The challenges and opportunities of social media

By: Beatrice Nakibuuka

There is no doubt we are a social media generation. If you don’t believe this, check out number of people who subscribe to Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp or Skype. These platforms have created a place to create, share, exchange and discuss information within a cyber-community.

Its appeal has been enhanced due to the fact that it is a cheap and reliable way of communicating. Governments and corporations have turned to social media to advertise and introduce substantial and persuasive changes within their spheres of influence.


But it is not all rosy in the virtual world. In classrooms, many students are distracted as they keep updating their status online. It makes one wonder whose future is at stake or whose tuition is being wasted.

Facebook makes you question just how some people think. For example someone can post, “Guys I’m so down I lost my mother” within just an hour you find 45 likes for such a post! Then you wonder what is there to like about such a post.

Equally irritating are those people who send one letter texts “k? or u!” I understand people may not have enough time to write out a lengthy text but surely the sentences can be constructed better. At times I wish there could be English lessons to teach people how to construct better sentences and stop the unnecessary abbreviations. Then there should be a law that bans those people who post weird messages and pictures on your timeline. There is another cluster of people who deserve mentioning, those who have turned social media into a dating arena.

If you are planning to find a date in the virtual world, you should be careful because you have no idea what you are getting yourself into.

By the way those in relationships and who are on any social media platform should be extra careful. Just like with mobile phones and its negative effects on relationships, social media leads to individuality and isolation. Within no time, all you know how to do is like each other’s status updates.

The worst thing about this trend is that children have also not been spared. Many parents have given smartphones to their children as young as 10 years. Not that this is bad in itself but if not regulated, children then opt to find answers about sexuality online. Networks like cyberbullying and sexual predators expose children to different vices.

Yet in spite of knowing all these shortcomings, we have not recoiled from social media but instead more new members are registered daily on the various platforms.

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