The Impact of Social Media on Livelihoods in Malawi

Social Media

Social media platforms have significantly impacted the lives of people in Malawi, transforming the way they interact, work, and engage with the world.

According to DataReportal, as of early 2023, Malawi boasts 5.04 million internet users, representing 24.4% of the total population, with approximately 783,800 people actively engaged on platforms like Facebook, X, and Instagram.

This has spurred students, businesspeople, companies, and stakeholders to embrace the change and actively engage on social media, as communication becomes increasingly easier.

Pythagoras Kaombe, a resident of Blantyre, stated that social media has made it easy for people to access trending news and music.

“Social media has filled the gap left by traditional news media, allowing people to stay informed about small but important details,” he said.

“However, some people prefer social media over face-to-face interactions, which can be a problem,” he added.

Lincy Nkhambule, a student at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences, pointed out that social media has created opportunities for small businesses to advertise their brands and reach new markets.

She emphasized that social media has also brought challenges like cyberbullying, which causes emotional distress.

Wycliffe Makupete from Zomba Theological University Campus expressed concerns that social media has changed Malawian culture, allowing foreign customs to overshadow traditional norms and values.

“This is a loss for our culture,” he said.

Blessings Nekhantani Chunga, owner of Achunga Car Dealing Services in Lilongwe, observed that people in developed countries use digital platforms to conduct business, and Malawians are slowly adopting this approach.

However, he expressed concern about people misusing smartphones to advertise businesses using other people’s photos, which can give the idea of scamming.


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