Effects of the use of social media on Nigerian students, by Abubakar Sidiq Imam

It gives me immeasurable pleasure to be at this great College this morning to address this distinguished assemblage of erudite gentlemen and ladies on the use of social media in our contemporary society.
Before I proceed,I must say that this is the third time I will be so opportuned to be here on similar exercise.The first was in 2009 when I was the Guest Speaker at the first graduation ceremony of the Secondary School Unit.2014 presented another opportunity when I was engaged to interact with the newly-admitted NCE students and today marks the third time.
 May I therefore thank everyone involved for finding me worthy of being invited to communicate with our future leaders on the effective use of the phenomenon called social media.
As it was previously,I am impressed that this arena of intellectualism as continued to grow from grace to greatness due to the resilience of the tireless Proprietor and the selflessness of the succeeding staff members and ambitious students of the outstanding College.It is my prayer that this institution continues to witness limitless positive transformation.
Having said, that let me go to the  issue that informed my invitation,which is the use of social media.Is there any better way of doing so than attempting the operational definition of the main issue?I answer by saying no.
I therefore see social media as the revolutionary and most modern means of inter-personal,group or mass communication between and among people who may have and might never met through words of mouth,written statement,signs and pictures as well as  video.
They can also be seen as the technological devices that facilitate the creation and sharing of information,ideas,career interests and other forms of expression through virtual community and network.
Social media are quite different from the traditional media like television,radio and newspaper because of their quality,reach,frequency,interactivity,usability,immediacy,performance and ease of deployment.
Anyone no matter how young or old he is who does not use social media in our contemporary society is often liken to a non-functional and extremely backward person who may not be able to communicate freely with his fellow human beings as effective,quick and meaningful as possible.
 Examples of social media are facebook,instagram,twitter,whatsapp,youtube and the likes.
Just like every other human or technological phenomenon,social media can be used positively or negatively.
Our concern here is the positive use of the system for the academic,professional and personality development of students for the overall benefit of our communities, the nation and mankind in general.
Social media have the capacity to increase the intellectual wherewithal of learners.The consistent use of it improves knowledge acquisition because social media are like  “walking libraries”, which can be consulted for any topic or issue to enhance erudition.It contains all the information on any issue.Students are therefore encouraged to use social media to goggle for information on your course of studies or any issue that may interest you to enable you learn all you need to know on every topic sometimes better than your teachers and classmates.
Social media can also be used to mobilize students for positive development or to promote a particular course of actions which will promote developmental issues.
Social media have also proved to be veritable tools for the promotion friendship and interaction among users.Students have formed or may form whatsapp groups where  issues of common interests can be raised and discussed.
 Social media have also proved to be effective means of destroying mental slavery,stereotypes and misinformation about a group of people by using such means to debunk misinformation and outright falsehood.Students can therefore use them to spread positive information and intercultural communication about among members of different tribes,towns,nationalities and religions with a view to promoting peace,understanding and development within and across border lines.
There are several other positive uses to which social media can be deployed to ehance personal and human progress but which time and space will not permit me to explore here.The success of the recent elections across the country, particularly in Kwara State, could be traced to the proper usage of the social media to motivate,educate and bring vital information to the knowledge of stakeholders by youths and other concerned groups.
 I must,therefore,warned students against wrong use of device to promote division and tension.We should run away from using it to promote falsehood,criminality,drug addiction,thuggery and free or illicit sex.
It is important to tell you that whatever you give will come back to you.Let us use social media wisely and judiciously and it will be well for all of us.
I cannot round-off this presentation without urging the students to work harder to justify your parents increasingly huge investment in your education.The gap between you and success and, in fact,outright greatness is your personality.You should know that your  attitude determines your altitude in life.Your destiny is proportionately dependent on your dispositions,characters and commitment to the pursuit of learning and hardwork.
The proprietor of this group of educational institutions,Prof.Issah Adebayo Raheem,would have remain a Nurse which he became around 1982 if not for his determination, which transformed him from what he was to what he is today.If you are close to him you will discover that he is still thinking of whatelse to do to improve himself and further exert his influence to justify the essence of his birth about 60 years ago to leave his community better than he met it .Let us all emulate him and we will never remain the same.
Imam ,the Deputy Editor,Unilorin Bullentin, presented this paper at the orientation programme for the Students Union Government of Nana Aishat Memorial College of Education on Wedneday 13th March, 2019
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