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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

‘I Don’t Tweet, I Don’t WhatsApp’ – Wole Soyinka’s Rationale for Social Media Abstinence

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LAGOS, Nigeria – Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has voiced serious concerns over the misuse of technology and social media, stating that these tools are now in the hands of those who use them ignorantly and detrimentally.

Professor Soyinka, speaking at the unveiling of his latest book, “The Putin Files,” at Freedom Park in Lagos on Friday, June 16, 2023, lamented that the misuse of technology is rapidly reversing human progress through profiling and the use of abusive language. He confessed that he is not a fan of social media platforms.

“I don’t tweet, I don’t WhatsApp. I tried WhatsApp but I stopped,” Soyinka said.

While reading from his book, Soyinka remarked, “Project Nigeria, I must confess, has become near terminally soul-searing. Do I still believe in it? I am no longer certain, but first we must rid ourselves of the tyranny of the ignorant and the opportunism of time-servers.”

He went on to express his views on democracy, stating that the whole concept needs re-examination.

Soyinka emphasized that revolutions should be driven by a clarity of purpose and acceptance of risks, including errors, rather than mere speculative power entitlement.

“Revolutions are not, however, based on the impetus of speculative power entitlement. No matter, until that moment, the structures that ensure just, and equitable cohabitation must be protected from partisan appropriation – be it from material inducement, fake news, or verbal terrorism – the last being the contribution of one who is positioned to assume co-leadership of the nation, no less,” he said.

Soyinka explained that in his book, “Putin” is used both as a metaphor and as a reality, reflecting the global scenario.

He also urged the public to be vigilant and safeguard freedoms, stating that they should carefully evaluate any emerging symbols or movements.

However, he praised the EndSARS movement, describing it as one of the most successful movements in Nigeria due to its foundation on truth.

Wole Soyinka’s statements offer a critical reflection on the current state of technology and social media, and their impact on society, politics, and democracy.

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