Social media in the 21st century has continued to give a voice to people who would otherwise be voiceless. This voice is gradually being noticed by those in various levels of Government.
Social media has reinforced the fact that it is not just a platform for just information but also to keep up with global trends and for teaching and as well learning. We should also not forget in a hurry,the dubious act that is being perpetrated through the platform as well and high use of propaganda during election period. We are near it again.
It does not only end there,Social media has also created awareness for people to take part in the decision making process of their country. The decision which is through electing the right representatives in various levels of Government.
Currently,the population in Nigeria stands at Two hundred and nineteen million, four hundred thousand people (219,400,000), our of which we have Thirty seven million,two hundred and twenty thousand, four hundred, (37,220,400 )Facebook Users, Instagram has Ten million, one hundred and sixty one thousand,five hundred users,(10,161,500) Messenger has thirty million, forty seven thousand,two hundred users (30 047 200), Linkedin has Seven million, eighty one thousand users(7 081 000) while Twitter has less than 3.4 million users.
According to Statscounter,Facebook is the most used social networking site followed by Twitter. Twitter had since being able to set agenda and influence government to put certain policies on hold while others have been changed or cancelled entirely.
Issues with wide participation is what is referred to as trends and it has the tendency of making the pages of newspapers.
Political issues, entertainment and sports usually dominate the social media space more than other discussions but people have continued to take advantage of the platform to launch themselves.
Many people have gotten lots of opportunities through social media while others create enmity for themselves by fighting on behalf of people who dont know them.
We have had different eras as far as information dissemination is concerned. There was a time when information depended solely on the traditional media via newspapers and magazines, after which we moved to the age of moving media where the television and radio had so much to tell us and feedback became easier and faster. But now,it is the age of the internet where information is instanteneous, where you don’t wait for Information to be dropped before you go in search of it- Knowledge is power, and it is more readily available.
Many people had gotten or lost jobs due to their various social media posts while many had been arrested or became famous through their posts. It is advisable to not abuse, disrespect or bully others just because of your perceived anonymity. Do not use your Page to promote hate speech, intolerance, toxicity and crime. It will come come back to haunt you and you might be arrested and prosecuted. Social media could make or mar you.
Many creatives have become household names just from posting their contents online. A lot of comedians rose to national prominence this way.
Writers, Musicians, Tech guys, and entrepreneurs have used the vehicle of social media to showcase themselves to a wide audience. People have formed solid connections, many have been able to connect and interact with their favourite celebrities online, while others have learnt important skills and have even gotten the opportunity to travel. Many have gotten scholarships and mentoring, it all depends on how well you are able to harness the opportunities presented by Social media.
Considering the huge opportunities of social media,it is right to take the good advantages and run away from the disadvantages. Whatever you say or write will be stamped and be remembered against your name in the nearest future.
It is therefore advisable for the teens,youths,adults and other categories of social media users to launch themselves in high light and take the advantage offered by social media to expand their horizons for the right reasons and stay away for the wrong reasons.
It pays to be media wise.
Written by Tosin Adesile