The publisher of Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu has expressed worries over the negative impact of social media on the reading culture of younger generation of Nigerians.
Momodu who expressed this worry at a public presentation of a historical book titled ‘The Nigerian Centaury’ also decried the preference of youths to profane music that lacks meaningful lyrics, while describing the book as a repository of information and knowledge about the first 100 years of the country.
According to him, “Research has shown that the reading culture is shrinking at the speed of light. The advent of ubiquitous social media has virtually changed our reading habits and tastes. Today, frivolities have taken over and readers prefer junks to things of substance. We are all distracted by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, Whatsapp, Skype, Blackberry, Linkedin, Viber, YouTube, Google Play, computer game, Messenger, Instachat, Facetime, Instavoice, InstaMessage, and so many other application on our smartphones, iPads and laptops. I plead guilty to being addicted to most of these inventions.”
“The biggest causality of these modern inventions is history, contemporary or ancient. Our school kids no longer know where their country is coming from and so cannot be bothered and wherever it is heading or headed. In our days at the then university of Ife, Africa’s most beautiful campus, our dreams were to become Vice Chancellors, Professors, Doctors, Lawyers, Pharmacists, Architects, Scientists or literati like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. Not anymore.”
“The kids of nowadays prefer to be rappers and singers of profanities and music without lyrics. Being a professor is no longer seen as a monumental achievement. What is spectacular is how many fans are downloading your songs on Apple Store and so on. We use to drop the names of accomplished authors we have read to impress the ladies. These days, you have to impress with the whiff of money in your pocket or the fame or notoriety of being a performing artiste.”
“Who cares if you are a stark illiterate who has never read any book, we are in the age of ignorance and the era of pay as you go. In our time, you had to combine education with whatever you wanted to do or become.” He explained.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Editor-In-Chief, Gaskia Media Limited, Mr. Dare Babarinsa explained that the book is aimed at filling the conspicuous vacuum in the nation’s history as the era of oral history had far gone.
He also observed that reading habits in Nigeria is declining in a geometric progression, adding that most newspapers and magazines in the country are circulating fewer copies of their publication compared to the past due to progressive drop in the culture of reading in the nation.
Babarinsa however challenged media owners to look inward with the view to reversing the ugly trend.
On his part, the former President, Chief Olusegu Obasajor represented by Prince Julius Adewusi described the book as a gift to the younger generation Nigeria are continually becoming more and more ignorant about many subjects particularly history.