Teens Connect


By Nkechi Ibeneme; teensconnectmag@gmail.com; 08142358958 (text only)

From Me To You

The good, the Bad and the Ugly Sides of Social Media
The Social Media can be considered one of the best things that have happened to mankind this millennium. YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, WhatsApp et al, have completely changed the way information is disseminated and the way we live – some for good and some for bad.
Social Media has made it possible for people to turn instant celebrities, the ones referred to as ‘social media celebrities’. For the ladies, all they need do is post provocative images of themselves all the time to attract tons of likes and hearts. With these, their following increases and they turn instant celebrities, which sometimes translate into monetary values. Thus, the scramble for attention and popularity, has led many, especially ladies, into a frenzy of twisted personal branding, with sexualisation as the ‘pass code’.
We cannot doubt the fact that social media has its good side, but on the flip of that, are: the bad, the ugly and the outright fatal sides to this magical communication platform.
Addiction is not just about drugs, social media addiction has become prevalent among young people. It is reported that in America, children as young as 13 are being treated for digital technology addiction. The case is not different in Britain and other developed societies where early access to smart gadgets and availability of free wifi, have made it widespread.
Richard Graham is a consultant psychiatrist at the private London mental health hospital the Nightingale Hospital, where he runs a specialist technology addiction clinic.
According to a report on independent.co.uk, he told Metro what parents should look out for to know if their child is at risk of smartphone addiction: “Is their device use disturbing activities?” he said. “Is it stopping them from going to school, or engaging in other activities such as having dinner with the family? When someone seems absolutely not able to stop, they’re losing control”.
Dr Graham said parents should lead by example and limit their own use of mobile devices, and plan designated tech-free family time. “Outdoor activities can be particularly beneficial to children who struggle to disconnect”, he added.
The social media language becomes a real issue when it interferes with people’s spoken and written delivery of the English language in formal settings. It is a testament to the negative effects of the social media, common among young people.
To remain ‘afloat’, people constantly stream their private lives on social media. And in a bid to impress, many do not know when to draw the line on personal information output. Thus, every movement, every success, every landmark and indeed, every family activity are put out for public consumption. Should caution be thrown to the dogs in our personal information sharing habits? This and more questions are seriously begging for answers.  One thing is clear though; the more the information put out, the more the risks of exposure to cyber bullies and dangerous predators. Cyber bullying has pushed many teenagers to untimely death. Not able to withstand the taunts, the victims go into depression and eventually commit suicide.  Although a sad narrative, the celebrated murder case of Cynthia Osokogu in 2012 is a perfect example of how online predators operate. She was lured from Abuja and killed in Lagos by predators she met online and trusted (Google her name to read the story in full). Many robbery and kidnap victims give themselves away to their attackers by sharing too much information of themselves on social media.
On social media, things are not always what they seem. Greater percentage of what you see is not what it is. Unfortunately, teenagers get easily swayed by the perceived ‘glamour’ and tend to copy the lifestyles on display.  This promotes nudity and other crazy trends.  Young people try to outdo one another in pulling dangerous stunts with selfie poses. Well, some succeed and become instant celebrities when the pictures go viral. But, some are not as lucky. The 19 year old whose picture appears above wasn’t lucky as he crashed to his death taking that selfie.

