Social media are online technologies that allow people to share and share knowledge, concepts, interests, and other kinds of expression through virtual communities and networks. The emergence of social media as a global means of interacting dated in the early 2000s with ‘MySpace’ being the first social medium site to reach a million monthly active users. This is however followed by the creation of different social media platforms such as Facebook, Telegram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Snapchat, LINE, TikTok, Viber, Pinterest and to mention but a few.
In recent times, social media became the most popular means of interacting in Nigeria and Africa at large. It is however incontrovertible and indisputable fact that the majority of social media users in Nigeria are youths with 89% percent of the total social media users in the whole country. The extreme use of social media, especially among the youths, has undoubtedly added different values to the lives of the youths and at the same time disrupt their daily lives activities and lifestyles.
Obviously, there are many great pros derived from social media as being used by Nigerian youths and which has resulted in many positive effects among the users. The advantages and benefits received from youths’ usage of social media are vast, putting Nigerian youths not only in the league of the enlightened and active, but also reflecting in the changing mentality and progressive ideas of Nigerian youths.. In the first instance, social media pave ways for building connections globally. However, with the help of social media, Nigerian youngsters have been able to create links with the outside world in fields such as business and education. This has gone a long way toward bringing out the best in the children.
In the same vein, social media also benefit its users in terms of promotion and advertisements because the rapid growth of social media day by day has given birth to what is known as digital marketing. This is however noted among many Nigerian youths using social media as their major tools to create advertisements and promotions for their products and businesses. This pro of social media has earned many Nigerian youths a worthy lifestyle.
In other words, social media has increased youth inclusion in political debates and discussions in the nation. Among Nigerian youngsters, the media has traditionally been the voice of the voiceless. For instance, the quest for #EndSars protest was manifested on social media and at the same time propagated to the whole world through social media. This has given the Nigerian youth more confidence to participate in the political affairs of the country.
Meanwhile, the numerous pros of social media are also attached with different cons and shortcomings. The first and the most known con of social media is cybercrime. Many Nigerian youths are guilty of using social media as a means of fraud to fellow users of the same social medium. They tend to create a fake identity on social media to extort others ‘ netizens. This has earned Nigeria a bad reputation in every part of the world. Also, are less concerned about what’s happening around them due to their addiction to social media platforms. Many youths, therefore, waste a lot of their precious time chatting and making friends online neglecting the crucial part to attend to in their lives. Again, many ungodly virtues demonstrated by many youths are mostly emulated on social media with the intention of copying western celebrities.
In conclusion, the usage of social media will tell whether it will be of good advantages to the user or which affect the user negatively.