*By: Sheku Putka Kamara*
TikTok – The New Real Deal where Libertarianism Thrives at least for some time
When Marshall predicated the idea of the Global Village, I am not sure he did forecast the extent to which time and space have been compressed today. From sending emails, to chatting on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. Instagram etc and now TikTok! There has not been any shortage of agenda setting and maybe now, the biggest concern is information overload. What do we follow and what do we not follow? Well, I’d tell you that this is where individualistic sanctification pops in and in line with what the Uses and Gratification model preaches, we all now have a responsibility to use info that satisfies us. Hence, selective attention and consideration take centre stage.
Today’s Legendary Column stems from a range of issues. From the millions if not billions of media contents that we could put out, to how we could make a judicious usage of same. If you’re a member of all of these platforms, I need not tell you how opening and or logging in into all of them just for and in a day is some huge burden. Depending on what you do, you’re at the risk of spending hours and more on just one platform. If care is not taken, there’s a high risk of spending over 10 hours a day, but like I said, these are choices.
Like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, TikTok now has millions of users and the numbers do not seem to be decreasing. In all my platforms, teaching has been my urge and its impact is always felt. I now feel like this is a calling. However, other users have resorted to using the same platforms for some other purposes etc. For one, there is no shortage of mimicking individuals on TikTok, be it positive or negative. On media literacy however, I have made a few arguments that some of such agendas flout decent tenets more so when the original agenda setters may have done things out of distress and confusion (in real life).
In all of this, I have always been calling for responsible social media usage. First, I do not understand why kids are exposed to matured contents. When these wards go bad, the same society will be preaching ABC. Why not do the coaching now? I agree that there are a good number of kids on TikTok and other platforms that are doing things meant for children, but what others do is out of the equation. And that’s not all, nudity and related ventures also seem to be making the agendas. That’s not cool. TikTok and other platforms may not have instantaneous regulations, but note that there are reports of accounts that have been banned. Such is a manifestation that we cannot afford to misuse the media.
It may take time, but distinguishing one’s self always goes a long way. When used correctly, the media can help to make society. With information, education, sensitization and entertainment, there’s a lot that the media can do. However, where care is not taken, the reverse may easily show up and with today’s globe that’s battling with the threats of misinformation and fake news, the worse could happen.
This will quickly take me to my lectures. I am a Journalist and a Communication Lecturer, among other things and so my discourses are almost always centered on what and what people into media and communications should and should not do. So, whenever I talk agenda setting, there’s a strong case on getting the facts right and to ensure that at all times, the information is accurate, balanced and very clear. But hey, this is not just about Journalistic Prudence. It’s not just about Media and Communications. As an individual, you also have a responsibility to leave up to expectations. If you do not encourage someone to misinform you, why would you want to misinform another then? If you frown at any kind of media agenda for some professional reasons and underline, professional, why would you do the same to others? In all these, the duty to self and the duty to society are significant!
I will end with the philosophical argument that holds the view that the media has the penchant to make and unmake society. In the simplest of terms, there are positives and negatives to and in media usage. Let us try as best as possible to use the media wisely so that it does not act and serve as a means of destruction to and for us.