ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN SHAPING THE MORAL BEHAVIOUR OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE BUEA MUNICIPALITY
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This study examined, “The Role of Social Media in Shaping the Moral Behavior of Young people” in the Buea Municipality. The study was guided by a general research objective: to determine the extent to which the moral behaviors of young people in Buea, have been impacted in the process of using the social media. The general research objective was later transformed into the general research question: What is the role of the Social Media in shaping the moral behavior of Young people in Buea? The study adopted the qualitative research design approach. The sample size of the study consisted of 14interviews and the target audience were young people in Buea. An interview guide was used for data collection. The data were analysed using descriptive statistical method of frequencies and percentages The findings revealed that youths in the Buea municipality, are registered on social media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, snapchat, telegram and YouTube, which consequently these young people copy immoral behaviors like disrespect, pervert actions, Laziness and eventually affecting their lifestyle. Based on findings in research objective one, two and three which were successfully attained, it recommended that young people should have self-control over their use of social media and equally be conscious of the type of content they consume on the social media. Social media operators should place restrictions on immoral contents and the government should put in place Laws related to these immoral contents on the social media. This will go a long way in raising young people with a decent behavior.
The social media Is a récent computer technology développement that has brought together people all over the world including organisations, gouvernements and the civil society. One Can tell that the social media has come to star because it has become more prominent in social interactions and day-to-day activities . What makes the social media more interesting is the numerous facilities and features it offers like; communication, texting, image sharing, audio and video sharing, publishing and many more. Many people rely on the social media to manage their life because it is the cheapest and fastest way to connect with others all over the world, so it is very important for adults and aged people to get access to the internet. The social media which is also considered as the new media is now very common especially to journalists because of the massive contribution it gives to the journalism profession. These contributions have thereby influenced the way people understand the new media. The new media breaks down the relationship between the physical place and social place making the physical location less significant for our social relationships (Croteau and Hoyne 2003).
There is interaction between two or more people and the basic idea behind social media is to create mutual relationship amongst these people (Olusena 2014). On the other hand, the term media stipulates the means or channel through which information is passed across to a large audience that may not be within the same geographical area. Therefore, the two suggest a pace for social interaction amongst various people that are on the same social network.
The social media site commonly used by youths around the world are Facebook and Twitter. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have become a craving quest for youths nowadays making the use of media an integral part in their daily lives (Kamaku and Mberia 2014). Recent studies have shown that teenagers are the age groups that use social media the most. It is as a result of the features the social media offers to them which causes an increase of the use of social media amongst teenagers. Majority of the youths are shifting speedily from electronic media like television viewers and radio listeners to the social media amongst all age of groups. Youth rate is likely to shift into social media so its influence is heavy on youths (Shabir 2014). Social media has been widely adopted in the 21st century with strong enthusiasm amongst youths. The latest statistics from the Pew Internet project report indicates that 80% of Internet users between the ages 12 to 19 use social media. This study focuses on the use of prominent and common social media sites in Cameron Buea and equally the impact of these sites like ; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp, on the moral behavior of young people in the Buea municipality. Facebook is the most popular social media in the world at large it was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and started as a website limited to Harvard student only but quickly expanded to other colleges and now everywhere in the world (Abdulahi 2014).
The social media has brought in a lot of questions regarding its impact on the society and its impact on the moral behavior of young people he is a recent concern in the world. While it is agreed that the social media affects people’s living style and it is a process to identify the nature of these influences in every society and country especially on youths, this also focus on the role of social media in shaping teenagers and their lifestyle and trends.
Webster cyclopedia Britannica Company define Youth as the time of life when someone is young. Youth is a time when a young person has not yet become an adult. Youth is very important for the future of any nation and country progress and development. Now, the social media is an essential tool in the educational life of a young person in order to improve writing and communication skill, information gathering and sharing links, cultural promoting, better living style, growth and development of the society (Merriam Encyclopedia). Alison Doyle an American psychologist defines social media as various online technology tools that enable people to communicate easily and people use the social media to share information, text audio, video, images and other multimedia communication.
There are a lot of immoral behaviors that young people of the Buea municipality have engaged into as a result of the use of the social media such as; scamming, violence, prostitution, sexual abuse, pornography, bullying, harassment, disrespect, criminality, loss of interest in education and many more.
This study will focus on the social media sites mentioned earlier and discuss the above roles in shaping the moral behavior of young people, Buea being a case study.
The social media has been described as one of the most important tool in the lives of young people especially now our days as it is a platform that gives them the opportunity to express themselves and do social experiments. The increased use of the social media by young people over the world at large and Buea in particular has caused more harm than good and has a lot of risks and consequences such as mal-information and dis-information, copying the bad habits of others such as pornography and also copying the culture and way of life of the Westerners instead of living theirs,, addiction to the social media to the level of disrupting their academical, emotional and psychological state of being, exposure to fraudsters and many more. As such, the problem this study addresses is how the social media has negatively impacted the moral behavior of the youths in Buea.
1.3.1 General Question :
What is the Role of the Social Media in Shaping the moral behavior of young people in the municipality of Buea ?
1.3.2 Specific Questions
Research question one: What are the purposes or objectives for which young people in Buea Municipality use social media?
Research question two: How does social media impact the moral behaviors of youths in the Buea municipality?
Research question three: What could be done to limit the impacts of the social media on moral behavior of young people in Buea Municipality?