ABSTRACTThe insidious evolution of the internet into the socio cultural setting of any modern society has become something to look into. It is not however the first time scholars would take a microscopically scientific purview into the emerging phenomenon. Different scholars, theorists and researchers have dwelled into various issues appertaining to the new media. Apart from this, the act of mobilization has being a topical issue especially in the area political mobilization and synergy. Thus, it is suffice to look into how the social media can be used in the mass mobilization of people for political mobilization. This paper looks into the influence of social media on the for mass mobilization of people using the just concluded strike action in Nigeria as a case study
Globally,1.5 billion people have access to televisions, 1 billion people have access to the internet. Yet the mostly used communication technology is the mobile phone. Reaching the 4billion mark in 2008,there was approximately a mobile phone for every two humans on earth.
Despite the major economic crisis, mobilepenetration continued to expand globally. In 2010, mobile penetration hitthe two-thirds mark signifying a massive shift in the global digitalcommons (ITU, 2010). The mobile phone may reach near-universalpenetration levels by 2020, accounting for the majority of internetconnections (Banjanovic, 2009). The countries with the highest mobilephone growth rates and penetration are now in developing nations.
According to the International Telecommunications Union(Corbett,2008:1), “80 percent of the world population lives in cellular network-range, which is double the level in 2000; and 68 percent of the world’smobile subscriptions by the end of 2006 were in developing countries. Many who live in remote regions do not have access to regular home-phone services, however access to mobile phones is an option requiringminimal infrastructure. The technological trend of increasing use of mobilephones is not reserved for those with higher economic resources. Pricesare dropping on handsets, and the availability of second-hand mobilephones at minimal cost means even cheaper options.
Mobile phones arenot just used for voice calling and text messaging, software developersare finding ways to extend their capacities and create cross platformsolutions that provide meaningful services for everyday users. Director ofIBM India Research laboratory Dr. Daniel Dias reinforces the socio-economic potential of this new technology:The world is entering the Era of the Mobile Web. In many countries,the mobile phone has become an electronic wallet, the window to the World Wide Web, an education device, and more, and globally, mobile devices outnumber PCs, credit cards, and TVs.” (IBM, 2008)
Economists around the world are hailing mobile phones as a low-tech solution for bridging the digital divide (Lane et al., 2006). At theLondon Business School, it was found that “for every additional 10 mobilephones per 100 people, a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) rises0.5 percent” (Waverman et al., 2005). Technologies such as 3Gbroadband mobile internet are sweeping the globe, providing citizens withincreasing access to information. As feature-rich smart phones have hitthe market, users also have increasing ability to create and broadcastmedia. While the majority of phones globally are not “smart,” thecapabilities of text messaging (SMS) and the mobile web create highpotential for the spread of information that is essential in social changeand media democracy. Soon there will be more mobile phone users thanliterate people on the planet (Chipchase, 2005). This signifies a shift intoa new age of digital literacy, where avatars, emoticons, pictures, soundsand videos can hold more power than the bygone era of telephoneswhere only names and numbers mattered.
Furthermore growth inelectronic communication through the internet and mobile phones isoutpacing communication through newspapers, radio or television.When looking at new media communication, it is clear that acrossclass, race, and gender, there are inequalities in terms of access,influence and control. However, youth are working to bridge these gapsthrough the creation of innovative alternative networks for social change.Mobile phones are used by youth around the world as a tool for politicalmobilization – from getting youth out to vote, to organizing proteststhrough social networks, micro-blogging and text messaging. Much likethe internet, mobile phones have the potential to remove barriers to both
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:
Nigeria, as a nation, has not been shielded in this global phenomenon of technology revolution in the usage of mobile phones for social transformation. The increase in the use of mobile phones in Nigeria has affected positively the level of information dissemination, and bridge the gap of lacuna filtered news.
As it has become a common phenomenon with the rest of the world, the government of Nigeria seems to be in quandary about what to do with this technology revolution. Apart from this, with a country that just granted freedom of information, it would be logically sarcastic to restrict the use of social media.
Thus, this research tends to look at the efficacy of mobile phone for the mobilization of Ibedeni youth for social transformation.Hence, the research looks into
1.3. REASEARCH QUESTIONS:
- What is the level of level of phone usage of the youth at this time?
- What is the level of the use of phone by the youth for social media communication and information dissemination?
- Is the mobile phone an effective and efficient tool for the mobilization of youths for social transformation
- Are there negative impacts of the use of the mobile phone for the mobilization of youths for social transformation
1.4. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:
- To know the conscious level of phone usage by Ibedeni youths
- To know how effectively Ibedeni youths are embracing the use of phone for communication and information dissemination.
- To know how the mobile phone is used as a youth mobilization tool.
- To know how the use of phones is changing the social behavior of the youths.
1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
The reaching hand of the mobile phone technology purview, within the concept of global village, has given some restrictive measures to the government of any nation. This is now an open secret that any anti-people policies will not be condoned by the people and within a split of minute the world would learn about it.
The increase in the activities of the mobile phone technologies,especially smart and internet enabled and dynamic phones for internet tools-social networks, emails, and websites and blog sites-are becoming tools for acerbic criticism as harangue of comments would take no minute in raining on the faulting government.
Different governments of the world are becoming conscious of these information communication technologies to be potent tools that can be explored in gaining the support and ways of bridging the chasm between the governed and government
According to Dr. Ajibade, he said “ there is a solution to any problem through communication” Thus, the significance of this study is that it would help the government and the governed to see a new perspective to the usage of mobile phone; as a tool of national integration, cohesion unity and communal affiliation.
From the happenings around the world, the mobile phone has re-engineered the thinking of the people and act as a medium of protest. This study makes a call to duty by government to explore this tool also as a medium to gain popularity on its ideological stand and policies alike.
As it has been known that every study would add to any existing knowledge on any phenomenon, this study would not cease to do the same by add to the increasing fountain of knowledge in the efficacy of mobile phone for the mobilization of Ibedeni youth for social transformation.
1.6. DELIMITATION OF STUDY:
For the simple fact that research has limitation in different realm, has contributed to the restrictive hands of this study. This research did not enjoy the luxury of time and space; it would have helped in the adequate facilitation of more data gathering for and better research that would enjoy external validity.
It is not strange that the topic understudy is an analytical study that needs diverse respondents from different locations. The demography of the respondent was however restricted.
To light another limitation, the research encountered droughty and arid ground in the area of supporting the study claim and referencing with necessary materials
1.7. DEFINITION OF TERMS:
Internet- this is interconnectedness of computer all over the world via a central server
Social media- this is a new media that help in the interactivity of the people
Social network – these are the networks that allow for the interaction- facebook, twitter and yahoo
Mobilization – this is the deliberate act of conveying people to support a certain course
Influence – This is the effect of something on another
Netizens – this is term used for people on the who have virtual homes online the internet
Mobile Phone:A mobile phone (also known as a cellular phone, cell phone, and a hand phone) is a device that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link while moving around a wide geographic area
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