Is Facebook helping Ethiopian teenagers ?

I do not have the slightest qualm that Facebook has become an indispensable way to find old friends, schedule events, play games and even send gifts. But here in Ethiopia young university pupil doing more living online on facebook than doing browsing something else I believe it might be time to reassess our students‘online behavior. Many students are now seeing Facebook more as a lifestyle than a networking tool, and the limited band width and the poor infrastructure of our University is being munched through by relentless use of heavy number of users the University ICT experts are starting to agree.

The other problem is the increasing amount of time students spend checking other people’s updates. In our university, students have four computer centers with a minimum of 80 computers each and whenever there is a connection students spend their time by giving an update on almost anything they are presently doing. They post some indecent texts in Amharic using English script. Amharic short updates can range from things like “f*** you” to “I am looking for f***.” Remember these pupils are young teenagers who are supposed to spend their time reading their subjects. But a considerable amount of time could be spent viewing the almost continuous flow of updates from some of the more frequent.

I admit, I spend more time on the computer than the average person, but it is not just on Facebook. There is just too much more to do other than to be consumed by the social antics of others and the caring for my virtual friends. I had actually signed up for facebook, early on, to explore the service and currently I am using to share my blog articles and other articles that I came across while I surf the web , but my friends are not reading my articles on my blog.I have come to the conclusion that most people now primarily use their computer, at university computer centers or internet cafes sometimes at home and probably at work, to access Facebook so that they can communicate with their friends and become part of a virtual world.
It is not that I am anti-social, it is that I am concerned; especially for the younger generation being exposed to this type of social networking. They are being lead to believe it is Ok to tell all, when in fact telling it all and exposing ones’ inner self may not be for the best.
Maybe I am wrong. I would love to hear your comments about not just facebook but social networking’s advantage and disadvantage….

3 Comments

  1. ya I believe that social networks have disadvantages as they have advantages. if used properly and timely, these networks are really interesting. but this is not the fact in most cases. it is surprising that peoples are using these networks intensively with out time selection. in universities, internet service is just to assist the educational process: to update knowledge primary. but it seems peoples prefer to stay on these networks looking photos, comments and chatting even with the one they don’t know before. that may interesting for them. but, there should decide when and for how much time they should use it.

    endalk i love your article. so keep on working on it

  2. i think u r right n wrong some how,
    Because there r prudent youth equal to careless youngsters. perhaps, their age lets them spend much of their time surfing on computer screens for nothing, or there may be lack of other youth recreation centers around, also some may use social networks to broaden their knowledge n increase the no of their good friends.
    so let’s be optimistic of social net works as we couldn’t bring any changes to their lives! However, much is expected from u (university instructors) to give them a sort of advise to make proper use of their time!
    i remember u were blaming me for being careless……n it changed me for good!

  3. one popular word now a days, it’s a facebook generation! In your article you mention very good points, but these points are global “problems”. I think the intention of the article, as long as i understood it, it is not about the disadvantage of social networks but rather the time management. When bandwidth is scarce like in Ethiopian situation, one should manage their time to get the best out of internet instead of spending hours on facebook and chat, potentially harm their future without no doubt.

    Facebook introduced new kind of collaboration. that’s what universities should adopt. the use of eLearning and Moodle is much easier for people who are addicted to facebook. Delivering contents online and try to get the attention of the students will be the universities responsibility. As young people always do, tempting for new and addictive things is unavoidable

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