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Social Media, Our ‘Hasken Matasa’ and the Nigerian Youth, an Open Letter by Zainab Nasir Ahmad

Dear Northern Nigerian youth

Let me start by declaring open the reason why I decided to write today even though it’s been long that I had written a lengthy analysis. This is more because I have been trying lately to prioritize where I should focus my energy on when it comes to utilization of social media. Arguably, there are issues that are not worth the conversations, reason why I succumbed to sharing my works and jokes.

Well, our weekly program Hasken Matasa led by Youth Society for the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Social Vices (YOSPIS) of whom I happen to be its new Executive Director in partnership with Community Health and Research Initiative, sponsored by Aminu Magashi Garba Foundation, is a program that become very personal to me perhaps because it is about youth and the opportunity to give youth a listening ear and platform to share their challenges and provide a solutions to it, but the topic we brought up for yesterday’s episode kept ringing in my head and It took me through a series of thought provoking reflections particular the concern on how we got here in the first place.

The topic was on “positive and negative impact of social media on youth.”

When I entered the radio station, I had no idea I’ll be part of the program until when I was told that I’ve also been tasked to be a discussant, well, it is social media and I’m an ardent user and sometimes people called me an “influencer” here, so I thought why not if not, let’s go!

Sometimes we often get ourselves caught up in a problem and when it continues to persist, we accept it as our way of life, the people at the receiving end of the whole saga of social media are the youth.

It is frustrating watching how some group of people that called themselves elites or whatever maxim they choose to go by, are taking advantage of our talented youths to achieve their selfish aim while pretending to support them when, they are lying.

Most times, we blame the politicians but from what is obvious now, the circle of these elders that are exploiting our youth are not just politicians, they are in every sector of the society, from the angle of politics, media, religion, and business.

These circles of people portray themselves as the alpha and omega and they think it is a privilege to interact with them simply because they are ‘achievers.’ Being an achiever is a good thing but using your achievements to destroy the lives of youngsters is absolutely wrong. They want everyone to agree and support their opinion whether they are wrong or right and as a young person you don’t dare disagree with them, they can shame you with age and opportunities and maybe even money!

It is not wrong to have a mentor but understand the method he mentors you, is he showing you opportunities in how to be the best version of yourself? Is he giving you positive direction not to slip and fall on pitfalls, is he using you for his own selfish advantage or he is upgrading your capacity? You can judge this on your head.

I always thank God for guiding me to be with those that have a developed mind when it comes to mentoring youngsters, they support us, show us the way to achieve our desired goals and they never for once ask us to go on social media to abuse people, besides they want us to be at peace with everyone.

It is time for youth to wake up and understand their priorities, I know lack of opportunities and poverty are the major factors why the young people lick the legs of these so called rich folks, but let me tell you the truth, whoever will pay you a token of data money and ask you to be on the wrong side of things, is planning to take you on a trip to the road of destruction.

Stop following the destructive desires of these so called ‘elder elite,’ they are not your brains, use your number six and understand the best way to follow. Stop allowing them to recruit you into liking or hating their friends and enemies.

Let’s shine our eyes and develop ourselves

We are the future of the society whether they like it or not.

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