‘Social Media Is A Drug’ – Bright Tenbil (TEDxGIJ 2021)

The global idea-sharing platform TED have independently organized events in various countries. TEDxGIJ; Ghana Institute of Journalism happened virtually on 16 December, 2021. There were 5 speakers speaking on the theme: ‘Ghana, Africa and Beyond’. An interesting discussion on ‘Social Media is Drug’ was shared by the Digital Market and Social Tech Blogger; Bright Tenbil.

Speaking at the event, he made a couple of salient points with social media as a drug. He shared that, social media pandemic is a creating opportunities to learn, work, keep families, wish friends on special occasions including other positive attributes. However, this same tool causes deceit to our upcoming generations, affect productivity at work, and creates divided attention at family gatherings.

Interestingly, Africans contribute much to the big tech companies across the world with records of their online participation and active contribution. At the event, he revealed how the third world war is ongoing with the tech disruption in recent times. Speaking about how Viber was swiped off by Whatsapp, Club House was mimicked by Twitter Spaces not forgetting the close similarities between Snapchat and Whatsapp Status. With my recent observation, I see a close upgrade of Instagram into Tiktok. This war seems very interesting.

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Bright Tenbil’s presentation at TEDxGIJ was worth listening and there were a lot I personally came to understand. ‘The big tech companies make money by manipulating our thoughts and decision-making through targeted and retargeting advertisement. They see whatever activity we perform on our platforms, hence, we do not having the privacy as promised.’ These are ideas he also shared at the event. I think some points can be debatable but this are definitely major points made.

In sum, just like taking a drug, you can have the positive or negative effects based on the conditions. Social media birth solutions and also causes problems, it depends on the user. We have the power to use social media wisely.

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