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May 29, 2020

AdodoEddy Osaman: The bane of social media on youths

AdodoEddy Osaman: The bane of social media on youths

Social Media refers to all websites and internet-based applications which allow people to connect, chat and share content amongst other functionalities. With the exponential growth in the use of social media platforms within the past two decades, things are beginning to take a worrisome turn.

Adodo Eddy Osaman who is a training specialist in Canada andalso a renowned educator and mentor in Nigeria and several parts of the world, stressed the need on how parents/guardians need to be wary of how much time their children/wards spend on social media and what they do on social media, whiletaking advantage of the free-time provided by the current global pandemic to help them study, organize and plan for their lives.

Osaman said: “As a former teacher in a Nigerian secondary school, during each term I took time to observe my students, note their learning interest and capacity to assimilate and compare it with the previous term. The results were worrisome – about 40% of the students showed increased performance, 30% were at a plateau and a whooping 30% showed decline in their performance.

While a lot of people might pass this for lack of commitment on my part as a teacher, a lot of teachers and educators will agree that most parents and guardians are working-class individuals who have little or no time to follow-up with the academic progress of their children and wards. Students only spend 6-8hours of their day in school, while the remainder is spent with their families.

A huge chunk of the time spent outside school is on social media and with the pandemic still on, things might become worse, not just academically but psychologically, morally and socially. During our time, we could do math without calculators and memorize long Bible verses in church, but it is not the case these days. While marking scripts, you will see students using social media abbreviations such as “cos”, “bcos” and “n” during their tests and examinations. These languages have become a part of them.

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Though social media sites seem to connect more people and make them stay up to date, it leads to isolation socially. Social isolation can cause a number of effects such as physical, emotional, mental and psychological issues in these youths, which can in turn lead to depression, anxiety and many other problems.Also, it exposes young teens to online predators and pornographic content and decreases their productivity. The long hours wasted online on social media can be channeled to productive activities that can enable one earn a living or even acquire an education for instance through online tutorials and make good use of online research materials.

Now that the world is on reboot and the rat race has been paused, a focused and responsible youth should realise that this is the time to map out plans for the rest of the year and future years.

The pandemic does not stop you from studying or planning your overseas studies. Parents should also collaborate with teachers to ensure that the learning cycle doesn’t just end within the four walls of the school, but continue at home as well.

They should ensure to install internet usage and tracking apps on their phones to control their internet usage and keep them from harmful websites. Teach your children/wards not just academic issues, but life issues as well.”

Let’s remember the words by Winston Churchill: “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”

(Adodo Eddy Osaman a training specialist in Canada. He also a renowned educator and mentor in Nigeria and several parts of the world, training adults, youths, and kids alike. He loves traveling and helping youths develop positive career and life choices. He can be reached on Instagram and Twitter: @eddyosaman)

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