by Okechukwu Ofili
By so doing they establish credibility within themselves for wanting to hear the voices of the people instead of attempting to drown the voices, after all social media is not responsible for the bad roads, lack of electricity or corruption, we already know who is responsible for that.
So I am browsing the Internet, when I stumble across the statement below. Originally I thought it was from a Chinese government official, but upon further reading I realized that it was sadly from my Nigerian government. The statement reads:
“The Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties and Social Development Matters, Mrs Sarah Pane, has said that the negative use of the social media by Nigerian youths is impacting negatively on the country’s image. She added that denigrating Nigerian leaders through the medium has become a pastime of the youths to the extent that the Nigerian President has become the most insulted in the world.”
Statements like this worry me, because it makes me realize that in this day and age, people (politicians and businesses alike) still don’t get social media. Social media is not a magical tool that alters your character when it feels like and neither is it like print media where you can pay millions of manipulative naira to get adverts touting your good work when you have not done ish [sic].
Rather Social media is a truth amplification tool, one that works to amplify your true characteristics and traits, whether positive or negative.
So if you are an asshole in real life, social media will simply make you a bigger asshole, it cannot and will not transform you into an angel. Alternatively, if you have done positive things for your community, state or country, social media will share those positive things you have done with the world but at an amplified rate. This is why social media has been so successful in political revolutions of late, because it simply focuses on the truth. It cannot be controlled, bought or silenced…you can only influence it, by what you do in real life. It will not and does not operate like a generator (point intended) that can be switched on and off when one feels like. In other words, you cannot turn social media on when you want to get elected and then turn it off when it seems to be hampering your re-election chances. (another point intended).
So the next time the Nigerian government or any government for that matter reads several negative tweets about their administration or begin to see themselves trend negatively, they should not criticize the media used to voice that opinion! That is craziness and would be like blaming copper wire for the electrical problems of Nigeria (point intended again).
But rather they should shift their focus away from the medium of communication and back to the source of the complaint. By so doing they establish credibility within themselves for wanting to hear the voices of the people instead of attempting to drown the voices, after all social media is not responsible for the bad roads, lack of electricity or corruption, we already know who is responsible for that.
PS: If you have any experiences of people or organizations trying to manipulate social media to their benefit, do share.