Guest post: Gabriel Omin
Copy. Paste. Send. Voila !!! Not so fast.
Social media is a great place to be “the real you”. No inhibitions. Just be yourself. That sounds great and nice but it is not the whole truth. I am not saying that you should fake it or pretend but the same modicum of moderation that you exhibit in other facets of your life, should be applied here. Many have lost jobs, appointments, reputation by one careless moment on the net. Some feel they can hide their identity, but in these days of hackers and breakers, anyone can get behind and get whatsoever information that he/she wants.
The normal educated person is expected to think things through and make an informed decision. Afterall, education is the training of the mind. But it seems these days, we have suspended that part of our existence. Any sensational news travels faster than the speed of light without any confirmation. I mean you have witnessed this. Let me re-juggle your memory; remember the Ebola and salt solution. Even doctors were sending and forwarding that message.
The wisdom of what I am writing about is simple. To put it succinctly, it goes thus <h4>:Be careful when you are on the net. Things can be tracked and most importantly; the internet does not forget. It remembers and some things can embarrass you at moments you least expect.</h4>
There are etiquettes on social media; written or unwritten. There are some trends I have found and I want to say a thing or two about them. Here are tips on some that I have thought of….
Forwarded as received is not an excuse. When you forward things, it means you believe them or the stuff forwarded reflects some of your believes. Simply put, you forward stuff that you deem fit to be read by others. That is what you readers think. Think about it, have you forwarded conversations full of rake and libertine images to your kids or conversations filled with invectives? You don’t because that is not your way. Please fact check and consent to whatsoever you are forwarding. Do not forward stuff that will make people question your morality, integrity, sanity, reputation and faith. It is that simple. As my sons would say “Dad, I can do it. It is easy pizzy, lemon squeezy”. You also can do it, because it is easy pizzy, lemon squeezy. QED.
Retweet are not endorsements: Easier said than what people think about you after you have retweeted. Why should you retweet stuff that you are not comfortable with? You are not under compulsion to retweet or like/love a tweet. So when you say it is not endorsement, it makes one of us think of you as schizophrenic. You get my drift. Retweet what you can stand up for. You don’t need a PhD to understand this. Simple. Easy, pizzy, lemon squeezy……Another QED.
Always fact check information before you broadcast. I can’t say more about this. Remember the Ebola and salt incident? Medical doctors were spreading the salt solution stuff. Also the stuff that Buhari is going to Islmamize Nigeria? Or that Bill Gates is giving out his wealth if you click this and forward to 1 million people. Waoh. Unfortunately, we spread this news like God sent it to us and we are the prophets to send it out to the world. There is something that seems to be omniscience and competes with the place of God these days. It is called Google. Please use it whenever you see or hear anything and you feel like spreading it. Fact check on the internet. Use Google. Google it. Do I need to say it again? Yes I will. Google it. A wise proverb goes thus: “Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfume to send forth a stinking savour; so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour”.
Watch the video to the end before you send it out. I hardly watch videos sent on social media groups (WhatsApp, Vine, Twitter etc), this is because most times, people just send stuff out without watching it themselves. It is like recommending someone that you do not know. Except you are someone that I can trust with social media communication and usage, I will not watch the video that you sent to me. It is the only way for me to protect myself from seeing junk. I have been hurt once and so I do not open myself to another episode. Please watch that video before you send it out. Don’t put others in awkward positions. A great way to forward videos is to write what the video is about after you have seen it to your intended audience.
Be careful of the jokes that you circulate around. Some are downright offensive. Some jokes are funny but not religiously, tribally and gender sensitive. It may be funny to you but offensive too the next person. Again think through it.
There is a world of difference between opinion and knowledge. Think about it. Yes there is a difference and I am not the one to tell you that difference. During the last Presidential election, I heard things from people I held in high regards and shuddered. We had reasons to side whosoever we took as our candidate but to run them down with unproven fabricated lies was way down below. From my experience especially with people in public office, I take most comment and hearsay with a pinch of salt. I have met people who report matters as if they were there but they were kilokitres (as Zebrudaya would say), from the venue. They just circulate hand me down beer parlour stories. We all have opinions on things but let us not circulate them as if you pull them out of the constitution.
Stop The Alarm. These days, I see alarmists everywhere. We just circulate things. Oh see what they are doing to us in the north (pictures of the war in DR Congo as shown as things happening in Nigeria. Some of those grotesque pictures have been shown again and again), see what El Rufai said. Ah they did not employ me because I am of my tribe (this same person speaks with tenses that are at war with each other).
One dead fly makes the perfumer’s ointment give a rancid stench, so a little folly can outweigh much wisdom.
All in all, what have I said ? Fact-check your news. Use Google. Be sure before you broadcast.
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Think again before you make that post.
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