Sunday, January 30, 2011

Nigeria and Social Media

When you think of social media, you usually do not think of Nigeria.  However, Nigeria is perhaps equally affected by social media as many of the more developed countries.  In fact, there are over 1 million active Nigerian Facebook users, including the Nigerian president.  A site called  states the Nigerian social media status like this: To put social media into Nigeria’s context, it is important to note that out of a population of around 150 million, between 70 and 80 per cent of people live on $1 a day. Around 43 million people in Nigeria – almost a third – are estimated to have access to the internet. However, this figure doesn’t break down into those who have internet access at home or at work and those who occasionally use it in public cafés. Nor does it correlate with the numbers living on $1 a day or the literacy rate of 50 per cent.”  Contrary to this poverty-stricken demographic, there has been a “blackberry buzz”, where Nigerians popularized gaining access to social networking sites on their cell phones, much like most of America. Several online articles showed the areas social media affects the most.  Most Nigerian students have Facebook pages, and a concern continues to be its detrimental effect on education. A site called posted an article stating that the social networking craze “if left unchecked could further affect an already collapsed education system.” Another site notes the significance of social media in Nigerian elections, political parties using Facebook and Twitter to promote certain candidates. This without a doubt shows social media’s impact on individual countries and the world. 

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