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Opinions of Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Columnist: Schandorf, Adu Bright

Facebook can phase you out of life

Social media is a networking environment which is mostly online where individuals register and profile their personal information and photos. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular online social networking media while Whatsapp is a mobile application which does not necessary internet connection.
In cognizance of the rate with which our youth are hooking up to social media, there is a need to educate them on its advantages and the disadvantages accordingly. Social media is essential in the sense that, it creates the opportunity to network with other members who share similar interests, dreams and goals for life. Members share different forms of information and communication which may include personal web, blogs and group discussion. I was enthralled when a friend shared some books with me costing an amount of fifty Ghana cedis on the market.
With social media, an individual in Berekum can initiate and build strong business partnership in any part of the world without necessary meeting that individual in person. I have had the opportunity to critique the business proposal of people whom I have not met personally. Today, learning from great and world’s most influential people has become very easy. One only needs to just search for these leaders and follow them either on Twitter or Facebook in order to glean from their mine of wisdom. This affords an opportunity to access their articles, daily quotes and even initiate conservation with them. Thus, the greatest form of mentorship is bonus. I personally follow great leaders, advocates, and world entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, President Obama, J D jakes, Noel Jones, Richard Brandson, Kofi Annan, Anas Aremeyea Anas and the likes on twitter who mentor me with their great articles, quotes and blogs. Who are you following on social media or who do you accept as your friend?
Most importantly, social media helps to create positive self–image. There is an opportunity to create a niche of influence and impact by putting your best abilities on your profile and sharing important quotes and information on your page. This goes a long way to portray the kind of reputation you build among your peers, potential employers and the world at large. Indeed, you are what you twitter and you would face what you Facebook in future. The question is “what self –image are you building on your page?” Are you perceived as naïve or creative writer or what?
Furthermore, social media creates the opportunity to renew old friendship easily. Thus, meeting and maintaining classmates, colleagues and friends is another benefit of social media. Social media such as WhatsApp provides cheaper cost of sending messages and videos as compared to mobile text messaging.
Notwithstanding the enormous benefits stated above, there are some dangers that could be associated with social media. Of course, too much of everything is bad.
Security is one of the challenges of social media due to the kind of detailed information such as phone numbers, age, residential address, names of family members, daily schedules, social plan and so on that we profile on our walls. Again, Students are getting into trouble with school administrators for incriminating and misappropriating information or pictures on their social networking profile that violates school policies and code of conducts. Of course, no administration monitors individual’s social account, however when there is report of compromise on students’ account, there would be further investigations.
It can waste time and subsequently reduce productivity if the user is not disciplined. Maturity demands that one schedules his work time and when he/she will be on social media.
There are reports that individuals are being turned down by employers on jobs and even interviews due to the kind of information employers are finding out on people’s social network pages. It is important to note that employers take pictures and information on individuals’ social account as a true reflection of one’s personality.
In order for me to use social media efficiently, I define my objective of using social media first. I do not post nor make comments that may tarnish my personality or may raise some questions on my potential employment opportunities. During the vetting of Nana Oye Lither (Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection), she was questioned on some of her articles in the dailies. It was reported on Joy FM on top stories dated 19 June, 2013, that a man was refused a visa because of his posts that sought to tarnish the image of that country. You may be denied a job or leadership position in future because of information on your page.

Schandorf Adu Bright.
I quote, write, inspire, initiate and lead.

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