Last weekend’s ‘A Day in Tech’ organized by Origgin in collaboration with Mobile Web Ghana was well attended by many social media enthusiasts. The theme of the event was ‘How is Social Media Affecting our Ghanaian culture’. The speaker of the event was Maximus Ametorgah, the Managing Director of POPout: a digital advertisement company. POPOUT makes judicious use of the various social media platforms making him the right person to speak on the subject.

Maximus showcased his wealth of knowledge on social media much to the admiration of all who were there. He revealed some statistics to support a point he made about the scope of influence of social media. Social media is very powerful. Individuals and organizations need to realize this and leverage it for their own benefits. Youtube, facebook, twitter, Instagram, wordpress etc. all these are social media platforms that are used for various purposes. Maximus stated that ‘research has proven that 2million blog posts are written everyday’. He further stated that the TIME magazine would have to publish copies of their magazine for 770years to equal the number of blog posts written in a day. Many gasped at the sound of this astonishing fact. The realization that the number of blogs churned out in a day on the internet, vastly outweighs the number of publications of one of the biggest magazines in the world came as a big surprise. Maximus used this to buttress the point he was making: social media has taken over completely.

Furthermore, he stated that ‘it took radio 38 years to get 50,000,000 listeners and 13years for TV to have 50,000,000 viewers. But it took the internet 4 years to get 50,000,000 users’. This also left the audience puzzled for a minute at how quickly the internet was able to match-up the scope of influence of traditional media. If this was how quickly it caught on with users in its first 4years of existence, one can only imagine what the figures are now. That is why social media campaigns have been very successful in recent times. Maximus made reference to a few social media campaigns that have excelled locally. Paramount amongst them is the #OCCUPYFLAGSTAFF campaign. It was started on social media and executed on the streets of Accra. This saw the active participation of most Ghanaians in the middle class of society, marching on the streets in protest of the poor performance of the government. Its success can even be judged by the media coverage it got and the social media buzz it created. Maximus also acknowledged some celebrities in this country who have used social media well enough to boost their public image and to interact with their fans.

To the subject of the day, Maximus stated that he is vehemently opposed to those who say social media has a negative effect on our culture. Yes, it opens everybody up to the world; it is a place where people of other cultures meet and interact, but to say it has a negative influence on our culture is a little far-fetched. He made a humorous illustration to this effect when he likened social media to a knife. Therefore it is up to the user of a knife to either use it to kill somebody or to use it to slice tomatoes. All that he was trying to say was: it is all up to the user. Social media is a platform that projects real situations. Hence the immorality we see on the various platforms is not necessarily caused by social media but rather it reflects what goes on in the society.
There is the need to be grateful for the advent of social media. It makes us in-touch with others and exposes us to real issues on the ground. So if all that we see on these platforms is bad, then we should know there is a lot of work to be done in the society. Last Saturday’s session of ‘A Day in Tech’ was an awesome experience that left all who were present informed and educated about this subject. Do not miss next month’s ‘A Day in Tech’ for anything in the world.

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Lexis Ntiamoah Ayisi

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