EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON CAMEROONIAN YOUTHS

EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON CAMEROONIAN YOUTHS.




The use of social media has proven to be a greater tool that is turning the world into a global village. Imagine in some years back where one could take at least three days for information to circulate from one part of a continent to another, one country to another or from rural areas to urban centers. 



Today social media has made it very easy in such a way that within seconds information can spread the whole world like wildfire, one can chat with family, love ones and friends. 




Social media can be defined as the facilities and tools that reduce the world to a global village; websites and applications that enable users to create, share contents and participate in social networking. The social media platform provides opportunities for users to create online communities to share ideas, information, personal messages etc. Some of the social media applications include: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, You-tube, My Space, Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. 

EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON CAMEROONIAN YOUTHS




If you have been wondering how social media impacts Cameroonian youths and how the negative effects can be reduced, this article is worth reading to the end. So, you will get:

  1. Positive effects of social media on Cameroon youths.

  2. Negative effects.

  3. Recommendations.





Youths are predominantly the users of the Internet for social interaction. These are the people who cannot imagine life without the Internet, the group seeking for ways to connect virtually to everyone in the world. About 60% of Cameroonian youths are the ones more frequent on the Internet. With good use of social media, youths can be able harness the creativity for the economic growth and development of Cameroon. 


With the main aim of social media on the internet being to open up a world of possibilities and opportunities to the youths, the consequences of ignorance and misuse of social media by the youths can negatively impact their lives.



Knowing well that social media if well used, it would definitely impact the lives of youths positively. This is why we cannot discountenance the negative effects it also has on the youths. Several studies have been conducted on this and some points are outline below on some of the positive and negative effects of social media on Cameroon youths.




1,Positive effects of the various social platforms on youths

These includes:


  • Great communication tool.

  • Free information.

  • Promotion of business.

  • Social Capital.

  • Testing of Business.

  • Advices.



Great communication tool

Great communication Tools to connect with loved ones and old friends irrespective of locations. Social media has been proven to be the cheapest and fastest means to communicate with friends, family and loves ones around the world. It is also an arena where youths meet new and old friends.



Free information

Access to positive and free information being shared on Social Media; Today many people get their news from social media in time before it is broadcast on television.


Promotion of business

Opportunities to promote their businesses to a larger and wider audience; With Facebook for instance one can be able to create business pages and groups to easily get in touch with potential costumers. This can be done via Facebook paid or unpaid ads. This is also true for WhatsApp where one can create business groups



Social Capital

Social Capital; you may want to ask what is social capital. Social capital broadly refers to those factors of effectively functioning social groups that include such things as interpersonal relationships, a share of sense of identity, a shared understanding, shared norms, shared values, trust, cooperation and reciprocity. This is one of the most important types of capital in business after human capital. With facebook you can easily create social capital by interacting daily with people which may be your potential customers in case you launch a business.



Advice

An avenue to contribute to emotional wellbeing of others by offering positive advice; if you go to facebook today or other social media, you will be able to find people, pages and groups talking about emotional life love and many other positive things one can ever imagine. You can equally meet people who can advise you on emotional issues for free.



Testing of Business plans

Opportunities to launch businesses online; facebook which we all know is the big boy of social media, can help you to test any business of your choice and reach out to millions of people within days. This is usually done with paid on unpaid ads

Opportunities to market businesses online at little or no cost; creating pages or groups for your business on social media will make it easier for those who love your business with less cost of advert.

The negative effects of Social Media on youths cannot be overlooked and can be overwhelming. It can have harmful effects on the youths if not controlled.



Some of negative effects of social media on Cameroon youths



Lack of control of and over personal information.

Youths post private information online without realizing the associated risks. A good example is facebook where some youths just ignorantly allow their private contacts public and sooner or later they start to complain of receiving calls from unknown numbers.



Cyberbullying

cyberbullying or cyber harassment is a form of harassment using electronic means. It has become increasingly common on social media today especially amongst youths and teenagers. That is by sending messages of intimidating or threatening nature amongst youths or teenagers. Cyber bullying also includes things like hate speech, fake news, lies, rumors, gossiping, insults and teasing. This See picture below; Hate speech is one of the most common types of cyber bullying in Cameroon today and it is mostly done on facebook. This is why AGBOR NGONHO BALLA, cardinal TUME and some Cameroonian youths on the 16th November 2018 to the 18th November 2018 organized a workshop to combat hate speech in Cameroon.

More of the negative effects are listed below.


  • Mental Health issues.

  • Lack of Morals.

  • Spread and ability to amplify Fake News

  • Exposure to adult information.

  • Indirect encouragement of high rate of scam on social media.

  • Poor grades from the academic pursuits.

  • Long hours on Social Media platforms.

  • Peer pressure.

  • Addiction to social media.



To ensure the safety of the youth online, it is strongly recommended that:


We have adequate and effective Online child protection laws

Parents as a matter of urgency should monitor the activities of their wards on the Social Media.

Government should empower the youths so as to engage them in more meaningful and constructive activities.

A cyber monitoring team should be set up by schools to checkmate the effects of illegal activities of Social Media.

The youth should be educated on the proper use of the Internet and Social Media.


We must guide the youths and limit their exposure to the negativity of social media.

We must ensure appropriate laws are in place to protect them against the exposure to Social Media. 

We must channel their activities on social social media to yield positive results.


The advantages of social media on Cameroon youths  uncountable but the few negative effects, if not control can be dangerous.

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