The Chronicle Gambia

The Effect of Social Media on Gambians

About two weeks ago, Instagram and Facebook crashed for about 7 hours. Both social media giants took to Twitter to apologize to the users for the ‘technical difficulties’. Across the world, the crashes affected different people differently. The internet world for a moment went into a frenzy on Twitter, memes popped up everywhere and comedians were having a field they with people’s reactions. American Social Media influencer, Jess Hilarious joked that “some parents like me got to spend time with and know my kid for the first time.” The incident was quickly named “The Great Instagram/Facebook crash of 2019”.

In The Gambia, Facebook and Instagram users had their fair share of the inconvenience the crashes caused. Could they survive another crash?

Fatou Camara

Fatu Camara, avid social media user and founder of The Fatu Network (TFN), is among Gambians affected by The Great Instagram/Facebook crash of 2019. “Honestly, I cannot go 4 minutes without checking out social media much more 24hrs. That is impossible.”

Fatu recalls the only time she went without the social media was during her incarceration six years ago. “The only time I stayed without social media was during my 25 days of detention at the NIA back in 2013.” Fatu thanked her entire TFN team for the dedication and constantly staying online as much as her to get the job done.

Praise Ebube Agu’s work involves dealing with customers and requires quicktime procession of customers transactions. And for him, social media crash means breakdown of communication between him and his customers.

Juka Darboe

Juka Darboe, an activist, is one of the familiar Gambian names on the social media. From PR work for musicians and music production companies to communications strategy for organisations, Juka ekes out a living from the social media part time. “I can’t do a day without them because I use them to make money.”  

How much would a Trainee Scientific Officer spend online? Well, Edward Coker claims to be capable of going days without using social media, and only goes on the relieve boredom.  Whatsapp though is his main source of communication, “It’s the first thing I Check on in the morning and the last before I go to bed. I can’t imagine a day without it.” his biggest concern is calls from family and friends if he ever goes offline for a day.

It seems no matter the work one does in the Gambia these days it’s one way or another affected by the use of social media. Be it business, media, tailoring or acting everyday Gambians depend on it for personal or business purposes.Fingers crossed there won’t be another “Great Crash” anytime soon.

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