Social media are tools of communication and collaboration through the exchange of text, images, vedio, live streaming and presentation. Social media technology have become important feature to public life but also the personal lives of young people.
Many youth cannot do away with social media in their life which has become a "god" to them. There are a lot of social media sites where the youth are influenced which includes Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube among others.
When it comes to communication and connection, digital technology is invisible. New studies shows that the youth are becoming its slaves. Families and friends sacrifice their connections at the altar of digital technology delivered dutifully by appealing apps.
This trend is so obvious that even children use social media for academic purposes and other purposes as well. Social media does not only distract the daily lives of the youth but also from church and it activities.
Many youth are influenced on social media usage. Students, teachers among others use social media to learn, teach, and also reach out to friends and families. Smart phones and services boost internet use in all countries which has a high percentage of social media users.
According to the report, a country currently has 5.6 million mobile users, 19.53 million mobile users and 4.90 active social media users which has an increased percentage of 22% on the January 2017 figure. Social media can be powerful positive force in young people's lives. This enables the youth to communicate to friends and families overseas and near through Facebook, WhatsApp etc.
Again, youth in this 21st century live their lives on social media. Currently, social media has become the source of entertainment to the youth.
Social media gives the youth the avenue and opportunity to make new friends and applying for a job by simply typing their names company or the school they attended. However, the time spent on the internet can be reduced to a reasonable proportion of a day’s total time. Specific number of hours should be allocated.
A reasonable period would be two or three hours per day. It may become difficult to control the usage of some websites and social networks on the Internet. A pathological internet user may spend most of the time on only one programme or social network.
A moderate alternative to the site can be found. The alternative should be easily controllable to avoid addiction. Most youth who engage in pathological use of the Internet utilise it as a recreational tool. It is important for the person to find an alternative recreational activity to replace the internet. Most conventional recreational activities are less addictive than the internet.
use of social Media allows the youth to get involve in all manner of activities which can influence them to either join groups or practice acts which are not accepted everywhere.
The education system encourages to focus on academic excellence without considering the importance of excellence in other activities. Thus, social life has been replaced by technology and the internet. It is important for the education system to recognise excellence in academics and other activities. This will reduce the preoccupation of the youth with the internet.
Finally, Thus, internet use needs to be controlled especially among the youth. It is evident that the family and the education system are the major players in the effort to curb excessive internet use. These two institutions are the closest to any youth.However, internet can destroy personalities and decrease productivity of individuals.
Ahenkorah odura Mary
Ghana institute of journalism (GIJ)