Africans Start to Hashtag and Google Yourselves
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
Educational Technology and Social Media
The elevation of Africans having access to the
Internet is increasing the digital footprint of
those denied access to information for years.
Internet access supplied by providers is allowing
people in cities, villages and towns unprecedented
access to information.
Africans are embracing their Afrinerdiness
(African Nerds) that encourages global collaboration,
cross cultural connections, access to entertainment
media, and educational resources never seen before.
There is so much digital eye candy that African teens
and young adults need to be cautious of the glitz and
glamour of global content.
As Africans grow in engagement, their words
will have new meaning in the global context of their
digital content that will expand. The perceptions
they create will define them, the digital ether can
quickly and unmercifully absorb the
attentions of Africans and present a unfathomable
world of cultural.
Googling will have a new meaning for Africans,
their created content is fresh, unfiltered by world
exposure and lack of Internet etiquette and guidelines
in some cases. African children are in many ways no
different than European, Asian or American, many
want their content to go viral, with the potential of
making them instant superstars and celebrities.
African parents like others from around the world
must be very cautious of their children’s access to
online content because it can literally be addicting
and life changing. Unfiltered access to the Internet
in some cases may be a Pandora box because African
children like those of other nations may not
inappropriate content being created and read
For African parents to keep up with their children
they should Hashtag and Google their children
regularly. To digitally follow them, not stalk but
check to make sure they are not being lead or
drawn into dangerous digital territories.
African parents must be educated on setting
boundaries for their families in the absence of
local, national and continental laws safeguarding
children from predators, stalkers, scammers and
even terrorists. As a professor teaching
Educational Technology and Social Media safety
in higher education, youth, teens and even
young adults do not understand the dangers of
posting to much information online about
themselves, their families and even their
ideologies related to religion, sex and education.
There are still parts of Africa that are not and
may not embrace the ideas of freedom of speech,
and open society to information and even the
freedom of girls and women accessing
educational resources. Educational institutions
across Africa are going to have to develop
policies and procedures to make sure all
students no matter their religious background,
cultural upbringing, economic status, political
status and even mobility will have to have
equitable access and support.
As a parent of two I demand equal educational
resources for my daughter like my son. My
daughters value is just as important as my son
from elementary to university levels.
As an educator I have equal expectations of success
for my male and females students. My educational
diversity is that I teach on the elementary and
college levels and see all sides of educational
success and the results of educational failure by
lack of involvement by parents.
The development of policies, procedures and
practices cannot be made by one entity, it must
be inclusive of Internet Service Providers,
educational institutions, departments of
government and even involve African parental
groups because they are the grassroots of
addressing issues and concerns.
There must be further opportunities to teach
parents about the online world so they can monitor
their children through Googling and Hashtags.
Many in government and business are of the
opinion that it is too early to address these issues,
I say there is not a level to early to empower parents
to teach their kids and to be cautious and aware
of their safety.
Just as in the United States, I travel to teach
parents about Social Media Safety, Etiquette,
prevention of cyberbullying, cyberstalking,
Sexting and other online activities are creating
social issues that have direct influence in the
social and educational order for families.
For too long Europeans have tried to determine
what is best for African people without asking
them, Internet access creates a platform where
education is for everyone – equally.
The power of Google searches, Hashtags,
Branding, Marketing, collaboration and even
association has a powerful place in global
communities. African parents learn to
Google their children,and Hashtag them.
Part II Suggestions for African Parents
When Monitoring Their Children Online
The Africa the media never shows
Blogging about Africa