If the events of the last few weeks has taught us anything, it is that social media is beyond play. It has become a weapon of revolution, a tool and a voice to #Sorosoke and hold people accountable. In fact, long before the #EndSARS movement, people have often come online to vent, advocate, create publicity and push for change. I personally love how diverse, strong opinions tend to heat up Twitter sometimes. However, I am also concerned about the risk of mob mentality that often comes with social media advocacy.
There seems to be increasing incidents of folks getting cancelled for holding a contrary opinion. Basically, if a person posts content that does not bode well with the general consensus, the online mob rains them down with insults and abuses. #Sigh. What can I say? These streets are not for the weak.
I have a friend who had to close down her Twitter account because of the toll it was having on her mental health. The constant back and forth and negativity can actually become toxic. Like my friend, I think many of us struggle with consuming the information and negativity from these social media streets. We watch in horror as people are unfairly dragged and we also hope we don’t come under the line of fire of these ‘trolls.’
Judge and Jury
Now, if you are one of those who is quick to cast a stone of judgement, perhaps you can consider the feelings and the consequence of the action of your readers. It’s so easy to hide under the anonymity of social media and become both judge, jury and executioner.
We have a special power in our hands and it feels like a waste when all it is used for is fuel for trolls. The BLM movement shook foundations because of the reach of social media. The #EndSARS protest which is aimed at stopping the SARS officials who have intimidated and killed a lot of Nigerian youths under the guise of upholding the law also trended worldwide because of social media. All these just points out that when the tool of social media is used for a greater good coupled with allowing love to lead, only then would positive change happen.