A lot has changed when it comes to communication, even the way we go about conversation on phone these days is a lot different from how it used to be. One might wonder, what happened to the ethics? I remember back in elementary School we were taught how to speak on phone from starting a conversation, answering or asking questions, giving details and warm ways of saying bye to indicate that one is about to cut the line but today it’s much different. It is not just about phones, this change has affected our manner and behaviour on other media of communication especially the internet.
In other to avoid a complete misunderstanding of this article, I am categorically stating it here that I am not against the internet because it is of great benefit to humankind as well as to me as a person, the concern so far is on the abuse of it.
I remember the first time I walked into a Cybercafé to open my first email ever, this was more than a decade ago, I was accompanied by a friend who was at the time more computer savvy than I was. It was like filling a form online for G.C.E. or NECO with all the intricate details being requested for by the email website being punched in either by the cafe’s attendant or in my case my friend.
I must say that the whole process of going to a Cafe to access the internet back then was something of an event; this was because one had to plan sometimes days before leaving the house to do so, what can I say, this needed to be done or else you would end up wasting time and money. Internet cafes back then like traffic in Lagos had their peak periods and downtimes; usually this was what informed experienced users of the best periods to visit the cafes.
It is hundred times much easier getting online today than it was ten years ago and with this ease and advantage came some woes.
– Sunday Imonah
In fact, when the Cafe is some distance from home you trek, take a cab or drive down. In cases of mails, some people allow the Cafe attendant possessing good typing speed to assist, while others would rather type their mails from home and take it to the cafe in a diskette all to save time as an hour ticket sold for as much as two hundred naira or even three hundred in some places. Spending all that time typing mails alone would be a waste, I always felt sorry for those who could not type fast.
Today the case is however different, thanks to technological innovation most of us walk around with complete cybercafés and business centers in our pockets either in form of smart phones and mini-tabs or laptops and personal modems. This has brought about the evolution of Social media and our behaviour while using it. In fact, it is hundred times much easier getting online today than it was ten years ago and with this ease and advantage came some woes.
Discipline has gone out the window for many users, since unlike before we can now access the internet from virtually anywhere provided one has some kind of data plan running. This is just like placing a television set in the bedroom or having one in the toilet, you can just imagine the distraction and interference. In fact, students browse online using their mobile phones during class, other users browse in Church during sermons, Mosques and other religious houses are not spared though it is prohibited, you also find people browsing while walking on the street this has caused accidents likewise in cases where drivers are busy browsing or chatting as the case may be.
Chatting platforms on the other hand are one of the most attention grabbing innovations when it comes to the internet. This has even grown to a global worry such that large corporations ban and block all chat sites during work hours and constantly monitor their staff to ensure that they are not distracted from their duties by chatting on their mobile phones, tablets etc.
Families have also suffered where each member has some form of gadget or the other taking their attention, these gadgets acts as distractions from family conversation and needful bonding creating a huge gap between parents and children as well as amongst siblings.
This ease of access is also largely responsible for the way users join the bandwagon of rumour mongers spreading panic messages without verification; after all it is just copy and paste, no work done. This hardly occurred during the era when Cybercafés dominated internet provision because no one wasted time on bogus tales via chat forums while browsing with their hard-earned money not to mention the stress of getting to a nearby cafe.
If you have been very observant, you would have discovered that most ‘social media superstars’ are famous for the wrong reasons which have detrimental effect on the society at large while in real life, they are unable to get their acts together. It makes one wonder; what shall it profit us to be popular online having all the friends in the world only to lose touch with reality? Answer if you can…
MAPPING OUT HEALTHY SOCIAL MEDIA BEHAVIOURAL PATTERN
Away from the effect of the lack of discipline, let us turn our attention to possible ways of solving the problem, I would like to suggest that it all starts from taking responsibility and this involves everyone as well as organizations. Individuals could plan and regulate their internet visits, map out priorities and avoid internet loitering i.e. aimless browsing or endless idle chatting. It is far better to practice target browsing and evaluate your achievements at regular intervals. You can also suggest ways one could become more responsible with the internet by posting your comments or suggestions below for the benefit of every one, thank you for taking time out to read, do come back soon.
About The Writer:
Sunday Imonah, also known as Lord Sonar because of his good music ears and vocal prowess, is an enigmatic Presenter on the Breakfast Show as well as DCA on other belts on Metro FM, He has produce, written, and directed creative works for the Station as well. He has voiced Commercials for Companies like Afrab Chem, Cornoil, numerous pharmaceutical and beverage companies as well as religious houses to mention but a few.
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