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  • Writer's pictureAdicator Digital Marketing Agency

The Impact of Social Networks on Public Opinion and Cyber Activism Among Youth Online

Our lives now revolve around having powerful devices at the tips of our fingers.

Over time we have metamorphosed into mixologists of words with each tap of our keypads, and slowly we have all become a brand with the tagline ‘typing is the new cool.’

We have progressed from airing our opinions on social networks to having hundreds and thousands of people coming together for a cause.

Who ever knew the world would evolve to the point where unsaid words, activism, unsolved and mysterious cases will come to light by a collective force in the form of a hashtag generated from a single person and followed up by several other people all over the world under the umbrella called social media.

Online Activities Proving to Be Useful On Social Media

The activities people engage in on social media span a long list: interacting, socializing, entertainment, networking, political and social activism and even the popular act called ‘catfishing’.

The world revolves around its axis, and social media comes in as one of the forces that help us maintain its momentum.

There is no doubt about how much social media has changed the narrative surrounding how people communicate and interact with one another.

Also, the kind of activities they engage in and their approach towards life in general.

The youth contribute to the majority of the users across different social media platforms;

In fact, most 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram (71%) or Snapchat (65%), while roughly half say the same for TikTok.

The exponential user growth across various social media platforms is undeniable.

Facebook, the most used social network has had its user base grow from 2.4 billion in 2019 to 2.9 billion in 2021.

This is more than one-third of the world’s population.

Thereby this is the reason why many companies use social media platforms to create awareness, market their products and scale advertising.

This is where they promote their brand and discuss distinct features.

In fact, advertising online is the main scheme companies use to generate revenue to sustain their operations.

Another spectacular thing about social media is not just the ease with disseminating news.

The fact that the information doesn't go through any stage of filtering in or out is incredible.

I comes directly from those who have experienced it upfront and firsthand, , it eases up political and social activism.

Some instances where the fast dissemination of news has been exhibited online include the End Sars movement in Nigeria.

This was in 2020, where the Lekki toll gate massacre was streamed live on Instagram.

The Boston Marathon bombing 2013, where the FBI released the photos of the two suspects online which immediately went viral on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

This led to them being reprimanded before the week was up.

In a series of black lives matter movements, posts and footage about the protest swarmed social media and links to fundraisers and petitions were distributed.

In all these stories, social media came in to enlighten people worldwide and get the world speaking about them quicker than the local news stations could inform the public about these tragedies.

Not only are we the tech and social media savvy generation.

We are the 'soro soke' generation which means 'speak louder' - the 'opinionated generation'

(A term initiated during the End Sars movement in Nigeria).

Social media has helped many people air their opinions without fear, and one of the cases where this is evident was during the End Sars protest in Nigeria.

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