We live in a world where putting fingers to mobile keyboards has become a new form of communication. Our social network devices know more about us than we know of ourselves and of one another. The term 'vlogging' has become part of our vocabulary. Hugs and show of affection have been replaced by chat acronyms and emojis; quality family time has been replaced by time spent liking, sharing, following people who are ''virtual'' friends because they in most cases never speak in ''real life''; being social is evolving in virtual reality where we only connect to each other when we press button.
There are now 7.2 billion people on the planet and of this number, 45% are internet users. 29% have active social media accounts and 51% are unique mobile users. According to wearsocial.net, 2.78 billion people now use social networking sites. The patronage has been growing daily and it is mostly the younger generation that have spurred on the growth in this areas. The major worry now is that of lack of balance in the use of these social networks. The social networks and virtual connections nowadays have sabotaged our association with people.
There have been various complaints from families and couples who see their loved ones talking to them only through messages, chats and calls, whilst under the same roof. Showing affection to someone is suffering a similar fate, as the ordinary walk up to a person and courageously express how you feel is now done through a Twitter rant. Virtual connections have their advantages, but it shouldn't be an escape from reality, and definitely not a social life that replaces socializing. The danger is that social networking is killing social interactions, hence, the call for moderation. In Africa, we say ''you are, because we are and we are because you are'' a true sense of being one another's keepers. The world is dynamic and Africa cannot afford to be static, but our core values and affections for human interaction must not be sacrificed on the altar of modernity.
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