The Ghanaian Social Media Space: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

As of January 2022, Ghana had registered 8.8 million social media users. This was an increase from 8.2 million in the preceding year. In February 2022, there were an estimated number of 8.6 million Facebook users. This however did not exceed the share of Whatsapp users which reached 89.9 of all internet users.

The number of internet users in Ghana reached a total of 15.7 million in January 2021. This represented a penetration rate of 50% meaning that around half of the population had internet access as of 2022. (, 2022)

The term social media refers to a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through virtual networks and communities. Social media is internet-based and gives users quick electronic communication of content, such as personal information, documents, videos, and photos. Users engage with social media via web-based software or applications. (Dollarhide M. 2021)

The Ghanaian Social media space, as an extension of the physical society we live in, has its Good, Bad, and Ugly features driven by faceless and known angels and bullies, who deliberately in one way or the other succeed in making and unmaking other harmless users. Ghanaian internet users can be found and popular on some of the largest social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and currently TikTok.

The Good

The COVID-19 pandemic and its lockdown effects according to,  brought about a new wave of social media usage; seeing users increase from 6 million in 2022 to 8.2 million in 2021. The Ghanaian space saw the birth of new YouTubers with great content on how to manage one’s self in the covid times and more comedy skits.

We have gotten to a point where the Ghana Police Service responds to the calls of citizens to clamp down on deviants and criminals who show off firearms on Social media sites. The Ghana Police service has, from the days of the pandemic brought policing to the doorsteps of the citizens via social media.

The same can be said of the Ghana Prisons Service, Fire, and Immigration service which has decided to use social media as a sensitization tool to enlighten stakeholders on their programs and policies. 

Finding missing children or adults has become much easier with social media in Ghana than before. All that one has to do is to share the pictures of the missing person on any of the platforms and friends or not will share till someone sees and do the needful. 

The educational sector and corporate working class have also come to enjoy the usefulness of Zoom cloud, Skype, and other meeting apps; especially saving them logistical expenses and traveling risks among others.

The Bad

There is no way we can have a clean sheet of social media space devoid of miscreants and abusers. As the users increase, so will there be bad nuts that will make the space uncomfortable for the genuine ones who tend to mind their own business. We have scammers who have succeeded in defrauding unsuspecting victims of huge sums of money through dubious businesses, lottery, and travel connections. 

Relationships are hitting the rocks due to some partners’ addiction to social media. Whenever the everyday attention given to social media surpasses that of what is given to a partner, it leads to friction which eventually brings about separations. Partners who have trust issues sneak or stalk the social media apps of their partners for possible hints of unfaithfulness and use them against them.

Social media increases unnecessary cravings for attention. We now have Tik- content creators who do just anything to get the trends, likes, and views. Popular comic actor, Salinko, in a stage play recently slapped colleague actor Mmebusem, more than the required stated in their script, and when he got interviewed after the fiasco on set, he mentioned that he wanted their Play to trend!

For the trends and popularity, A Nigerian amateur social media user who tried to do the Black Sherrif‘s Kweku the Traveler under water skit got severe burns because instead of water, he went on to use petrol. Low Views, Shares, and Likes can get a user worried because he or she couldn’t meet an ambitious expectation.

The Ugly

Most of these users of social media in Ghana have thrown our culture of respect for the elderly to the dogs and with a little data bundle of GHC 3.00 we get internet bullies who come to insult personalities, ranging from the Clergy, Academia, Politicians, Security Capos, etc; people they wouldn’t bypass without greeting in real life or the virtual space.

Cyberbullying, one of the killer punches on the social media streets has made some users coil back, looked down upon them and others wish they never lived. Recently, Bishop Dag Heward Mills was hit by the sudden demise of his 31-year-old doctor son and all that some social media users could do was ridicule him by asking why he couldn’t pray to God to save his son! Very inhumane 

Citi TV’s Nathan Quao had his newly wedded wife body-shamed by one known Twitter user; Bongo Ideas. People are just bent on using family networking apps to ruin the lives of others. May the positives reign.

The writer is a Lance Corporal with the Manhyia Local Prison


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