Do you remember those days when Facebook was not that popular? The pen pal days. I remember how that page in the Junior Graphic was the first we turned to when we received a copy of that youth newspaper. And how folks used to write all the letters you could think of for a pen pal, some of which never received a reply. That hurt.
We knew no Facebook back then. Knew no Twitter. Instagram and WhatsApp were not even in existence. Funny enough, all we knew was the SMS. And I barely remember sending an SMS to a friend.
Fast forward to 2019, just a couple of years after those pen pal days, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter have made it easy to connect with friends and the world. With just a click, bam, you are heard even miles away. No post office. What a blessing for humanity!
In as much as social media has made it so easy to communicate and get things done quickly, it poses a dangerous trap. One that I have seen many young people, in high school especially fall into: INORDINATE LOVE FOR SO-CALLED FAME.
Many students do not know this, but their conception of fame is thwarted. The Oxford Dictionary defines fame as ‘the state of being known or talked about by many people, especially on account of notable achievement’. And then goes ahead to synonymize it with popularity, notability, distinction, prominence and eminence. So you got it? Fame goes hand in hand with a notable accomplishment. And mind you, that kind of fame takes time and effort to build and maintain. Well, unless you want the wrong kind of fame, which unfortunately some young ones pursue.
Have you ever heard of the term ‘Get-Rich-Quick’? Well I say there is also now the ‘Get-Famous-Quick ‘ being offered but at a high price. One which often leads to anxiety, depression and shame. Even when healed, it leaves behind long lasting scars. That sort of fame is posing a threat and leading our dear students to do all sort of things they should not be doing at all now. From recording sex tapes and stripping nude for the camera(amateur pornography), faking lifestyles on social media, craving unnecessary popularity, and all other wrongs. As a social media person, I have heard and read about countless students got famous, yes, but for wrong reasons. And mind you, we live in an era where schools and companies are beginning to demand for social media details before admission or employment.
It is not wrong to be famous at a young age, but it should be for a notable reason. I could mention our own Martin Agyekum Jr.,a young entrepreneur, Delove August, Kelvin Bruun, Nana Ama Ampofoaa, Aaron Adatsi, Queenstar Anafi, Akosua Brew, Abraham Atta who are actors, Sarfo Ansah Wonder and Newton of NSMQ fame, DJ Switch and the list goes on and on. But you know why their fame is not wrong, it is for a good reason.
So my caution is, do not be deceived by the Get-Famous-Quick scheme. Take your time, invest in yourself and your passion, and trust the process, that passion will take you places that short-term fame would not take you.
Instead of forcing yourself and faking a lifestyle, why not build resourceful connections with your social media account, create meaningful friendships, I mean that is why Facebook was established right? Invest in your talent or passion, shape up your account, live a good life and enjoy the future. Remember, do not destroy your future by enjoying your youthful days.
This is the first of six articles that will discuss what students do wrong on social media and how to be cautious. It is moderated by Kwabena Baffour Awuah of High Schools Society.