Social Media Generation 

This piece is written by my friend David Appiah Danquah who has his own brand of satire I admire him for and always manages to make you think things through when you’ve read what he has to say. 

David writes :

This week I’ve read a lot of commentary on my timeline about how to behave on social media, in particular deal with insulting comments and hostilities.

I’ve learned two things from all the comments:

The first

This generation is heavily invested in their social media personas more so than they are in their real lives. They’d be very successful in life if the reverse were true.


The second

The heavy investment in social media has led to this generation becoming less mature in handling confrontation and ironically more likely to be involved in a social media confrontation.
Let me explain the second point more carefully. When Black people were being killed left and right in America I heard a Police Chief in a very large American city explain why his officers had never been involved in police-related shootings for more than a decade. According to the Chief, he decided years ago to only hire military veterans, nightclub bouncers, security officers who had been involved in tense, high pressure and real life combative situations.
The Chief said some police departments in America make the mistake of hiring individuals straight from university who have never been in a fight their entire lives; never thrown a punch, never been hit with a punch, never had to calm a drunk person in a nightclub, never been shot at by an enemy, never been beaten up, bullied or attacked by another human being.
When they hit the streets of America, it is their first time in a high pressure situation, but now they are given a gun to maintain law and order. 

Imagine someone who has never been thrown a punch in their life being confronted by a large Black man who is acting aggressively? Of course they’d panic easily and use the only option they have to diffuse the situation: draw their weapon and shoot.
Now, the same is true of this generation on social media. Think about it. Like young police officers who are carrying guns on the streets of America today, many social media users were born in the Internet age, and given Internet-enabled mobile devices to interact with a world they know very little about. Thanks to the Internet, a teenager in Apagya can interact daily with another teenage in Seoul, having never had the opportunity to learn and understand Korean customs and sense of humor, likes and dislikes. 

The chances that a snide comment from one teenager to another would trigger a confrontation is extremely high.
The Internet has thrust this generation into a world without boundaries and social media has weaponized their daily interactions. 

The truth is many of you have been cuddled into adulthood from birth, protected by your parents and society. You have never been in a real fight, except for the verbal fisticuffs on your facebook page. And because social media has limited your physical interactions with other folks, your history of confrontation and aggression is limited to the digital world.
When I was a kid my friends and I did actual verbal insults. We use to call it “causing”. We would trade “your mother is so fat jokes” and the winner would be the one with the most painful insult. After that we’d laugh and go home to our wonderful mothers.
Nowadays, if I tell you to go f*** yourself, you’d block me from your Facebook wall with your admin powers or from whatsapp because you can’t handle it.

Well, go f*** yourself! (If you can’t handle this post) 

Me : David! 

David! 

David! 

Social media etiquette is about the individual. Interacting with people you hardly know doesn’t mean they’re not human. If you want respect you have to give first and it will be reciprocated.

Like I always say it begins with YOU! 

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