Social media use is exploding among young Ghanaians, but one millennial has found harmony after turning her back on its toxic culture.
For 30-year-old communications student, Bayor Naah Shirley, the anonymity that the Internet offers can be problematic. She stopped using social media four years ago because she found that the digital world was hostile, deceptive, and plagued with false realities. Since stepping back from the Internet she has been much happier.
One of the reasons why I am not on social media is because of the widespread use of violent language. You can post something educational and people will ignorantly attack you and invade your privacy. I see social media as motive shifter. Your followers expect a lot from you, which demands all of your attention. I realized I couldn’t spend my time on them, because I needed to focus on my studies. I once had a breakdown because I shared my opinion about open defecation in my community and people attacked me with hate speech. After quitting Facebook I have noticed a very powerful change. I have peace in my life and I doubt if I will ever go back there.
I also view the Internet as deceptive place, in the sense that it always creates a false impression about people. Once they see others posting photos on social media, people may be tempted to follow suit even though the one posting it may just be faking reality. Those viewing it, however, will think it is real and will do anything to fit in.
Maxwell Suuk / Matthew Moore
The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information. Learn more at www.dw.com/barometer