Social media sites are 21st century public rooms full of evil and good

September 23, 2013

Days when people spent their free time confined to their cribs watching television is gone and thanks to advancement in technology, the new era has seen the old and young alike spending most of their free time in their desktop computers, laptops, phones and tablets according to recent studies conducted in Canada, Australia, Finland and UK. In UK there has been multiple series of suicides related to cyber bullying prompting the country premier David Cameron to form a team tasked with helping Briton’s online community combat the problem that show no signs of abating. UK Premier David Cameron just like many other leaders elsewhere grappling with the problem envisages the team will offer adequate professional advice and guidelines on how to deal with bullying in a country where cyber bullying deaths are becoming common. In Australia, there has been efforts by different organizations in collaboration with government agencies to have a team specialized to deal with problems associated with bullying that has risen rapidly especially in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Studies conducted in Western Europe and North America last year there seemed to be no end to bullying-related suicides as the reported cases increased threefold compared to 2011.Governments in Western world are putting plans in place to strengthen efforts that will prevent and combat bullying. Me think the solution is for countries affected to create a permanent organization that can help identify bullying problems regularly and swiftly respond to such problems. The mandated team needs to be able to take the lead in resolving these problems. I just can’t fathom suicide being caused by bullying as we have witnessed cases in UK and other countries. It’s so disappointing that we lose lives because of Internet trolls activities. Being a serious problem that mostly affects school and college students and authorities should do their best in dealing with the problem. While the authorities understand and analyze bullying trends effectively, they have failed terribly in solving individual instances of the problem that is common in all countries with liberal Internet access. I cannot dispute that social networking sites have transformed people’s lives in the past five years.

However, they have also become source of all evil. Buffoons blame the technology while technologist’s blames netizens. In Contador Harrison’s world, social media websites are minutes by minute reminder that 21st century human beings are living in the midst of a radical transformation of societies and technological platforms that have created Foursquarers, Facebookers, Twitterers, YouTubers, Googlers among many other categories of netizens.For human race of all ages and color social media sites have become the modern recreational parks where idlers and non-idlers hang and pastime. Losing a close friend was devastating to me for ages. Whether at work, at home or at college, social media sites have allowed people to meet and catch up with old friends, find new ones and to some it has become unending fever while others are addicts over the virtual world they construct for themselves. Science says that in human life not all are good and that’s what social media sites are. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and other sites have become fertile grounds for negative, hateful and harmful messages, gossips, insults, bullying and worse of them all criminal dens.

Social media sites are not all about tweens, teens and youths course because multiple studies have shown that adults too are logging on in millions even during working hours most employers are fighting a losing battle in blocking access to the sites on office computers during office hours in a bid to stop any slide in their staff productivity and performance. In other companies, not all employees can access Facebook and Twitter in the office and largely depends on the involved departments. A department that is not directly related to social networking will have no access but marketing, Public Relations and editorial departments will always have access because they need it to do their work. Research conducted in USA two years ago many American workers were said to be addicted to Facebook and Twitter. Despite the employer bans, most of them were said to have their ways getting around office restrictions. In third world countries where Internet costs are still prohibitive, the use of Facebook and Twitter slows down the Internet connection and in other organizations staff only use social network sites after office hours. For many, that’s not a big deal because they still can access it through their smartphones.

In my upbringing city of Melbourne, I personally know several schools that use Facebook to remind students about homework and other assignments. In one of the study carried in Queensland and New South Wales school head teachers were said to look at the positive side of Internet by teaching students about not misusing the social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. In those schools in Melbourne, teachers educate pupils not to meet strangers they have just met on Facebook and even students who are still teenagers and sometimes they can’t tell the good from the bad and therefore the guidance offered in schools is critical. In France and Germany, studies have pointed out that it is impossible mission to completely ban Internet access because the Internet has become part of human lives whether in school, workplace or at home. I strongly believe there is no need to ban use of social media and the solution falls on informing users whether young or old about rules of using social networking sites. Contador Harrison comes from the school of thought that equates social media sites to a 21st century public room where every human being poor or rich, black or white, literate or illiterate can access, share or contribute to knowledge and data.

Contador Harrison