Local National

Youth and the Dual Face of Social Media: Building Careers or Breaking Bonds

BY ALEX BALUKU

In the age of digital connectivity, the youth in Kasese, Uganda, are being urged to embrace the positive potential of social media and online blogging as a means to advance their careers. Elizabeth Musoki Nzerebende, known as Liz Lilly, has highlighted the importance of responsible online behavior and the damaging consequences of cyber harassment.

With the allure of earning income from the internet, many young people are gravitating towards blogging and social media platforms. The prevailing notion is that higher viewership equals greater income, making these online avenues enticing for youths. Liz Lilly, however, offers a cautionary perspective, especially in the context of a third-world country like Uganda.

She points out that Uganda’s population includes many individuals who may struggle to discern the nuances of online content. Furthermore, she notes that even the Ugandan judicial system may rely on cultural norms to judge individuals entangled in legal issues arising from their online activities.

One of the key concerns Liz Lilly raises is the adverse impact of certain rural bloggers. While blogs around the world often focus on specific topics like celebrity gossip or fashion, some rural bloggers are contributing to a negative online environment. They do this by spreading false information, resulting in mental stress, strained relationships, and a toxic digital space.

Liz Lilly offers an essential reminder: “what you post online stays online.” Online content remains in the public domain and is accessible indefinitely. Even if a post is deleted, it may still exist in cached form on search engines, internet archives, or company servers.

The potential long-term consequences of online actions are significant, as Liz Lilly underscores. Regret may set in later, impacting one’s professional life, personal relationships, and overall well-being. Embarrassing posts could cost someone their job, jeopardize an interview, or harm relationships with friends and loved ones.

Elizabeth Musoki Nzerebende in Canada.

She concludes with a plea to the youth: Stop posting content that could lead to embarrassment in the future. Negative online behavior, including body shaming and the dissemination of false information, creates deep-rooted hate and anger that can affect individuals and their loved ones down the line.

Liz Lilly emphasizes the need for responsibility in online behavior, as even a small audience can lead to significant consequences. She also calls for an end to cyberattacks and cyberbullying, highlighting the harm they cause in the community.

The message from Liz Lilly is clear: social media and online platforms offer valuable opportunities for the youth to build their careers positively. By using these tools responsibly, individuals can network, showcase their skills, access learning resources, and promote themselves and their businesses effectively. When used wisely, social media can be a powerful asset for career growth and personal development.

Who is Elizabeth Musoki Nzerebende? she is a social worker, women and children’s rights advocate, environmentalist, farmer, and mindset change practitioner and she actively uses both online and offline platforms to carry out her community activities. She encourages youth to embrace the positive side of social media while rejecting cyber harassment.

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