I still remember that, between the year of 2004 and 2011, in Cameroon, the country I grew up in, many people owned a cell phone. Not to be on social media, but just to exchange by calling each other, to check on each other, and to share information concerning family and friends. It is true that Internet at that period wasn’t that important and didn’t attract people’s attention like it does now. Consequently, social media didn’t have a huge impact in Cameroon. Only a few people were interested in knowing what new technologies were about? What was going on in the rest of the world? It seemed like people were only satisfied with the televised news from their locality.
For those who wanted to be more informed about what was happening in the rest of the world, or for students with homework requiring researches, they had to go in the Internet public store called ‘’Cyber Café ’’ to learn about news, culture, politics, technology, society, lifestyle, fashion, science…
When Facebook started being popular for Cameroonians in 2012, especially for teenagers and young adults, the number of people using the Internet each day started to grow quickly. Facebook had been adopted rapidly because it fulfills a basic human desire that is to connect with family and friends. Also, on Facebook, news can spread easily. Thus, more vulnerable people to popular beliefs can be greatly affected by whatever information they see online. Facebook has become the first social media judged as reliable by many to get information. In one generation, we went from barely knowing what social media is 3/4 of population being connected every day.
Inspire: from Twitter and Tear Gas, Chapter 1, A Networked Public