Many of the opinion sculptors in Nigeria have found a satisfying abode on Twitter neglecting to a visible degree Facebook, another social platform with wider spread of followers. It is according to available figures worth close to two (2) billion users all around the geoid which makes it the most popular social media site.According to available internet users statics released recently, Nigeria top in Internet usage in Africa with ninety seven million users, followed by Egypt with thirty-four million users. We have sixteen million facebook users more than every other country in Africa except Egypt with thirty-two million users. 87.2% of Nigerians on social media are active on Facebook while 7.49% are according to stat counter active on Twitter as at September 2016. This amazing opportunity for reach and engagement is Facebook is lest exploited in Nigeria. The government and agencies responsible for interacting with Nigerians are doing less on Facebook to become landlords on twitter. Individuals shaping political thoughts are now residence of Twitter leaving such mass number of Facebook followers unattended if they fail to climb up the twitter rung. The choice is to climb the crosspiece of twitter ladder to be shaped or wallow in Facebook.
The reason twitter with over three hundred million active users has placed itself as a haven for social media gentry is foundationally because of the craze for class and insatiable hunger for fad. Before now Facebook was a platform of choice for most elite at it birth and youthful days. It was a platform where the intelligentsias group to banter, network and shape opinions. It was a ready-to-use medium for all that celebrity stunts and scoops. It was a club for the upwards in IQ to integrate and felicitate.
Facebook stopped to be destine choice because an “elevated” place birthed. In all modesty and honesty, this is not just African. It is just that Nigerians without saying goodbye left their Facebook accounts orphaned. Not looking back at their followers. Not giving a damn. Like a sheep without a herd they soon out of survival beget themselves people to follow. People who they look up to to fit the shoes left without an heir and they found them in hordes. Whether the quality of their direction is a par that of the earlier occupant seems not to matter and when it does they console themselves with “no choice”.
I must have painted a gloomy picture of Facebook or posit a demeaning figurative of facebook users as ill-informed – that is far from intent. I never intends to disparage users of either of the social medium in any way. Facebook has more active users and will have a spread resemblant of our national demographics. It portrays the elite to masses imbalance more and exemplify Nigeria as a country.
Twitter is the new rave for those with something model to say. It is a place where political aspirants let out informations to the public, display their rage in new lows, lose endorsement or gain voters patronage. Government agencies trust this platform to share informations. It is a proud space where policy issues are deliberated and public opinions gauged. In Nigeria almost every government ministries and agencies has made it a duty to own a twitter handle even if its just for “having”sake. Its limited word privilege has not hindered it for use by many with something worthy to communicate. Some say it will have the dishonour of announcing world war 3 – that participating countries will use this powerful media platform to communicate the world end.
This is not about social platform migration in terms of marketability but it effect on the indigenes of Facebook and our political space. Many of those skilled with tools to shape political opinions lodged in this social media room called Twitter. People who should communicate with indigenes of Facebook like those leaving in Aso Rock has chosen for themselves a place to call home. Everyone you expect to sculpt opinion and disseminate informations are twitter housed. Also people with decent approvals from other media platforms soon join the ship. As more people join this powerful social destination they are alienated from the masses of Facebook. The people who deservedly need to be guided are now bestowed with freedom to be herd-less.
There is nothing wrong with joining any social media platform, it is just not pleasing that most of the individuals that should help navigate the thoughts of the masses has been accommodated by Twitter (or they accommodate Twitter). They are on twitter trying to prove to egocentric individual like themselves that they are right while the people that needs them are having fun with misinformation.
See this choice of which platform to belong is excusable for private individual no matter how influential they are in the society but for public individuals to sit their buttocks on twitter disconnected from the people that needed them is unacceptable. Yes, Twitter is where the fun is but government was not created for fun. Twitter is trendy but trend is far from the function of government agencies or ministries. Perpetuating on Twitter alone cannot be found in the book of transparency, accountability and inclusiveness.
Check Facebook with honesty and you will see that it is a better reflection of the country with a little tilt to the side of the masses. Mama Bose, Iya Ngozi, Alhaji Umar, Alhaja Zainab are all natives of Facebook. Not that Facebook is a space for “deplorables” or misfits, what am trying to say is that Facebook is a better representation of the divides. It is a place where everyone represented in the Nigerian graph is allotted a bar. It is a space where more people yearning for answers meets limited voice of response. It is a place where lots of people wander away in abject ignorance and want for direction that is far away on twitter.
We need to bridge this gap. Facebook should not just be a dump site for late informations alone but a place of cordial interactions. It should not just be placate with updated informations only, it should be use to relate with a wider coverage of people. Government agencies and ministries should urgently trace back their priority. They should not just join the twitter bandwagon to be seen as social upright they should engage people on Facebook as a duty.
Facebook neglect has done a lot of damage to the fabrics of this country sanity. The arguments are bitter. The misinformation appalling. Intellectual discourse subdued. The neglect has made it a fertile ground for proscribed groups, emergency overlords, and potent mischief makers.
It is not totally in want of information has it eventually get its share when information trickles down, it is in want of engagement. A sort of carry alone. This space needs to be redeem from the half-truths, outright falsehoods and deliberate misinformation they are being served on a daily.