with who they have lost contacts for many years. Just at the type of a person’s full name, it brings out all the information, details and pictures of the person so much that you can reach out to them from there. Social Media has made the world a global village. 

Social Media has also made everybody young at heart. For instance, it is a common phenomenon these days to find a 70-year-old man on Facebook or Twitter interacting and making new friends with people of his age group or even younger. This has thus given everyone a sense of acceptability. 

Social media has also made people have a sense of equality and unity regardless of their educational, social and financial status. It has created a voice and a platform for people to air their opinion and express their minds. 

However as good as the functions of social media appear, there have been a lot of vices over the years being executed and carried out by the youthful groups on social media. These vices have had lots of negative impact on many individuals, especially those who fall victims to an internet troll. People tend to say anything freely either wrong or right without any fear of being arrested or sanctioned and thus posing a threat to national unity.

Conclusively, I am of the opinion that the government should regulate the activities of the various Social Media platforms and whatever contents will be posted on these various media should be checked and cross-checked by a regulating body. Information should not be allowed to jump about the various social media. There should also be penalty and punishments for persons who give wrong information or make defamatory and seditious statements online capable of misleading the online communities. This may not necessarily pose a threat to freedom of speech so to say but rather a means of Checkmating it. 


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