The speech of the Jide Awe, Guest speaker at Valedictory speech and Prize Giving day of Government College, Ibadan on Effects of Social Media among Secondary School Students:
Chairman, Principal, Vice Principals, Ladies and Gentlemen, Teaching and Administrative Staff, esteemed Guests, Parents and Guardians, Government College, Ibadan (GCI) old boys present and most importantly, the 2023 graduating class of GCI.
Today, I commend and honour you on this significant milestone. This gathering certainly reflects the remarkable academic prowess, the cultivation of admirable values, and the esteemed heritage of Government College, Ibadan (GCI). Up School! Up GCI!
It is therefore my immense honour as an old boy of this distinguished institution and member of the GCI 1973 January Set, whose father and brothers also attended GCI, to be part of this celebration. I thank God for this honour. I thank God for those who made this possible.
Effects of Social Media: The Influence
As we celebrate your accomplishments at GCI, we must also acknowledge the significant influence of social media on our lives. Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, has transformed how we learn, communicate, connect, and do business.For example, the Whatsapp group for our class set has united classmates based in different countries, enabling discussions, connections, and collective action on vital matters like our 50th-anniversary projects and celebrations taking place this year.
However, we must be mindful of the significant risks social media poses to privacy and safety, especially among young individuals. It exposes them to dangerous people, harmful content, and illegal activities. Moreover, social media’s addictive nature and distractions hinder the development of their social skills and impede their personal growth. The excessive and compulsive use of social media can harm relationships, work, and education. As torchbearers of academic excellence, you must therefore strike a balance between virtual and real-world activities. Take regular breaks from social media to fully engage with the physical world, which requires face-to-face interactions and experiences.
Effects of Social Media: Also, social media presents only a fraction of people’s lives, not the whole truth. So don’t believe everything on social media, especially from celebrities and influencers. Don’t be deceived by those who fabricate false existences online. Resist the temptation to compete or impress. Don’t let social media dictate your self-worth or value. Use social media to stay authentic and focused on your own goals. As alumni of Government College, Ibadan, we have been instilled with the tools necessary to be authentic individuals who define success on our terms, based on the strength of our character and the positive impact we create in the world.
In the Digital World, Cybersecurity is paramount
Serious threats on social media include phishing and social engineering attacks, as well as cyberbullying, online harassment, predatory behavior, and intolerance. Avoid risky online behavior that can make you vulnerable to exploitation. Instead of engaging in negativity and cruelty in the digital world, use these platforms to promote understanding, togetherness, and integrity.
People often share too much personal information on social media, putting themselves at risk of privacy breaches and security threats. Cybercriminals also use fake profiles and false identities on social media to gain unauthorized access to personal information and engage in fraudulent activities.
To safeguard against such risks:
- exercise caution in sharing sensitive details.
- Stay informed about potential dangers and proactively adopt security measures.
Furthermore, you can actively support cybersecurity and advocate for the safety of others online. Interestingly, these threats also offer lucrative career prospects in cybersecurity, for those interested in fields like computing, law, security, psychology, and business.
Responsible Social Media is Your Power
Effects of Social Media: Despite its risks, social media possesses incredible power to inspire, educate, and mobilize. Indeed, these platforms, however offers people opportunities to shape their reputation and influence if used responsibly. Use social media responsibly: safely, positively, and productively. Government College, Ibadan, a respected institution, emphasizes values like respect, camaraderie, and brotherhood. Let us remember these ideals in our school song, “School of our pride built on the rock, guided by principles of order, justice, and fair play”.
As you step into the future as leaders, entrepreneurs, and change-makers, I consequently urge you to use the power of social media to:
- learn, connect and communicate,
- build relationships,
- bridge geographical boundaries,
- showcase your talent and
- share your creativity with the world.
The world you are graduating into is rapidly changing, seeking innovative individuals who can solve problems using digital platforms. Our world, our nation certainly seeks these solutions. Utilize social media to create solutions and innovations. Even these social media platforms were originally built by young people, just like you. Why not create our own?
Leave Your Mark
As members of the GCI graduating class of 2023, I particularly call on you to:
- Seize 21st-century opportunities and leave your mark.
- Develop global and social platforms to reduce our dependence on developed nations.
- Go beyond digital literacy with an innovative spirit that values critical thinking, problem-solving, and achieving results.
- Embrace ups and downs as part of the journey.
- Believe in yourself and don’t let others or circumstances determine your worth.
- Be resourceful and prepared to delve deep.
- Cultivate effective communication and persuasive skills.
- Foster valuable relationships, teamwork, and collaboration.
- Demonstrate emotional intelligence.
- Collaborate with your parents, guardians, teachers, role models, peers and others.
- Organize and manage your time wisely.
- Keep learning and stay adaptable and resilient in the face of constant change.
- Embrace global perspectives to broaden your horizons.
Congratulations, Continue to Soar High
I emphatically extend my heartfelt congratulations to the esteemed class of 2023 GCI graduates as you embark on the next chapter of your lives. You deserve recognition for this significant milestone in your lives as you bid farewell to our beloved secondary school.
Embrace the challenges and opportunities ahead. In both the physical and virtual realms, on social media, your true worth lies in the kindness you demonstrate, the knowledge you acquire, the skills you develop, and the positive impact you have on the lives of others.
“Generations shall come and go”, our pride in Government College, Ibadan, will forever endure.
May your future be filled with resounding success, genuine happiness, unwavering integrity, and meaningful progress!
Thank you, and May God bless you all.
Jide Awe, MNSE, FNCS,
Founder, Jidaw.com / Jidaw Systems
Follow Jidaw on Twitter @jidaw