It is no common knowledge that social media has become part and parcel of our everyday life, as we spend most if not all our time on social media for diverse reasons.
Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, zoom, Skype and Facebook, provide us with an opportunity to carry out different activities such as posting of audio visual content, watching of videos, video conferencing, business ads, online learning, creating connections and friendships.
From these media platforms, Facebook is one of the most visited in recent years. Created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and co. of Harvard University, Facebook connects people from different parts of the world.
It is a platform opened to all; young and old alike, poor or rich, educated or uneducated, infact, Facebook is a platform for all.
With its growing influence in the society, it is important to look at the impact of this platform on the social-cultural welfare of the society.
Positively, Facebook connects people from different angles of the world and foster a spirit of globalization. Secondly, Facebook connects People from different social-cultural backgrounds. According to a research conducted by Fonyuy Banfogha Noel on “The influence of Facebook usage on the academic performance of level 300 students of the University of Buea”, many respondents strongly agreed to the fact that Facebook was an avenue for them to make friends and learn diverse cultural values.
Furthermore, Facebook provides avenues to share ideas about issues of health, education, politics, and culture.
It is an avenue to share business ideas, build connections, and also promote and monetize ideas and initiatives.
Despite these advantages lies the dark side of this social media platform that is affecting society negatively. First of all, Facebook has isolated people from their physical friends, it is common to visit and sit with someone for more than an hour without any conversation between the two of you because you are on Facebook either commenting on posts or posting and liking images and videos.
Secondly, Facebook has increased rates of accidents in homes, hospitals, schools, offices and roads. People pay little attention to the things they are doing, but pay more attention on their phones because they don’t want to miss something trending on Facebook, this has caused untold havoc which has led to deaths, and injuries in homes and other formal and informal establishments.
Also, Facebook has brought untold misunderstandings amongst people and groups. This stems from exposing of secrets, fake stories and indulging in bad practices such as nudity and scamming.
Again Facebook exposes teenagers to negative practices such as pornography and pornographic films, drug abuse practices, this has brought untold sufferings on most of the families and the youths.
Facebook is a source of distraction to learners as they spend most of their time browsing the site instead of concentrating on their academics.
This has brought failure, leading to repeat of classes, shame, extra spending cost and school dropout in the society.
In a nutshell, Facebook just like any other social media platform is a useful tool if properly managed it can help one grow positively, therefore, people should fight against addiction to the platform, negative influences, and negative use.
Also, knowing when and when not to be on Facebook will help avoid accidents and misunderstandings in our families and societies.