Social media is the gateway to the world.
From our little phone, tablet or laptop screen, we can get a sense of the conversation the world is having and we can then decide whether to join that conversation or not.
Irrespective of one’s geographical location, a smartphone and an internet connection can get two or more people, either miles apart or a stone throw away from each other, engaged in a virtual conversation.
It has also become a place where people share aspects or every detail about their lives with people they don’t know, have never met or will never meet.
Sometimes, what we post online – in the virtual space- has real world implications.
Nana Aba Anamoah famously resigned from TV3 after a photoshopped stadium photo was posted online. Kwame Gyan resigned after he was suspended by his former employer, the then telecommunications company Airtel, for supposedly posting a violent comment on his private Facebook page.
Last month, Alexi McCammond who was appointed the Editor-In-Chief of Teen Vogue resigned from the role even before she started work after her past anti-Asian and homophobic posts were brought to light.
Tomorrow, Friday, April 16, Ghanaian actress and social media personality, Rosemond Brown, popularly known as Akuapem Poloo will be facing a judge for sentencing after pleading guilty to charges brought about after she posted nude photographs that featured herself and her now 8-year-old son.
She was charged with the publication of obscene materials, engaging in domestic violence namely conduct that in any way undermines another person’s privacy or integrity, or is likely to detract from another person’s dignity and worth as a human being.
With her guilty plea and the judge convicting her on her own plea, she is facing at most three years in prison, a fine or both.
There has been a social media campaign with the hashtag #FreeAkuapemPoloo which has attracted support from Sarkodie, Efya and many other celebrities. If it works, Akuapem Poloo could be fined, if it doesn’t then she could go to jail for some time.
This is a clear virtual incident causing real life injuries.
As a result, we asked a number of social media savvy students whether or not we should share everything about ourselves on social media. Should we self censor to protect ourselves? Should social media become our journal where we post our innermost thoughts and wishes?
The following responses are from 9 students who chose to remain anonymous for this discussion:
Not everyone is respectful on social media🙂Level 400 student from Legon
And if you want to overshare, go to therapy or get a journal. People are mean and nosy
I personally feel like everyone has their own spin on social media: the regular influencer feels like their lives are so interesting, everybody wants to be a part of it, but other people, like myself, just don’t feel the need to share too much, bc everyone’s priorities are different.A Pentecost University Student
Not reallyLevel 400 student from UENR
I found out most people just want to know what’s going on. We are all in for the juicy stuff kinda thing. Most people don’t actually care
I for one, am super heavy on the mystery bit. I let you see what I want you to see, and I’m super careful with whoever’s in my space. In such instances, I can post what I’d like, but not habitually. it isn’t the same for others, which is fine, but that’s what brings some form of variety, and in extreme cases, entertainment, to social media users.Level 400 student from Pentecost University
Sharing is not the problem… The problem is who is seeing what you are sharing… We don’t really control who can see our posts… Even on WhatsApp, some people will screenshot your status and you don’t where it will end. You can react to trending issue but if you really want to share personal stuff… Create an anonymous account where nobody can easily identify you …Level 300 student from Catholic University
I don’t know about others, however, I share more of myself on WhatsApp status than any of my socials…. I guess people share different things about themselves depending on the platform they are on.Level 100 student from GIJ
On Facebook… I have 3000 friends there… I cannot even know who is who again… So when I am sharing things I don’t know who is watching… Before I will post about myself on SM, I must control every viewer… If not we will only talk about Dumsor, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy… Nothing personal.Level 200 student from Catholic University
As for me, my social is my diary oo so lol. I try not to post about everything though… because well, people can move mad sometimes and give you unwarranted opinions. but for the most yes, it’s talking into a void and hoping to not feel alone.Level 200 student from Legon
They will interpret stuff anyhow. Let’s just manage what we post out there. Reputation is very important… Tomorrow someone can even use your post against you. It is your own page but over there it is a public domainLevel 200 student from Catholic University
What the above conversation highlights is that there are real-life consequences to what happens online and one must advise themselves on what they share on their social media platforms.
Good or bad, it’s on them to own what comes afterwards.
Click on the comment box below and leave us your thoughts. Thank you