One of the good things about social media is the access we have to all kinds of information. The internet seems to have the answers to all our questions. If possible, the internet will answer questions we are yet to ask.
Unfortunately, while you have access to this information, what you do with it is your cup of tea. In fact, how you choose to believe this information is a larger cup of tea.
Ever had a slight headache and then you try to google about it, ahh! You will start seeing things like ‘brain tumor’ ‘liver tuberculosis’ ‘kidney epidemics (whatever that means)’ ‘intestinal epilepsy’… Okay, at this point, it is obvious we’re coining these diseases.
But seriously, you may have discovered that google is not your best friend when you are seeking certain information, especially when such information is related to health. Googling causes of your little headache can give you a heart attack when you read that that little headache is a sign of life-threatening ailments.
So we wonder how people can easily turn to social media when they are in a fix rather than seek out consultations with professionals in that field. Because just like google, asking people on social media for professional solutions means that you are willing to swim through the sea of different opinions to eventually pick one that seems more likely to solve your predicament – one that may not even be correct.
There are professionals on social media, people who dish out their expertise and roll out advice without expecting payment in return. Every day, we have doctors writing threads on Twitter, financial gurus giving tips on how to make your money work for you, even digital media experts are not left out. In the same vein, we have crooks who spread false information on social media and give tips that can be injurious to the health and general well-being of people.
The social media makes you live in a world of many unfiltered thoughts and opinions, of many voices and noise. In the midst of being caught in the web of social media, it is important to step out many times, breathe and realize that the world of social media is totally different from the professional world outside of it.
Let us explain further…
Nowadays, it is common to find people seek professional help from people they feel can solve their problems. When people are in a fix or when they need help urgently, they turn to social media for aid. You can now find people tweet things like:
“I can feel a big lump growing in my left breast, what can I do about it?”
“I’m planning to take a loan of 10 million Naira for a new business, should I go ahead?”
I’ve fallen out of love with my partner of 15 years, should I get a divorce?”
There’s a growing trend where people seek advice from online doctors, lawyers, accountants, relationship experts, and other professionals. While this, in itself, is not a terrible thing to do, it is important – in this age and time of leaking DMs and private discussions – to not only keep private things private but to also go through the right medium in seeking solutions to your problems.
Do you feel sick? Why can’t you go to the hospital instead of asking for the symptoms and cure on social media? Your relationship is not working well? Why not book a consultation session with a marriage counselor? Depressed? Isn’t it better to go see a therapist instead of putting it out there? Fallen into trouble? Go get a lawyer and stop taking legal advice on social media!
Social media is a place where everybody’s opinion is ‘right’ and everyone is an expert – including someone in 100 Level or those who have just finished secondary school. In the many diverse voices and advice, how can you filter what is true and what isn’t? When you ask for relationship advice and there are many people giving different ‘professional’ opinions, how would you know which to follow? Many people are confused today because they are listening to many ‘professional’ advice from different people on social media.
Some months back, a ‘public health specialist’ on social media came under fire for giving ladies tips on how to induce an abortion at home.
Now, what she didn’t mention is how dangerous it is to try to abort your pregnancy yourself and how it could lead to death.
Even after pleading with her to take it down, the tweet wasn’t taken down and has in fact, gained more traction. There’s a high possibility that someone somewhere has taken this advice and tried this at home.
So-called ‘professional’ advice like this is one reason why you need to stop trusting people who claim to be professionals with your life, your issues, and your future. Don’t let us get started on those who advise women to tighten their vaginas with toothpaste or wash it with salt.
Many people have ventured into businesses because people on social media told them about the high turnover rate of the business. Without doing their own research or consultations, they had hung on to their every word, dived head-on into the business, failed woefully and lost millions of Naira.
In a world where a lot of people wear masks and pretend to be who they’re not, seeking professional help on social media is a gamble that may or may not pay you. Why risk it?
Be reminded that you are responsible for every decision you make in life – and the consequences of those decisions you make. So if you land into trouble after taking a professional social media advice rather than going through the proper channel, trust us, that’s on you.