Mmegi Online :: The downside of social media on the youths
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Last Updated
Friday 08 December 2017, 17:25 pm.
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The downside of social media on the youths

It is imperative for individuals to familiarise themselves with how social media works, especially Facebook and its influence on one’s mind in order to be used in a healthy and positive way. The rise in the use of social media in Botswana has excited the youth in a bad way as they post bad things with followers praising them instead of discouraging them. Mmegi Staff Writer PINI BOTHOKO observes
By Pini Bothoko Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:22 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: The downside of social media on the youths








Posting edited pictures online, or pretending your life is a little more glamorous than it is not, in itself is a problem. The way we use social media can make the situation even harder, especially when pretending to be the person you are not. Constant exposure to social media has an impact on how people view their mates and themselves. It seems like most of the youth with access to cheap data are having fun in a bad way, entertaining their followers with bad and criminal activities.

It is common to see people posting their photos on Facebook doing illegal things with their followers praising them instead of shunning such behaviour.

This is an indication that people abuse social media. It is time parents help their children to build a safe and reasonable relationship with social media to avoid falling into the social media trap, as it can be more complicated than it sounds.

Studies have proved that if not correctly used, social media can impact one’s thinking, how they perceive things and also has the possibility to affect or change their behaviour. This is the time for parents to take social media serious and not to underestimate the role it plays in their children’s lives.

Most parents underestimate Facebook and the power it has, hence the need for them to explore it in a more critical way.

In the past, a teenager who escaped from custody at Moshupa boys prison was seen posting things on Facebook whilst the police were looking for him. In the post, he bragged about the police looking for him, boasting that they could not locate him and claiming innocence of the offence he was charged with. Not knowing the power that social media has, the police used hisFacebook post to arrest him.

In a recent incident, in which the police arrested a 24-year-old man of Kanye village in connection with the murder of a cab driver, it is alleged that his past Facebook posts showed him posing with different firearms, despite some of them being illegal in Botswana.

Now that he has allegedly murdered a cab driver, his Facebook followers, who praised him in his previous posts are rubbing their eyes in disbelief, have taken to social media stating that the attitude he displayed is behind his horrific acts.

This calls on parents to familiarise themselves with their children’s behaviour on social media so that they can try to respond to bad attitude before the situation gets out of control.

The Botswana Police Service (BPS)’s flamboyant director of crime intelligence, senior

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assistant Commissioner Nnunu Lesetedi said it is time parents learn their children’s behaviour, as it appears that most parents do know how their children behave outside home or the kind of life they live on social media.

He pointed out that most children are living a different life on Facebook, something that calls for parents’ intervention.

“Early on Wednesday morning, we received a report of a 24-year-old man of Kanye, Kgotlaetsile Leonard Gaonakala who is suspected to have killed and abandoned the body of a cab driver in the bushes at Segoditshane location,” Lesetedi said.

He stated that it is alleged that Gaonakala had earlier that fateful early morning requested the service from Deluxe cabs at Extension 26 claiming that he wanted to go to Block 8. On the way, he requested the driver to stop so that he could relieve himself. Upon returning he attacked the driver demanding money.

It is alleged that Gaonakala, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, told the driver that he wanted money to pay for his friends who were arrested by the police in South Africa.

Mmegi learnt that when the driver told him that the money was at his place, he tied him and demanded directions to his place before forcing him in the boot. He drove to the cab driver’s place where on arrival he left his girlfriend in the car and the driver in the boot to look for the said money. It is alleged that whilst still looking for the money inside the house, his girlfriend ran away and reported the matter to the police.

“The deceased sustained a body injury. We suspect he might have been stabbed with a sharp object to death. We managed to locate and arrest the suspect and later discovered the cab driver’s body abandoned in the bush at Segoditshane. The suspect is currently in police custody helping the police with investigations,” Lesetedi said.

He called on parents to know their children’s behaviour, especially the one they display on Facebook to put to an end to any bad behaviour.

“The lifestyle that Gaonakala displayed on his Facebook page was not good. He was seen posing with firearms.

Maybe if his parents could have spotted that behaviour on time, they might have managed to talk sense into him before committing such a horrible thing,” Lesetedi said. This is not the first time a cab driver allegedly died at the hands of a customer. Back in September 2013, another Deluxe cab driver was allegedly killed by people who pretended to be customers.

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