The rate at which news, rumours, gossips, falsehood and all kinds of information are being spread through the social media has become alarming. In Nigeria especially, where the country has been polarised on ethno religious lines, the tendency for our emotions and sentiments to be influenced by what we read or see via the social media (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc) is high. In most cases, we are negatively influenced.

While acknowledging that these sources of information as products of technological advancement have greatly simplified and eased our ways of lives, one must hasten to point out the clear and present dangers that they pose to our society, especially a volatile one like Nigeria.

At the rate at which these communications platforms are being used, and if not checked, then it is only a matter of time that a serious problem will break out. Hence, it would not be out of place to advice ourselves against spreading or sharing or forwarding any kind of “information” that is sent to you.

1. If you receive a message which contains information that you cannot easily and quickly verify it’s source and authenticity, please do not share. Just enquire about it from the sender.

2. When a message is about government (any), high profile people or celebrities and you are tempted to forward or share, please STOP. Ask yourself if you can defend the contents of the message. If not, halt it by asking the forwarder to refrain from spreading false information.

3. Any news, views opinions or commentaries that are capable of breeding ill will, ill feelings, discomfort, etc to someone elsewhere is not worth sharing.

4. Videos and photos that show graphic images always end up hurting us. They leave bad tastes in our systems. What joy can one derive from a video clip or picture of people being killed or brutalised, if not sparking unwarranted sentiments and chaos.

5. Any audio messages that gives a negative portrayal of an event, place or people are simply not worth our listening ears. Rather, we should simply break the vicious cycle by not sharing them.

6.A lot of online news platform are springing up. (Naija. Com, premium times, Rariya, Sahara reporters, etc, etc , etc. ) Some of them are not interested in the continued unity of Nigeria. Some of them spread /publish dangerous news and informations that can cause serious breach of the peace. It is advisable to study the patterns and antecedents of our online news sources with a view to sieving the good ones from the bad ones.

It is imperative for us all to know that what makes us great is our population and diversity. As humans, nobody is completely useless and no one is completely useful. We are all living in a complementary cycle of interdependence. It is not a mistake that God made us into different tribes and religions.

Despite the hues and cries that recently pervade us, we are, (and will continue to be ) more United and closely knit than what is being portrayed in the social media. The advantages of being one strong United indivisible entity by far, outweigh the grossly insignificant disadvantages.

The struggle for a peaceful society, an egalitarian nation where we and our families will live in tranquillity, and pursue our lawful means of livelihoods, is a collective responsibility. Not just for the government. We truly are, One Nation bound in Freedom, Peace and Unity.

So please do not allow social media destroy our God given Common heritage, Nigeria. Rather, spread the good news about peace, love, beauty, education, entertainment, science, technology, engineering, nature, religion, culture, tradition, agriculture, arts creativity, innovative ideas, administration,good governance. The list of good things to do with the social media is endless.

God bless Nigeria.

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