How Digital Technologies Reshaping Social Interactions, A Case of Tanzania.
By Joyce Samwel Msigwa.
Increasing use of digital technologies changes every sphere of our social life. The definition of society based on the physical border become obsolete. Platform people daily interact become social territories. Social media increasing to play a part in setting the social boundaries. In 2016 World Economic Forum publication’ If social networks were countries, which would they be? Facebook ranked as the most populous nation on earth. The platform’s rules and regulations dictate social interactions.
In the digital society, people put society’s boundaries based on how one interact and identify with one another in digital life. In Tanzania, for example, it’s becoming common for people to question the belonging of other users who perceived lacking the network character. On twitter social networking platform, tweets like, ‘huyu sio wa twitter” ‘hizi post kaandike kule kwenu insta’ shows how people are defined and valued based on how they interact with the social platform.
In Tanzania, there are 23 million internet users and about 96% of the user access the internet through a mobile phone(Tanzania Telecom Statistics, June 2019). Desire to stay connected in the social world influence the majority to buy a smartphone. In Tanzania, the cheapest smartphone cost 18USD. Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are the most popular social platform people daily interact (StatCounter).
In Tanzania, social interactions being work, business, relationship or family increasing to shift from physical interaction to digital more than ever. People regularly interact with each other via social media groups than in person. These trends on digital social interaction are increasingly pushing the government and corporate officials to join the digital social networks to connect with people they serve.
Digital citizens form their way of interacting, establishing relationships and responding to social needs and concerns. In the digital society, individual thinking and needs are more important than it’s ever been. Real Individuals and bots’ attitude and preference influence the social behaviour of the digital and non-digital community.
Increase of digital interaction requires both public, private and development sector leaders to rethink how they engage with the community. This brings about an emphasis on digital leadership. Digital Leaders will have to find ways to lead from outside-inside. The Digital Leaders have to understand it is not the newly introduced technology that matter, but it’s people’s perception of the technology. For digital leaders to become more responsive, they should make an effort to continuously understand and stay updated on digital life.
Deep understanding of digital life will help digital leaders in emerging modern societies such as Tanzania to develop effective communication and engagement strategies. Leaders need to learn the language of who they serve. This will help them to be close and form attachments with the people they serve.
To help digital leaders to be aware of the way digital population think, feel and behave; at Meltores professionals we are dedicated to providing timely insights into the influence of digital technologies on modern societies.
Leverage on social behavioural and design thinking approaches we set ourselves accountable supporting digital leaders make better decisions to cope with current and future challenges.
Joyce Samwel Msigwa is a Senior Researcher at Meltores Professional. Meltores Professional| We’re a group of professionals dedicated to transforming what we know into impact. Based on evidence and research, we help leaders from all spheres to have a deep understanding of people they serve, identify opportunities, build service that matter, manage relationships, and demonstrate their results.