The advent of social media has made a lot of people technologically savvy. Ghanaians have not been left out of the world of social media. In fact, social media has spurned a sort of revolution that has churned out creative people from all walks of life. People have nurtured and improved on ideas that have been developed into several applications just to make communication easier. Social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram and a host of others have now made communicating by all forms very easy, be it via text, voice, pictures and video. But it seems some Ghanaians have been social “mediaficated” to the extent that sometimes their use of the various social media tools defeats the purposes for which they were created. These are just my observations and also based on snippets of conversations heard from several people. I was not eavesdropping though.
Once, whiles traveling in a commercial vehicle, we got to a police checkpoint and the policemen instead of doing their normal checks, were busily either on whatsapp or on Facebook checking their statuses. They just allowed the vehicle to pass by without even raising their heads since they were so much engrossed in what they were doing on their mobile phones. What if someone was carrying weapons or illegal drugs in the vehicle, how will they know? Other people also complain of health professionals, especially some of the nurses who rather choose to pay attention to their mobile phones than sick patients who urgently need their attention and care. Several instances can be cited in our hospitals where patients have lost their lives due to this unethical behaviour. What happened to their work ethics? Some of these health professionals even go to the extent of sharing pictures of accident victims on social media. I just don’t get it. Why will they do that?
The several government agencies, ministries and departments cannot be left out of this craze. Just enter any of the offices when you need their services, you will surely find some workers facebooking or on whatsapp. They will not even raise their heads to look at your face but will be asking questions. Such people are just wasting the tax payers’ money. They are not even willing to put their mobile phones down and attend to you. Have you also noticed the behavior of some people when they lose their mobile phones to pickpockets and thieves? They just can’t deal with it. This social “mediafication” craze has permeated every facet of the Ghanaian society and the earlier we change this attitude the better. Also some people share all kinds of information on social media without verifying them, thus sharing false information. This can sometimes cause fear and panic in the society. We should learn how to use social media, when to use it and what to do with it. It will shock you to know that when someone is in distress and needs help urgently crowds of people will gather around and use their mobile phones to take pictures of him/her instead of helping such a victim.