The Effect of Social Media on the way We receive, Process and Send Information in Nigeria
It is no news that things are done differently now compared to the late 90s and early 2000. Social media emerged in the Nigerian space in this decade and it has redefined how we live our daily lives.
One thing to note before continuing this article is that it is focused more on Social media and not the Internet in general, Although the Internet controls the social media we will be talking more on Social media.
According to Wikipedia, Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
One of the most important benefits of Social media is information, whether it is sharing or receiving information. How has SM changed the way we get, pass and process information.
Let me quickly take you back to late 90s and early 2000s, to get a message across to your friend who is not in the same state with you take days, your best bet is to use NIPOST to send a letter. Soon after that we move to the era when the Internet became popular in Nigeria this is better than sending letter but you still have to go to the Cyber Café to send a mail to your friend or sometimes when you are lucky he might be online and you will chat via the then Yahoo Messenger or through MSN Messenger. This is good but you still have to move away from your comfort zone just to tell your friend when you will be coming home for the holidays. But now you don’t have to leave your comfy sofa before informing your multiple friends of your next move, all you need is a good SM app, a Smart Phone and Internet and boom you have already reached out to your 200 friends to inform them what you are having for dinner.
Let’s talk about how we get official information such as News, back in the days I remembered we relied more on TV stations to get information regarding what is going on around us, this is good but in a country without uninterrupted power supply you will miss some of the important News, but with Social media and a good use of it you won’t miss a thing. All you need to do is to follow important Government Agencies, Media outlets, and News Blog and you are updated. Using myself as an example here, I missed the Presidential Speech on Independence Day because (No light) but a few minutes later I logged in to one of my Social media accounts and the Speech is all over my timeline.
Now you can be informed of what is happening in the far North, East, West, and South without leaving your comfort zone. All you need to do is to follow the right handle or page.
In the way, Social media is affecting how we process information, with Social media now you are exposed to multiple information which will enhance your information processing. An example of this is if you are trying to shop for a particular item online, let say a phone and you have to compare the specs, following phone brand like Samsung, iPhone, Tecno, Infinix and the likes would have exposed you to their recent phones and specs with this information you can decide the amount you need to get that your next suitable phone.
For every good thing, there is a bad side, Social media is also a medium that is easy to use to pass wrong information, falsified claims, and Fake News. Social media also have higher chances of exposing you to wrong media content such as viral video of abuse, fight and so many more. This bad information can also affect the way you live your daily life.
Social media is a tool to make the passing of information easy but for everything with Merit, there is a Demerit. Social media will get you the information but the usage is solely on you. From my little understanding of most Social media apps in Nigeria, you can easily filter away contents that can harm you.