How Social Media Chart Doom Among Nigerian Youths
By Joshua Olaleye
It is no longer news that several Nigerian youths in the last couple of months have either announced their intending sucidal motive on social media or their obituaries owing to several challenges that could not be surmounted before they took the untimely bow.
The list of Nigerian youths who have ended their lives on social media due to depression seems unending and this is becoming worrisome. Everyone concern is, if social media has become a destructive or enhancement tool? And if it’s charting new doom rather than a boon for the youths.
The twist is that depression has taken centre stage thereby creating a taunting silent plea from all stakeholders.
According to researchers , the use of social media obsessively causes more than just anxiety. In fact, testing has found that using too much internet can cause depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsive disorder, problems with mental functioning, paranoia, and loneliness.It is more than just the pressure of sharing things with others, it is also about how one may be comparing life with others on Facebook and Instagram. Many people see that someone on Facebook who has a great job, excellent husband, and beautiful home and feel happy for them. But, others can feel jealous, depressed, or may even feel suicidal about their own life, if it is not as “perfect” as those they see on Facebook or Instagram.
Depression is a horrible disease and one which we still have a great deal to learn about. It is one of the biggest killers of healthy young men and many women are also affected by it. It is often too easily dismissed as being just a phase or not serious, but dismissing it can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Speaking on the trending ills, Executive Secretary, Association of Telecommunications Companies Of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr Ajibola Olude said, it is a misuse of social media platform by some unscrupulous individuals in Nigeria and beyond Nigeria, there are many ways we could curb this by putting sanction in place by people who project themselves as what they are not.
“At the family level, anybody who do or say what is not true about himself on social media, the family should call such to order. Government needs to work on people’s mindset because people put themselves in a position that they do not have capacity to represent. The public and private organization need to educate the populace in this regard as well . Another thing I would love to say is , we could also curtail the representation of our personality and cultural values . I am a Yoruba man , like the Yorubas would say ,there is a name to protect ,over a period of time core culture has been eroded by the infiltration of western world. Those are the areas I think we need to work on”.
Also speaking, a Public Relations Strategist, Mr Toyosi Yussuf said the best way to curb depression on social media is to advise people not to believe everything they see online.
“People should focus their energy on developing their skills, working hard and get their minds occupied with productive activities and thoughts.The moment people stop believing everything they see online then the better.Also, people should endeavor to verify and do fact checking when they watch or read online before taking it as the truth.There’s alot of fake news out there today.”
Nwabudike Oluwadamilola buttressed Yussuf’s points that Nigerians should learn to be contented with what they have.
“Ego usually needs a platform to showcase itself and social networks are the perfect answer. The truth is that over 90
percent of online conversations are self-disclosure,offline conversations. We live in a ‘Me’ society with an obsession of the ‘self’ that drives us to update our status and tag ourselves in photos (but only those that we look good in of course).
” The best advice is to unfollow everything that appears fake on social media. Unfollow all those people with luxury cars, big homes, fabulous vacations all over the world, irresistibly fashionable clothes, and any other expensive status symbol”, she said.