Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: ICT Has Made Youths Lazy Toward Reading, Says Former Press Council Boss

Mr Bayo Atoyebi, former Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council, said on Friday that exposure to Information Communication Technology (ICT) had made youths lazy toward reading.

Atoyebi said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that it was a matter for concern that youths today, preferred to waste time on their cellphones rather than take their studies seriously.

"The effect of the ICT to Nigeria is that it has got our young ladies and boys always doing this by the side of the street, not concentrating and reading their books.

"If you ask them any question they will go and 'google' and look for the answer, they don't want to read.

"They live in the spur of the moment and life is not just that kind of surfing on the net, there is a lot more to it.

"Some of us think that buying the most expensive phones for our children we think we have arrived sometimes we are harming them because we distract them from concentrating.

"If a child gets too used to this ICT he will find it difficult to concentrate to even read, to pay attention to his academics because he will always find something, games to distract his attention."

Atoyebi said ICT was meant to enhance one's potential and productivity but not to make the user totally dependent on it.

"ICT technology is good, internet is good, the telephone is good but they have their bad sides.

"For a young child- a daughter or a boy who is growing who is under ten, his brain and other cells are gradually developing, constant use of cell phone radiation will get to him and it will affect him.

"In advanced countries now they advise their children to use text instead of using phone so that they limit the exposure they give to their children."

He advised journalists to use ICT with caution to avoid a situation where they would become guilty of going against press laws.

"As journalists we are trained on how to get information; verify the integrity and the veracity of that information before you publish.

"You don't have that kind on face-book; you don't have it on twitter; anybody can put a lie there and before you know it, it goes round the world.

"Although it enhances the work of journalists, the journalists still have to be very careful; the fact that information is on the face-book, twitter or the internet does not mean that it is correct.

"If you take it you can be a victim, you will be an accessory to probably an information that is either false and can be subject for defamation," he said.

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