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Child development and challenge of social media

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Sir: Looking at the crowd of young Nigerians that fraternise with the social media with “exiting progress,’’ recorded in this direction and instincts coming from the larger society, it is evident that the social media has great power to educate, create new ideas and promote human relations. But just as an unchained torrent of water submerges whole country sides and devastates crops, even so, uncontrolled use of the social media serves but to destroy.

Parents have allowed social media to spread its wings across all spheres of their children’s lives – educational, sociopolitical and most importantly, morals. This is the reality confronting our republic.

Beginning with reality, most bracing of all these factors are: parent’s inability to regulate the activities of their children on social media and the government’s payment of reluctant respect to quality education in the country. To shed more light on the above, the vast majority of parents have at different times and places, in their concern with values such as Work, success, prestige, and money advocated that social media like a free press is an organic necessity in a society and if children are precluded from using  social media, the freedom of speech may be taken away and dumb and silent they may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

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So, if you are asking why Nigerian youths have for the moment lost all fear of punishment and yielded obedience to the power of social media which their friends exercise, then, search no further as the majority of the youths enjoys their parent’s support.

But the formation of children is a delicate one. And experts have described childhood as a period of the storm, a stage in the developmental growth of the youths that drives the youths to explore and express their psychosexual self to possibly know more about the world around them.

What Nigerian children in my views desire most from their parents are love, solidarity, peace, faith and not unhindered or uncensored access to social media.

Undoubtedly, the not too impressive educational system characterised by incessant industrial action on one hand, and the quality of materials youths are exposed to by teachers in the name of education should be a source of worry to all. After all, it’s established that one can be extremely educated and at the same time be ill-informed or misinformed.

Catalyzing the process will require parents becoming more religious in monitoring the activities of their wards. Similarly, it will be rewarding in social and economic terms if the government pays more attention to the nation’s educational sector as a way of getting these youths gainfully engaged. This, no doubt holds the possibility of ending fake news scourge on our political geography.

Nigerian youths on their parts must develop the Spartan discipline to reorganise and go for activities with high moral values.

• Jerome-Mario Utomi is the Programme Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), Lagos.

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