The monster called social media, has plagued the world with unprecedented vile and profane air waves which, if not well managed can turn it upside down.
We seem to have thrown our values and morals to the wind in the name of educating, informing, entertaining, etc.
When I was growing up in my holy village in the Talensi Traditional area, the moral uprightness and values were paramount in the training and upbringing of the unborn, the child and the adolescent.
The mother of the unborn was even guided as to what to eat and the type of especially foot wear to put on in order to facilitate safe and healthy delivery.
The child at the age of five, was gradually introduced to the do(s) and don’t (s) and groomed to become what the community wanted it to be.
The adolescent was also thought what the community values and their implications were, how to behave in public, how to honour elders, visitors and authority. For instance, it was disrespectful to meet someone older than you and walked pass him/her without greetings.
These were the values of a typical African community but look at the menace social media has visited on our society to day, because we used them without circumspection.
It is undeniable fact that, science and therefore social media has made the world a global village. An incident in Azerbaijan, millions of miles away from Ghana, can be heard in minutes if not seconds. That is the plausible aspect of social media.
However, when we look at the other side of social media engagement, it is sometimes distasteful.
Among the Talensis, it is a taboo to announce the death of a chief immediately he falls. Sometimes, it may take up to several months before the next door neighbor gets to know that the chief has joined his ancestors.
In some communities, the chief is buried in a special room in the palace, while others secretly bury their chiefs in the night in the royal family cemeteries.
But what do we see today, as soon as a chief dies, it is on social media.
It is again a taboo among the Talensis to display dead bodies in public but with the advent of social media, gory pictures of dead bodies or corpses are displayed even to the view of children.
The most disgusting menace of social media, is the display of nudity. Even when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, he still had compassion and provided them with some form of cover for their private parts. That was even between the two of them. But by courtesy of social media, the private parts of men and women are displayed in the public gallery; where are our values and respect for human dignity.
The worst of it all was the recent picture of a lady who was displayed in a posture restricted to a woman and her husband, on social media simply because she was perceived to have indulged in promiscuous life and was therefore afflicted by a life threatening infection. Where are our values and respect for womanhood.
Women, especially are frequently displayed nude on social media contrary to what the Holy Bible and the Qur’an preach against.
Bible ref: ” You have heard that it was said, ‘ Do not commit adultery.’ But now I tell you: anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:38-40.
So then, if we expose these nude pictures of women on social media, are we not promoting commissions of adultery?
We seem to be happy displaying these nude pictures because the women are not known to us but what we are exposing is the same thing in our mothers, sisters or wives.
What is amazing is that, I don’t see women condemning these obscene spectacles on any of the media platforms. To me, these nude pictures offend the dignity of especially womanhood whether in Tanzania, Uganda or Ukrainian, they are the same features in Ghanaian women.
When we get into the political arena, the little said the better. Children insult adults of their fathers and mothers ages. Men and women ridicule each other just to win votes.
Some also defile their religious covenants and lie through the teeth just to win elections. And all these are splashed on social media. Where are we going with all these abrasive tendencies.
I was delighted on 30th January 2016, when it was reported that Facebook and Instagram have vowed to censor any advertisements of sale and purchase of arms on their platforms.
I look forward to a day that social media will vow to censor the publications of nude or phonographic pictures on their platforms.
Until then, let us be circumspect in the use of social media abusively.
Sometimes our children pick our phones to send messages to their friends and can you imagine how your child will regard you if he or she sees such pictures on your phone?
God bless you for agreeing to shun the sharing of vile and profane pictures. This will help reduce the waywardness of the children we nurturing.