Somewhere on the street of Lagos, looking around me, I see numerous youths clinging passionately to their communication gadgets, some laughing, while others had a business-like look on their faces, they all had something in common, they were all youths and they were networking, building strong and long lasting relationships that transcends any bias, be it religious, political, or ethnicity based which promises to transcend the bond of brotherhood!
From Facebook to BBM, via Twitter through 2go to Skype and all other social media platforms, youths are engaging each other, networking and building strong lasting relationships. Youths in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya engaged themselves positively to physically liberate their country from the shackles of bad leadership and thrust upon themselves a brighter future for yet unborn generations.
In a similar vein, Nigerian youths, earlier in the year, also emulated their Northern African counterparts, by kicking massively against various obnoxious government policies, a prime example is the removal of Fuel subsidy by the Federal Government of Nigeria, this policy was met with very stern opposition from the youths, which later resulted in streets protest across the country that grounded activities nationwide.
More recently, the Federal Government of Nigeria’s decision to rename the prestigious University of Lagos [UNILAG], the best University in Nigeria and the 12th best University in Africa, according to the latest Webo-metric ranking, to Moshood Abiola University, Lagos [MAULAG], again the youths stood up in unison via various social media platforms to kick against the move, which later led to protests by students of this noble institution resulting in the closure of the school for two weeks. Thus the youths must be duly commended and appreciated for protecting the sanctity of the University and preserving democratic institutions in the country.
Nevertheless, a worrying trend is now infiltrating the rank and file of the new generation youths on social media, as usual, youthful exuberance or perhaps unguarded youthful exuberance has taken over the airspace; nude, offensive, sexually appealing and sexually abusive pictures are the new strategies inhibiting the youths from productive use of the social media.
Youths in their crave to attain cheap fame, tend to step over the line by introducing this technique to attract and expand their network base. How this translates to success beats my imagination! Pictures revealing entire nude body, parts of genitals, entire genitals, breast, tits, laps etc awash the social media with little or no regard to other users. Such youths use these aforementioned pictures as their contact pictures while others post it periodically online.
Proponents of this trend argue vigorously that the social media network is strictly for matured minds only, thus, the age limit requirement imposed on all prospective clients while registering, but as we all know, youths falsify their ages in order to register on these social network site.
On the other hand, various youths have debated extensively on this worrying trend, arguing that it is sheer abuse of social media, infringement on the rights of other intending users by intentionally posting such pictures on general sites and a violation of the tenets of religious doctrine.
Nevertheless, operators of these social media sites have been putting punitive measures in place to discourage the sharing of explicit pictures, but from recent survey, majority of the youths wants sterner measures to check mate such users who indulge in this practice.
Finally, as the popular saying goes: “the idle hand is the devil’s workshop”. I strongly indulge all youths to embark on productive ventures via the social media platforms which would benefit both the source and the receiver [society].
By Salami Ismail Oyewale