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Digital footprints: Expert charges Edo youth on responsible use of social media

9 Aug 2022


…warns that employers are profiling social media behaviour of Gen Z

The founder of TAPE Empowerment Foundation, Mrs. Izegbuwa Emokpae-Aderogba has charged youths in Edo State to be mindful of their usage of social media platforms because they leave digital footprints that may be difficult to erase.

Mrs. Emokpae-Aderogba said this during a talk-show on KUFM, which is part of activities lined up to mark the 2021 International Youth Day in the state by the Edo State Ministry of Youth and Humanitarian Affairs.

She urged all parents to take responsibility of the social behavioral patterns of their children and wards, noting that the internet is meant to be used responsibly for activities like research on pertinent issues; communicating with long lost friends and classmates as we now operate in a global space.

According to her, “Although, the laws governing the creation of social media accounts in Nigeria are still in the draft stage, parents ought to be aware that the legal age to open a social media account, as determined internationally, is 13 years in order not to infringe on the Children’s Privacy Protection Act.

“Therefore, parents should enforce these rules and limit their children’s screen time. These are the children who now grow up to be classified as ‘the Youth’ so the foundation is very important.”

She added: “Let me state here that the government is not responsible for the moral values of the children and youth, the family unit is. They do what they see, so parents should own up to their responsibilities and ensure their children and ward put it at the forefront of their minds that what they upload, comment on or behave on the internet can come back to bite them.

As a Human Resources Professional, she reiterated that employers are beginning to profile the characters of prospective employees by using their posts on the different social platforms: LinkedIn; Instagram; TikTok, Facebook; snap chat to mention a few.

“Generation Z are currently entering into the workforce and are known for their creativity and innovative actions as they were born into the technological age. The flipside to this is that they also don’t believe in the traditional norms of the workplace. It is pertinent to note, they started their professional careers during the pandemic and thus are used to multi-tasking and deriving income from multiple sources.

“While this is a positive attribute, it has also been observed that there has been an increase in depression ( panic/anxiety attacks); suicide; cyber bullying; drug taking, illegal activities; Lack of social skills to mention a few. In addition, they are losing the art of writing proper English since they type and abbreviate words and even sentences.”

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