While social media's original goal was to enhance communication, in reality, it hinders productivity, spreads unreliable and false information, and has significant and negative effects on our social lives
TAXATION | SOCIAL MEDIA
By Michael Woira
I know the increase of taxes is a thorny issue. I am on a fixed budget, and so are you. However, I believe in better service delivery, infrastructural development, good health and good education for those studying. As a citizen of Uganda, I urge our citizens to support a raise in our taxes rather than a cut in our services that we all need time to time.
Waking up every day to messages, missed whatsapp calls, Facebook messages and comments and here comes the very first assignment of the day to fulfill before the rest of the work is being done. At home each person sits somewhere in the living room concentrating on their phones. An there comes the digital child at home also on her/his I pad on Twitter or downloading movies on Youtube…Congratulations! You just wasted one and a half hours on social media, trading your valuable time in exchange for nothing. This scenario is anything but unique. These days, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a tweet one hundred and forty characters.
I have always told one of my friends Arthur a social media corporate fan and a social media influencer that these one hundred and forty characters are helping to create an entire generation of distracted, zoned out individuals. While social media's original goal was to enhance communication, in reality, it hinders productivity, spreads unreliable and false information, and has significant and negative effects on our social lives.
Social media serves as the black hole of productivity. Countless studies have shown that students who use social media while studying experience a lower score than those who do not engage in social networking all the time. In addition to that startling information, students who are always on social media are unserious, especially via concentrating at school-related issues than the students who do not. Since the rise of social media, the education standards in which social networking is prevalent have since fallen short of those of countries such as China who severely limit the use of social media.
The reason I will stick to supporting the issue of taxing social media is that at least this noise will decrease because one elite said: "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
Social media is a space where unreliable and false information can be spread with the click of a button. In several of the recent worldwide tragedies that involved violence, many of the perpetrators were heavily influenced militant terror groups through social media. Individuals who might have once been good people have lost their common sense and have these days been attracted to a world of darkness and violence. This is always seen at universities where students use social media to mobilise themselves for the wrong things and all this comes in because Uganda’s social media is not regulated or taxed in that everyone can easily use it when they feel like.
In addition, social media sites such as Facebook can be the perfect place for people to “pretend” to be something that they are not. They put up fake profiles to maliciously commit crimes and some of them tend to be what they have never been.
One of my friends Ssempa told me that one day he sent a friend request to some female social media user who looked beautiful on Facebook and in a few days they engaged in a chat but after getting each other’s number, Ssempa called the new friend he expected to be female because of the profile photo, but was surprised that the ‘female’ he was chatting with was actually a male. This also brings out the fact that even headlines you read on Twitter or Facebook might not be based on the absolute truth, so you have to interact with social media with caution and common sense.
Anyway, back to the tax that is making many social media users get mad… I think we should abide by this tax because it will increase our revenue in the coffers so we get reasonable services. The word “over the top “ has made people confused but I think this refers to too extreme and not suitable, or demanding too much attention or effort, especially in an uncontrolled way and relating it to social media, people have been using Imo, whatsapp and Facebook to call, have video chats and this is what they want people to pay for because it’s over the top.
The writer is a Pan Africanist