Elsewhere in this paper, we had carried a story about a suggestion by the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Ho Technical University (HTU), Professor Ben Q. Honyenuga, that, the unregulated and unethical use of the internet by young people is posing a bleak future for the country.
He said “They are now on social media platforms all the time trading insults among themselves and also carrying smear campaign against people in responsible positions and this can only be a recipe for disaster.”
The VC insisted that there were more enlightened ways of seeking redress when aggrieved by others and the use of social media to transmit vicious messages could only cause more harm than good.
The Ghanaian Times agrees with the learned Professor because it is frightening to see what is happening on social media platforms by young people.
Anybody who has personally experienced this kind of treatment or casually observed what is going on everyday on social media would understand the position of Prof. Honyenuga.
We cannot relate all the negative things young people are engaged in on the social media platforms but as observed by the VC, young people spend several hours on their gadgets-phone, tablets and computer, doing unnecessary things, when, they could have been using the time to do very valuable things with the gadgets.
Unfortunately, they use the precious times and the gadgets to do very vicious, malicious and mischievous things against other people.
We are deeply worried that if steps are not taken immediately to introduce some regulation to keep the youth in check, the country may experience what is happening in other countries where social media platforms have become tools for committing crimes.
Today, in some countries, young people are committing suicide and others are killing their colleagues because of the negative things that take place on the internet.
Worse still, some of them use the platforms for clandestine activities including kidnapping, fraud and plain thievery.
We are not advocating the curtailment of the freedoms of young people on the internet and social media platforms, ours concern is for those who misuse this social good to be put in check.
We must not wait any long for the situation to get worse before attempting so it doesn’t become difficult for the country to control.
We recommend to the state to take a critical look at the suggestion by the VC and act on it before the situation gets out of hand.