By Adeparua Damilola
The misuse of the social media these days is something that calls for immediate remedy as if such is not curbed or brought to order, it will definitely affect the younger generation because these days, even the little children are exposed to the use of a smart phone right from a very tender age and smart phones make the internet where different obscenities are, more accessible.
The negative effects of the social media is directed at the youths because according to a source, of all adult aged cell phone users, those between 18 and 29 are most likely to have a mobile internet device and around 99% of them have any kind of cell phone and 96% use specifically a smart phone.
According to a source, social media is a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community based input, interaction, content sharing and collaboration. Statistics shows that around 86% of 18-29 years old use social platforms, another 80% of people aged 30-49 and 64% of people aged 50-64 are on social media.
The advent of social media in our society has succeeded in making the world a better place through the channel for learning, recruitment, business, social interaction and information it creates and a very lot more. Apart from this, it has also created many job opportunities for many people. Yet, has social media in its entirety been helpful to the society?
Even though the importance of social media to the society cannot be over emphasized, yet, its negative effects in the society cannot also go unmentioned because the impact of these negative effects on the society seems more prominent than its positive impacts.
As established by a source, 41% of teens had a negative experience because of using a social networking site. 22% of teens lost their friendship with someone due to actions on social media sites, 13% had experienced a problem with their parents because of social media sites.
Although social media creates job opportunities for the youth through some created sites which specialize in job recruitment, where youths get registered in order to receive job vacancy alerts, some of these youths have met with untimely deaths as a result of online job vacancies posted by some wicked people who now use such sites to capture their victims for rape, money ritual, human butchering and such nefarious acts.
For the fact that smart phones are personal belongings, which can be held anywhere such as secret or enclosed places, it has helped in making people learn whatsoever they wish to learn at their convenience anytime, anywhere. It has also got a lot of teenagers and youths depraved by exposing them to premature sex, illicit dressing, pornography, drug addiction and suchlike.
Internet fraud will not go unstated. The advent of social media brought about internet fraud. Social media serve as the platform for internet fraudsters to target their clients who they try to get intimate with deceitfully.
Many youths use fake pictures and live fake lives online and their forged lifestyles are what other youths are envying which in turn make them go astray, looking for a way to amass sudden wealth. The most disheartening thing about it all is the fact that the social media has turned to a place where ritual killers get their clients and initiate people into bad associations. Yet, the internet is also the same place where you see people who have gone mad due to the aftermath of their misdemeanors. The social media is leading the people astray and at the same time getting them exposed!
What of cultism? In times past, cultism used to be something people indulge in secretly but these days, due to the arrival of social media platforms, their activities are now openly displayed and this in effect if not curbed can influence the younger generation because even right from birth, some parents have already acquired a smart phone for their children and whatever little children see, they tend to put into practice.
Furthermore, there is a decline in the academic performance of students, due to the emergence of the social media. Students who should focus on studying at schools, no longer focus on learning; their attention has been shifted towards gaining more likes and having more followers on Instagram and Tic Tok. The social media has succeeded in rendering the youths lazy as they no longer engage their brains in meaningful thoughts that can benefit the country.
Depression is another negative effect of social media on the youths. As posited by a source, in several studies, teenage and young adult users who spend the most time on Instagram , Facebook and other platforms were shown to have a substantially from 13%-66% higher rate of reported depression than those who spend the least time. As discussed by this same writer in a piece titled “Suicide and its relative cause in the society”, people no longer spend reasonable time with their family and friends because they now devote their time to social media and this in effect leads to high rate of depression which may eventually lead to suicide.
How do we handle the high rate of broken marriages in the society? Social media has not only found its way into the people’s hand but also into their minds. People can no longer keep their secrets to themselves as they take whatever happens in their homes straight to the social media. Nothing is private anymore since the emergence of social media and this has led to a lot of broken marriages and relationships.
There is a need to buttress the fact that social media is not the problem but the major problem lies in what people use the social media for and how they use it. Since the situation of things in the country is no longer helpful to the youths, the youths no longer have faith in the government so they look for ways to better their lives every day with the use of social media because it is an easier way to reach out to many people since it is accessible to every Tom, Dick and Harry and that explains why there is barely nothing one will not find on the social media.
The government on the other hand no longer gives credence to academic excellence, they have rather shifted their attention towards other things that are not honorable and this has made the youths to focus more on dishonorable things also. They only attend schools these days to be called educated citizens and only few of them strive for academic excellence.
In tackling the negative effects of social media on the teenagers and youths, the parents and the government have some roles to play. Even though parents cannot monitor the use of social media by their children, there is a need to guide and advice them on the possible negative effect dwelling more on social media or spending most of their time on it can have on their academic performance and their mental stability.
The government should also set a standard for academic performances while also rewarding academic excellence because if the youths are assured of academic rewards, which can better their lives, they will spend less time on social media and focus more on achieving academic excellence.
Adeparua Damilola, Can be reached via:email@example.com