Kenya

Address vulgarity on social media to shield young ones

Address vulgarity on social media to shield young ones

Cyber threats increased sharply by 59 per cent in the three months to last December to 56.2 million, a new report shows.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Like many young people, I am happy with recent advancements in technology. Today, one can check almost anything on the internet and learning has become much easier.

At home, pre-school children watch cartoons on television, computers, tablets and phones, and, with that, they get to learn and speak good English, Kiswahili and other languages.

Depending on the channels they have access to, some are also learning virtues like patience, tolerance, empathy, sympathy, generosity and appreciation. The benefits aside, I am a bit worried.

There are some websites, channels, apps and TV programmes that are impacting children and teenagers in a very negative way.

For example, X-rated movies and memes containing obscene and vulgar content are now a click away.  Extremists, including terrorists, are equally spreading their messages online as they target to recruit young people.

On social media, toxic conversations abound. Body shaming, vulgar language and other forms of toxic conversations roll 24/7.

We have witnessed socialites on Instagram and Facebook fighting each other over skin colour, body shape and hairstyles, with their fans joining in to make the situation ugly. Sadly, it is us the youth who are supporting this. What we forget is that children also have phones and follow these toxic exchanges.

And what do they learn after that? Very harsh words. Instead of teaching them how to be kind, they end up being rude and ill-mannered towards other people. At school and at home, teachers and parents are tired of rudeness. Please let us stop this negative energy online and put the internet and other digital technologies to good use.

Let us stop toxic and vulgar conversations online. Let us stop criticising each other because of how we are created.

No one is perfect but at least let us to be kind to others.

Let us also talk sense to other people who are busy insulting each other and help them change their ways. With that, our country, Africa and the world at large will be a healthy place for all of us to live in.

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