Religion, culture, values, and ingenuity are reducing and overshadowed; instead of the great rise and unparalleled impact on the scale of trajectory.
Although these core skeletons of every society in the world are still in play, their impacts are not leveled to that of social media. This article is not disregarding the relevance and positive impact of social media, rather focusing on what and where social media is leading the youth of the 21st century. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Unconscious as; “ Not knowing or perceiving: not aware”. It further explains Addiction as; “ a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior or activity having harmful effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms ( such as anxiety, irritability, tremors or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence. It also defines social media as; “forms of electronic communication(such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)”
How do you feel when you haven’t checked your social media messages a day?
What is your reaction when your phone battery is dying while chatting?
Frankly, I know you have already answered the questions yourself, but you will find out more about your answers.
The mobile phone has been the closest friend of about more than half of the world’s population.
The new addiction which is unconsciously captivating the minds of the youth is social media.
There are more than half of the world’s population ( 5 billion) people on social media ( I.e. WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. )
According to research done in Australia, the average person checks his/her messages one hundred and fifty (150) times a day ( according to Sensis yellow social media report, 2018). The millennial sort of audience is very high; Addicted persons do not even turn off their network connectivity.
Once one wakes up, he/she starts to feel that anxiety to know who has sent a message, commented on their post or status updates. Going through the day, a typical person will check his or her phone every fifteen (15) minutes or less. ( Sensis, Australia social media research).
Unbelievably that anxiety and expectation to have received a message has been a schema.
After checking the phone, one mostly finds out there are no or very few messages as expected. These wondering and expectations produce cortisol, which starts making people anxious and stressed.
The most unbearable feeling comes as a result of seeing a low battery popping up the screen of the phone while chatting. The Australian research also revealed that the second research is done on thirty thousand (30,000) people; out of every ten (10) persons, nine (9) admits to feeling uncomfortable and even experience tremors when their phone batteries are running low.
Moreover, social media is to connect and socially orientate people globally, that’s a fact and a positive one as such. But currently, people meet at conferences, summits, festivals, and instead of verbal communication, you see 90% on their phones.
Either taking pictures or busily replying to their messages and do not have that time to connect.
The most alarming and heart-breaking behavior showed nowadays by this generation is tending to shirk the religious responsibility and Samaritarian spirit to helping others, unlike the past, where people who are victims of a road traffic accident are assisted to the Hospitals or call for ambulances; seeking more hands to help, people now stand and take pictures, make videos of the sufferers and post them instead of helping.
Some may say, but not everyone does that!
It’s very true! but out of every ten(10) persons witnessed under the third research, only two ( 2) would help or assistance under such circumstances.
Another interrogation will be going through the minds of many, saying we know social media is assisting these actions but what are the causes of these irresistible drives?
Some causes attached to their remedies are touched in the lines below.
Firstly, there is the easy availability of phones and access to social media without check; These days, children as low as seven (7) years are found on social media posting, commenting, and sharing files. We also see people post anything of their choice without any punishment or questioning. People have asked the recent big question once again “ why didn’t Steve Jobs allow his children to use the iPhone?” He is the inventor and he will defend the relevance of the product on any given platform!
He once answered in an interview that, he has to control his children by teaching them how they can control their phones when they get to the age they need to use phones and not vice versa. Parents and guardians should help children and young people below the ages of eighteen (18) to know that they are to control their social media instead, not to be controlled by their phones by visiting their platforms constantly to become addicts.
Secondly, Peer pressure is another cause that is really affecting the youth and raising the usage of social media. The 21st century is hypothetically unprecedented with the rise in the usage of phones and social media and the behaviors of many are becoming bizarre and unhealthy.
The youth most especially are pressured or influenced by their folks to imitating wrong things very strongly. They see them change dresses, bags, shoes, cars, watches, and other materialistic products which attract them to try doing the same. The common thing now is to use filters on pictures, of which most think if they do not have filters, then they are not accepted in the generation’s trajectory, which our religious leaders are preaching about contentment and Patience. The youth are now trying to buy things they do not need, with the money they do not have, to impress the people they do not even know. Due to this pressure, how can one be content or patient if continually influenced by their eyes and ears?
Until the religious and cultural leaders rekindle the flames of true courtesy and obedience, there is no other way. Parents and guardians are the most important people in the upbringing and control of children, the charity they say, truly begins at home.
Thirdly, ignorance and wrong perception about social media and even phones in general, there’s a notion that, once you start to use the phone; you have to be on social media and then you are a big boy or girl, which is not true. Myles Munroe, one of the powerful and influential religious leaders once said “ where there is a lack of knowledge, abuse is inevitable “.Most people think social media is just for fun and entertainment, of which there are so many other advantages of social media. Phone and social media is the most advantageous tool in the 21st century.
That second thought to consider when posting things or writing updates on social media is vanishing, people are posting wrong ideas in loud voices because everyone is right explaining their quotes or post, some are half-naked because that will give them more followers and likes.
Where is culture?
Where is religion?
Where is the generation of selflessness and defense?
Currently, people post wrong things without verifying whether, they are from the right sources, persons, or even healthy to post.
Although, there is a browser that one can open to check or confirm their information since it’s on social media is true.
Most people will say, reading hard copy materials such as books are archaic and will occupy their precious room spaces, how about downloading them onto the phone?
How about getting all those books on the phone and reading it for an hour daily?
We are blessed with the internet having almost all the information or books we need for our various courses but performances in the past are still strong.
We will still not do the reading, but here is the case we are still hungry for upward mobility, while the books are resting and we are looking!
Without reading and inquiring how can one get the adequate and right information? No one can! Rather share the deceiving ones received from others.
That shows how lazy and unproductive most people are becoming.
See how evil and envious it’s turning most of our youth into! Everyone in my country (Ghana) wants to use an Apple phone because of the influence and captivating the users of those phones are. In some cases, I presume without Apple’s phone you are not in the century. It shouldn’t be the case, once you can connect to the internet with your phone, there is no cause for alarm. The political leaders have a role to play by constantly reminding the youth that the best is what they have and they should cherish to get the excellence they are expecting.
Media houses have to get on board, and tackle this topic, they should broadcast the influence social media is transporting to the younger generation. The understanding should be well conveyed, to help emancipate our youth from this dilemma.
In conclusion, sit and observe how time flies when chatting or going through social media handles to get updates, you will know how time-consuming it is!
Therefore I encourage each individual to;
Schedule times on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis in other to utilize his or her time for other things that will keep him/her growing or productive.
Take breaks from social media and compare it to times you were always online.
Face reality, read hard copy books, instead of being online all day, learn something new, be creative and special, for instance;
if you are a writer, you need to read more to be able to write amazing works, if you an artist you need to observe and sense well in order to draw or sketch the best artworks.
Be yourself and face your obstacles, don’t be pressured by the lives social media showcase, of which most are even fake.
Above all, Nothing is more powerful than the brain in the world, therefore you either make it control you, or you allow your phone and social media to control your brain and your entire being. Nobody can drive your life very well then you the driver: so be conscious and take over the wheel!
NURSE’S TRAINING COLLEGE,PANTANG.
UN YOUTH GHANA VOLUNTEER,
WRITER, SPOKEN WORD ARTISTE.
1. Motivational Alarm Tones
( http:// beinspiredchannel.com/alarm)
2. Merriam Webster Dictionary.
3. Sensis Yellow social media report 2018 (in Australia).