5 October 2016
Throwing a look back at Nigeria’s last election, especially the role the social media played, one will quickly realise that the number of posts that emanated from Nigeria’s social media went north-bound as the elections drew near.
Comments, chants and criticisms filled my timeline, and I must confess, I had a good time reading a handful of them, learning as much as I could until I got turned off by criticisms that lacked objectivity.
The government of the day at the time was fast losing favour with majority of the populace, and many didn’t mince words in expressing this.
These criticisms were not to be the only factor to confirm this as election results further affirmed it.
Aside the criticisms that caught my attention, another thing that I couldn’t help but notice was how some of the critics went about espousing their opinions.
Talk is cheap (even cheaper) on this Social Media era!!!
One could literally pick hate from the comments of some purported critics, and that hurts. It hurts because as a leader too, I have come to realise that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to leading a multifaceted organisation.
Yet most of those who are the quickest to attack the personality of leaders (in the name of criticism) have no qualification, experience or (performance) track record akin to those of whom they slay with their speech and status updates on social media.
Isn’t that ironic?
How can one so perfectly tell how it feels and what it takes to run the affairs of a nation when he hasn’t even successfully started an NGO?
Mind you, I take it that the Freedom of Speech provision in our Constitution also suggests that everyone can criticise anyone.
I have called that the Freedom of Criticism (FOC) Permission, but my reasoning is this: How can one so perfectly tell how it feels and what it takes to run the affairs of a nation when he hasn’t even successfully started an NGO?
How come the critic knows so much about how to turn the nation’s economy around overnight when he/she hasn’t even earned and successfully invested a million?
How come the critic knows so much about how to turn the nation’s economy around overnight when she hasn’t even earned and successfully invested her first million yet?
Talk is cheap (even cheaper) on the social media era. No thanks to Facebook and Twitter; those who have much to learn, talk as though they know it all, slinging mud and saliva all in one throw.
I hold, however, that it is only the criticism of those who have been there and of course have left a legacy that are worthy of attention, whether in the workplace or in the business of running a nation.
My view is that not everyone has the moral right to criticise anyone anymore (at least not where credibility is questionable), but then, who gets to enforce this on the social media?
The bottom line is, criticisms are welcome and always necessary, but from who and how?
(Comments solicited from Google+, Facebook, Twitter etc.)
Yemi Sanni Newman is a Writer, Public Speaker and Social Entrepreneur who lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
Author: Yemi Sanni Newman
‘Yemi Sanni Newman is a Writer, Public Speaker and Social Entrepreneur who lives in Lagos, Nigeria.