The social media is rocking and it has proved to be way above all other media combined. Its power, style, speed of news delivery and its followers is what makes it different from others.
Undoubtedly, it is the most powerful and fastest media of communication than any other media of our times.
Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Skype and WhatsApp to mention but a few have revolutionised the way we receive, conceptualize and disseminate news and information across the globe.
It has turned the global village into a mere ‘house hold’ unit! Those using smartphones get to know, for instance, what the most powerful man has done or intends to do at a flip of an eyebrow! Such is the power of androids and window phones.
Although it presents information and news in a short form, most people prefer it that way because they know where to look for more details.
Again this is what makes the traditional media and in particular the print media survive the storm.
In recent years, we have witnessed a mushrooming of supposedly political networks which usually works at the background to support what the government is doing or provide a new thinking of what should have been done.
Here at home at least two social networks are at forefront. A so called “MATAGA” which is an acronym for “Make Tanzania Great Again” provides a much needed support to the government by disseminating its best practices, shedding light on ongoing projects, packaging and political branding.
Those working at the background are doing a lot of work in a systematic and strategic manner. They deserve accolades and attention of those they serve and/or present.
On the other hand there is another social network whose objective is to provide checks and balances on what is being reported or disseminated by MATAGA and its supporters.
The network is sanctified “ARITAS” which is an acronym for “Alliance for the Rebirth of an Independent Tanzanian Spirit.”
Interestingly, the two networks do not operate independent of the other. They usually operate within the same forum with those working at the background organizing their supporters in order to win the neutral hearts in the group.
Of the two groups, MATAGA seems to be more organized, connected and perhaps determined to push their political agenda forward.
Individual members supporting ARITAS do so on their own will and usually reacting or responding to threads that seem to be ‘politically driven’ compared to what is on the ground.
They usually make their arguments based on facts, scientific data and the environment under which they operate.
Over and above, the two opposing networks or movements if you like not only provide a healthy atmosphere for debates and discussion on various issues of concern but also draw members and their political affiliation and aspirations.
Poignantly, for reasons only known by those leading the networks, they all have American historical roots.
MATAGA is a replica of a political catch phrase or motto “Make America Great Again” whereas ARITAS draws its roots from an American movement that was campaigning for a President who is committed himself to people by giving them the tools to make the most of their own lives.
Their campaign finally brought President Franklin D. Roosevelt into power (1933-1945). Unlike in the traditional media,the social media participants are free to air their views, opinions and or perspectives without thinking much of a gatekeeper.
They only think of their target audience. They, however, do so-consciously of existing laws of the land and receivers.
As we are all aware freedom of expression, speech and association and/or assembly is everyone’s cardinal right.
Put it simply, it is a basic right to every citizen who respects the freedom of others and observes the laws of the land.
Thus a MATAGA affiliate would agree with ARITAS affiliate that freedom of assembly which is sometimes used interchangeably with the freedom of association, as the individual right or ability of people to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend their ideas.
And that the right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, a political right and a civil liberty.
Interestingly, they will agree on all these aspects but will differ on how these freedoms and rights are being exercised and regulated.
The likes of MATAGA and ARITAS networks are many in our everyday interaction and engagement.
Worth noting, such networks generate healthier discussions and offer alternatives and new thinking in our everyday lives.
We should therefore encourage and nurture such networks for our own good and the generation to come.
Have a great Saturday Comrades!