Social media has become a tool for ‘insecurity’, and for creating social change that leads to peace around the globe. The impact was most noticeable in the Arab world and a small amount in the west due to social economic discontentment and maladministration.
The rest of Africa was unaffected, except for North Africa. It has yet to be affected by hostile political activism due to its (social media) usage. Social media helped to inspire rebellions against the regimes when war was imminent.
In 2006, social media sites were first used in Uganda by mostly young, curious and adventurous people living in universities and wealthy homes. Hi5.com was the first site to offer social networking services. It was known for its eye-catching and highly graphic features. One year later, Facebook.com’s insurrection was announced.
University students blocked hi5.com’s access, thereby establishing Facebook as the dominant market player. Young people had no other choice but to create online relationships and share their thoughts.
Facebook.com was born. It spread like wildfire, and no one could escape. It is now the most widely used social media in the world. All universities, corporations, and service organizations have access to Facebook, as well as most Ugandans.
Staff of companies and organizations rarely spend more than a few hours chatting, getting to know others, and building new relationships. Even though most people have busy work schedules, they find that visiting the site is important.
Although social media is not allowed for political purposes in Uganda, there are some elements of it, particularly visible during elections for political office. It’s more about expressing what subscribers think, rather than promoting business ideas or cementing relationships.
It is also a cheaper alternative to other media channels, in many ways. Although telephone calls can be more expensive than one dollar per person, mass communication is possible with the same amount, up to exhaustion if social media sites are used.
It is possible to complete multiple tasks quickly and efficiently without having to travel long distances to get there and back.
The invention of internet-enabled phones has made it easier to live in the world of social networking.
However, their circumstances may limit their ability to have such a wide range of knowledge to be able to survive by betting and to maintain loving relationships. Uganda’s life system encourages people to work hard and survive rather than complaining about leaders or politicoeconomics. Politics is a way to end the ‘idle’ and it’s a privilege for those who are already living by it.
Modern society is most proud of social media’s role in spreading violence and rebellions, especially in the Arab Peninsula.
This is true, but social media can still be used in a positive way without jeopardizing peace and stability. It can also be used to promote the values and business ideas of your organization to clients.
The political class perpetuates poverty and limited incomes in Uganda, which encourages people to work harder and make a living, rather than creating conditions for violence. Many people struggle to find food for their daily meals. The able-bodied are limited to foods that are inexpensive and don’t reflect balanced deities. Social media can be used to share escape strategies, including the use of violence.
When one examines the situation carefully, it is easy to wonder if the government deliberately created a bad socioeconomic environment to encourage citizens to develop survival strategies to meet their primary needs (food, meaningful living standards) rather than allow them to indulge in nationalistic sentiments through social media.
To spend time in politics and create conditions for socio-economic changes, is a distraction from the primary engagements that are necessary to sustain change agents. It is difficult to advocate for change when you are starving and live in a state of uncertainty about your life. Violence against oneself and others through crime and substance abuse is the result. These conditions would make it possible for social media to be useful in facilitating the release and venting of negative emotions.
Bad emotions can lead to aggressive behavior and it can be costly for society as well as the aggressor. People who are aggressive use violence to cope with difficult economic and political times. They do so through violent robberies and violent protests.
The domestic terror of insecurity affecting citizens is a problem. It has been perpetuated by their fellow countrymen. The pockets of robbers are filled with the proceeds of the hard work of Ugandans. They don’t stop at denying their fellow citizens what they have earned, but also go on to take away their lives obligations by committing murder.
People who, because of economic hardships, marginalizations and lack of redress by concerned authorities, resort cost-intensive strategies to make ends meets are known as the murderers. In such circumstances, social media is a great channel through which citizens can advocate for structural reforms.
Because urban dwellers are close to influential areas, new ideas and information from around the globe can be gathered before being spread to other parts of the country, social media networking remains a privilege. These include access to power, the use of Facebook-enabled phones, and access to computers.
Social media alone is not enough to save Uganda from popular rebellions, political changes, or socio-economic problems. However, the same conditions under which Ugandans live will one day be used to massively consume authorities for their ineptitude (with or without social media). Revolutions occurred many years ago, long before computers were introduced to the country. However, the process is longer. It can take a long time before people realize that they need to make a change.
However, social media gadgets are likely to be widely used by citizens when conditions permit change to take place. They will make it easier to bring about change by making public the inhumane living conditions, maladministration and hopelessness. This will encourage anger, hatred and violence and help to force change. It will be the opposite if those in power are emotionally driven to protect people and prevent violence from happening.
Currently, citizens are feeling more insecure and afraid. This could lead to fear spreading to the majority of Ugandans who feel secure. This is when social media will be used to mobilize and coordinate rebellions.
In the near future, Ugandans will have greater access to social media because of the continued flooding of cheap Chinese smartphones and computers on the Ugandan market. Social media will prove to be a viable tool for addressing social problems such as poverty, famine and preventable deaths.
While social media can be a powerful tool for positive change, security agents may be able to infiltrate it. They will be drawn by its vitality, which allows users to access information about their minds, mobilize social action and possibly cause revolutions and counter revolutions. This is known to bring chaos to countries.
The Rwandan genocide of 1994 provides an excellent example of how dangerous counter revolutions can be. If there are no systems in place that can eliminate mindsets that show revolution or counterrevolution signals within a nation, violence will only be a matter time. This is facilitated by social networks.
Beneficiaries of social media can face setbacks if they misuse it. Some of the posts may damage their reputation and cause them to lose social capital. Negative comments can cause disillusionment among loved ones and raise concerns about the potential harm that the person posting negative views could do to others via social media.