Recognizing Social Media As A Catalyst For Progress In Nigeria

in BDCommunity8 months ago


The advent of the internet has brought about numerous opportunities and ways of doing things for people around the world. It has also enabled people to use tools like social media which if utilized responsibly can lead it's users to financial empowerment . Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Tik-Tok to mention a few have had positive impacts on the lives of people who used them for productive purposes. Social media is changing the dynamics in many facets of human life. New standards and practices in many fields of interests for example Communication, News and Media, Advertising, Education, Meetings, Seminars, Music and Philanthropy are taking new dimensions. Access to information is not a privilege to a selected group of people like it was in the past all thanks to social media. Twitter is one of the most widely used social media platforms in the world. The platform has been a source of social and economic empowerment to people globally because of the robust uses and services it offers. Nigerians especially youths took cognizance of the uses and opportunities on Twitter and took advantage of it.

Twitter logo

The Nigerian government banned the operations of Twitter in the second quarter of last year. The ban came after Twitter deleted tweets made by the Nigerian President wherein he warned the indigenes of the southeastern part of Nigeria to prevent a recurrence of the civil war that took place several decades ago because of the crisis that was going in the region at that point in time. The deletion of the President's tweet by Twitter did not go down well with the government. In response the government banned the operations of twitter in the country. The government claimed that its decision to ban Twitter was because the social media platform was deployed to spread fake news and misinformation to Nigerians. This the government claimed was a threat to the existence of Nigeria. Although the government admitted that the deletion of the president's tweet by twitter was also taking into consideration for the ban.

The government in my opinion did not look at the big picture and acted in its own interest at the expense of Nigerians. The nation is faced with a lot of social and economic challenges with unemployment being one that has overwhelmed the government for so many years. The rate of unemployment has increased steadily over the years without any major intervention from the government. Unemployed Nigerians especially youths are unable to get jobs or set up businesses because of the unconducive economic environment in the country. This set of unemployed Nigerians decided to be innovative and explore options that would get them productively engaged. One of those options was Twitter. The social media platform has a wide variety of uses and services that if utilized leads to financial empowerment. Nigerians saw the benefits that Twitter offers and utilized it. Twitter became a hub for the dissemination of news, advertisements, education, music and most notably cryptocurrency participation for Nigerians. The productive use of Twitter empowered these Nigerians financially. They were no longer unemployed and earned money from their activities on Twitter. Nigerian cryptocurrency stakeholders were one of the major beneficiaries of the opportunities offered by Twitter. A lot of Nigerians got lifted out of poverty to affluence without any involvement in crime during this period with Twitter being instrumental in achieving this feat.

The government eventually lifted the ban on Twitter seven months later. During this period Nigerians were fortunate to have another means to access twitter - virtual private network(VPN). Imagine what would have happened to those diligent Nigerians who had invested a lot of their time and effort on productive ventures on Twitter if VPN's were not available. These set of people would have lost their means of livelihood and self-esteem . The lifting of the ban on Twitter by the government in my opinion is for political interest. Elections will be taking place in the county next year and the government recognizes the influence Twitter can have on electorates. The lifting of the ban on Twitter is a strategic decision by the government on the premise of political gains. I wish the government can see beyond its interests to realize the tremendous benefits Twitter has given Nigerians. The interests of Nigerians should be the government's priority.

The government should acknowledge the positive impact social medium platforms like Twitter has had on the lives of Nigerians and try to create a conducive environment for relationships to thrive. Innovation and unconventional ways of overcoming challenges is gradually becoming a norm all over the world. Nigeria should not be an exception to this change rather she should embrace it. If a social media platform like Twitter can get unemployed Nigerians especially youths unconventional jobs and productively engaged I see no reason why this development should not be encouraged by the government. The government should support and encourage any media that helps to overcome challenges faced by the country. Social media in my opinion has been a catalyst for progress in Nigeria.

Thanks for reading,
Have a splendid day folks.

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