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Responsible use of social media, non-negotiable for development

BY: Daily Graphic

Last week, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), the Rt Rev. Prof. Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, advised the youth at the dedication of the Mount Moriah Presbyterian Church at Adiebeba, a suburb of Kumasi, to use social media responsibly.

“It is actually a disgrace to our social values, and to any serious country when the citizenry, particularly young people, just start insulting people on social media because they think that is what democracy means”, he said.

“Democracy does not mean that you just go on air and insult people,” he noted.

The moderator also stressed the need for the elderly to accord the youth the requisite respect, urging them to give the younger generation what was due them regarding the nation’s development processes.

Indeed, the advice of the moderator is timely, coming at a time when we seem to be losing our grip on some of our long-held and time-tested values.
Social media is now the virtual existence of all of us. We use the space in business, leisure, and even now religiously as we worship God.

It has become a critical part of our lives; at work and in our social life.

By the very nature of social media, the fact of its anonymity sometimes, some take advantage and use it to insult the elderly.

Others use social media in all manner of untoward ways.

Recently, the social media influencer, Akuapim Poloo, had a brush with the law when she posed naked with her child on social media.

As a country, we need not let the fact of social media, albeit a necessary tool in our lives, to overshadow our values as a society.

We need to find a fine balance between the use of social media and stick to the values we hold dear.

Indeed, we now have the Cyber Security Act 2020 and the Cyber Security Authority. A cardinal function, the Daily Graphic believes, is for it to sensitise everyone properly to being secure with the use of social media.

Additionally, the safety of all is dependent on the right use of social media as we work and socialise.

We definitely cannot hide behind these technologically enabled virtual platforms to insult the elderly or others. That is certainly an abuse that is not countenanced in the physical realm.
It, therefore, cannot be countenanced virtually.

Social media has benefits that must be harnessed collectively by all to ensure progress, peace and development.

To collectively harness the benefits, we must use it knowledgeably. The youth with a penchant for misusing the tools, particularly to abuse, deceive and engage in crime, must know the laws, the consequences and their responsibilities.

The Daily Graphic believes that the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) must add this to its mandate, to lead the charge in the use of social media for benefit and not for ill.

In doing that, the NCCE must collaborate with the Cyber Security Authority to get us all involved in harnessing its benefit for our collective good.