on the negative side of the internet

18 08 2009
facebook; a famous meeting joint in Uganda today.

facebook; a famous meeting joint in Uganda today.

More and more Ugandans especially the working class and students in secondary school and tertiary institutions continue to sign up for social networking sites like facebook, myspace and twitter. As it is today, facebook has become a famous meeting joint. Through wall post, “what’s on your mind” – status updates and photo albums, people are able to keep in touch online. And in any case they dont feel isolated even when they dont meet physically as long as they can talk online.

A friend recently mentioned to me that she was quite intimidated by the rate at which the internet community was growing not only in Uganda but also around the globe. “The internet is threatening to take over our traditional ways of social networking as we know it”, she said.

Not long before these applications, people would meet occasionally for get-together parties and the like, but now things are changing. People no longer visit friends or use their mobile phones to call or SMS that much unless of course if its very urgent, but they find it easy to comment on facebook posts and to email for example.

Computers and the internet were designed to automate human activities and behavior. This new form of social networking (online) is a clone of the traditional ones. The only problem is that it creates a gap between the connected people and those who dont have access to the internet considering the digital divide gap as it is in Uganda today.

Should the rest of the facebook, myspace and twitter communities be scared too?