Monday, 28 May 2018

CHILDREN'S DAY: Prof. O.A. Oyeshile, Ibadan Varsity Don Speaks on the Ripple Effects of Social/New Media on Nigerians.

Nelson A.Osuala |28th May 2018|

In this thought provoking article written in commemoration of the May 27th Children's Day Celebration. A renowned Professor of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, prof. O.A.Oyeshile, lends a voice on what I am inclined to call, the ripple effect of Social media on the Nigerian populace. 

Herein, the author took us on a voyage into the historical trajectory of the Import of information technology in Nigeria, it's ambivalent nature of being capable of presenting truthfulness and falsehood with the latter sadly becoming an everyday norm such as have coloured and adulterated the ethics of Journalism exemplified in politics, entertainment, sports,news etc. All of which according to the writer has regrettably rubbed us of the blessings of Social media thereby fast becoming a curse!

Below is an excerpt of the author's exact words in italics as culled from his Facebook wall.

Nigerians and the Social/New Media

 There is no doubt that communication at the public level has been revolutionized, thereby bringing information to the doorsteps of people through other means apart from the orthodox conservative mass media- print, radio and television.

 In today's world, everybody is a journalist for he can upload information on the public space through Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger just to mention a few. 

While this development is commendable on one hand, it has been a source of misinformation and by extension, underdevelopment on the other hand. Crucial to mass media is the concept of truth that helps to develop the human mind/consciousness. Nigeria has not fared better in this regard.

 A survey I conducted personally on the Social/New media reveals that about 95% of the information is either utter falsehood, doctored truth, misinformation or triviality. 

What we have in the Nigeria Social media are either sensational stories, jokes or self-celebration straddling all aspects of our national and personal life. 

Alas! Deep thought has taken its flight from Nigeria. Less of scientific, political and economic breakthroughs are discussed, accompanied by monumental waste of time.
There is hardly any sustained discussion concerning global intellectual breakthroughs. Even when meaningful social and scientific inventions are imported from other climes and posted on our own social media, the best we do is to appreciate them. 

No follow up on this in whatever manner. Some serious Nigerians who come up with good ideas are not even encouraged. Even the money expended on the purchase of data and phones is substantial to alleviate poverty at the individual level if well channeled. One starts wondering why we are so blest.

 To the average Nigerian addicted to the social media, the implication is a setback in intellectual orientation no matter our pretense to the contrary. 

We are all guilty, the writer inclusive. It is time to have a rethink of our situation. Or is it that the white people have given us the Social media to perpetuate their hold on us and make us continually underdeveloped through our own hands?

 The Social media has made us less serious, less responsible, less responsive, less innovative, less productive and less intellectual. 

While most of the posts by a good number of Nigerians dwell on self-aggrandizement in political, religious and economic spheres, and bad intellection and language, those posted by their Western counterparts are in research workshops, conferences and seminars. While we cannot stop the march of civilization, it is incumbent on Nigerians to define their stake within this context. 

Otherwise, our human capacity to engender a better society will be compromised and mortgaged. We should stop blaming the others for our underdevelopment and address how we Nigerians have underdeveloped ourselves. 

We definitely cannot bequeath this legacy of indolence to our children. Happy Children's day! 

Nelson A.Osuala
Blogger & Associate Editor of

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