The risk of social media

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By Kunle Sotibi

Technology has opened our eyes to so many things. The birth of social media is a sign that technology is on the development side but it’s just like an uncivilised who got urbanized in an extraordinary way. The birth of social media has opened the eyes of the people to the good, the bad and the ugly.

Fake news is a pest which has deeply eaten the sanity of the social media; social media has gained more audience than the primary media. People believe what they see on social media and as a result of this, people tend to create fake information and it spreads widely like inferno. Social media now contain fake news and exaggerated information which has caused so much physical and mental harm to people.

Recently in Nigeria, the youth gained social media audience to bring down the Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, a unit of the Nigerian Police Force. They declared a peaceful protest which at the initial stage was peaceful before it was hijacked by thugs. lo and behold, the peaceful protest became bloody and no thanks to the social media which heated-up the whole situation by spread of fake information and exaggerated information.

Is it right to aver that the emergence of social media has brought more harm than good? Or better still, is it that Nigeria society isn’t ripe for the use of social media? In this case, it is true to say that social media corrupts and the absolute use of social media corrupts absolutely, as power in the hands of politicians is harmful, so is social media in the hands of average Nigerians.

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke, there were handful of misleading information flying round the social media platforms. In some cases, people fell victims to fake information while in some instances, to fraudsters who perpetrated their scandalous act on social media. A lot of harmful posts on social media like body-shaming, cyber-bullying, ethnic baiting and so on have caused so much harm on people; it has affected both their physical and mental health.

Some have fallen prey to rapists who they met on social media. Social media has become the new holocaust. So many unnecessary disputes have been fueled and caused by social media and it has enhanced the growing fear and tension in the time of crisis.

The evil and insanity surrounding social media is gradually over-shadowing the benefits. Truly, the world is evolving and developing but if the development is harming both the physical and mental health of the people, the people have to be cautious, hence, it should be used at user discretion.

Social media has become destructive to the mental health of the people and if care is not taken, it will spread like wild fire.

  • Kunle Sotibi, <kunlesotibi@gmail.com>

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