BasseyUbong

OF DIVERSIONS AND EMBEDS

Was the social media frenzy a flash in the pan? Going by observed use just two days after the nationwide lockdown, the answer is a big yes. If anyone had believed that it is about time to shift his or her business to the social media and specifically Facebook and its sisters WhatsApp and Instagram, that person should take a second look at that strategy.

Agreed a big rush was expected this first week. For me, so was a mass movement away from use of social media platforms. Probably 90% of users of these platforms in the past one month became social media buffs as a result of the forced stay at home policies of the Federal and State governments.

But social media have a lot of the good aspects though a lot of the bad and the ugly too. Which side weighs more is a matter of opinion.

Facebook and WhatsApp, both of same ownership have informed, educated, and entertained all of which did great jobs in our lives during the lockdown. In fact all three played critical roles that even included reduction of worry and stress. How many of us laughed ourselves to sleep and so reduced our blood pressure readings? They have thus been welcome diversions. Even the outright lies and misinformation have been sources of stress reduction for those who know the truth.

The word “embed” means making something or somebody an integral part of a system. It is common in the military in war situations. In this case, journalists are attached or “embedded” into an army Unit for on the spot assessments and reporting. Technical personnel can also be embedded to give advice as necessary.

The term in my opinion embeds a conflict: integrating yet on a temporary basis. Integrating should lean towards permanence.

Whatever is the case, it appears many social media users during the lockdown were only

“e(i)mbedded” not integrated themselves into the system. We don’t carry out research in Nigeria otherwise in six months we would have found out the degree of jumps and falls in the statistics associated with social media use during the lockdown. Then we would do further analysis and use the results for business planning purposes.

For now, when you are home and before you crash onto your bed after a hard day, you may wish to read a few new posts. They could lead you into a new business line, a new project, and a new way of viewing the world. They could teach you a few new tricks. They could even make you laugh yourself to sleep.

Welcome back to the rat race except for Rivers and Kano. Stay safe, for we hear a new pestilence is on the way!

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