Brain teaser
Answer to Last Week’s Brain Teaser
Brain Teaser
If the first prisoner had seen two black hats on the other two prisoners, he would have know that he was wearing a white hat as there were only two black hats to begin with. As he didn’t know what color hat he had, this means the other two prisoners must either have been both wearing white hats or one wearing a white hat and the other a black one.
The second prisoner would know this once the first prisoner is unable to say what color his hat is, i.e. the second prisoner now knows that either both he and the blind prisoner are wearing white hats or one of them is wearing white and the other black. So if the blind prisoner was wearing a black hat, the second prisoner would know that he must be wearing a white hat.
As the second prisoner couldn’t work out what color of hat he was wearing, this told the blind prisoner that he must be wearing a white hat (if the blind prisoner was wearing a black hat, the second prisoner would have been able to deduce that he was wearing a white hat).
The question:
If you missed the question last week, here it is…
The Blind Prisoner
There were 3 prisoners in the King’s dungeon. Two of them had perfect vision but the third prisoner was completely blind.
One day the King gathered the prisoners together and said to them, “I have 5 hats. 2 of the hats are black and 3 are white. I will blindfold each of you and then put one of the hats on each of your heads. I will then put the remaining two hats in another room. Next, I will remove your blindfolds. At this point you may look at your fellow prisoners but may not speak to them. The person that can tell me the color of the hat on his head will go free. Do not insult me by guessing, however, for if you guess and are wrong, you shall be executed.”
The hats were then placed on the prisoners’ heads and the blindfolds were removed.
The King then spoke to the first prisoner, a fully sighted man. “What is the color of the hat on your head” The prisoner looked around carefully but finally, not wanting to risk death by guessing, said that he did not know.
The King then spoke to the second prisoner, the other fully sighted man. “What is the color of the hat on your head” This prisoner also looked carefully at the hats upon the heads of the other two prisoners, but finally admitted that he also did not know.
At this point the King turned and began to walk away, assuming that the third prisoner who was blind could not know possibly the answer to the riddle.
But then the blind man spoke. “Excuse me, my lord,” he said, “but I am certain my hat is white.”
Surprised, the King turned around. He saw that the blind man was correct and ordered him to be freed at once.
How did the blind prisoner know the color of his hat?

Star Teen
Meet the ‘Wonder’ Siblings of Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the 19 Year-old Cellist Who Performed at the Royal Wedding
At the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, a teenage Cellist gave a marveling performance of some classical numbers and made waves worldwide. 19 year old Sheku Kanneh -Mason performed alongside the Orchestra during the signing of the register by the couple.
A month before the wedding, Sheku gushed about how excited he was to perform at Harry and Markle’s wedding with this tweet, ‘I’m so excited and honoured to perform at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. I was bowled over when Ms Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes!!! What a privilege. I can’t wait!’
Last June, Prince Harry saw Sheku play at an event in London in support of the work of Antiguan charity the Halo Foundation.

Who is Sheku Kanneh-Mason?
Sheku resides in the United Kingdom and this year, his debut album, “Inspiration,” hit number 1 on the U.K. classical chart, according to his Twitter bio.He grew up one of seven children and is currently a full-time scholarship student at The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, according to his website. He began learning the cello when he was 6 years old. He was the first black winner of Britain’s Young Musician of the Year Award, which he won in 2016.
Interestingly, all six siblings of the prodigiously talented musician are of equal talent themselves.  Their mother, Kadie said of them when Sheku won the Britain’s Young Musician of the Year Award, ‘I don’t want to take away from Sheku’s achievement because I know how hard he worked for it, but it could really have been any one of them.’
Narrating how it all began, Stuart, dad and Kadie, mum, stated that they didn’t expect the outcome they are witnessing today, “We thought it would be nice if Isata, our eldest, played the piano,” their mother explains. They didn’t, however, expect Isata to be quite as talented as she was. Nor did they predict the impact she would have on her younger siblings. “When Isata was about eight, she got into the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music; that was a pivotal moment,” their father recalls. Since then, Isata has continued to pave the way for her younger siblings.
Today, all seven Kanneh-Mason siblings are accomplished musicians in their own right.
Sheku’s mother, Kadie is of Sierra Leonean origin. His father, Stuart is from the Caribbean Island of Antigua.

Meet The Kanneh – Mason Wonder Siblings
All seven brothers and sisters play instruments – most to grade eight level:
The eldest, 21-year-old Isata, is a pianist and former Young Musician finalist herself. She plays violin and viola to Grade 8 standard. In two of her Grade 8 exams she achieved the highest marks in the country.
Braimah, 20, is a violinist who achieved his Grade 8 by the age of 12.
Then comes Sheku, 19, who first picked up a cello aged six and had his Grade 8 by the age of nine, again with the highest marks in the country.
Konya, 17, got: Grade 8 in piano at 11, violin at 12 and several regional trophies.
Jeneba, 15, got Grade 8 at nine, with the highest marks in the area.
Aminata, 12, already has her Grade 8 in both violin and piano.
Then comes 8 year-old Mariatu, who is already following in the footsteps of her siblings.
So, is this the most talented family in Britain? It was a question asked in 2015 by Simon Cowell when the six eldest siblings appeared on Britain’s Got Talent (actually, he said they might be the most talented family in the world).
‘We never set out to produce an orchestra,’ says Stuart. ‘It came as a bit of a shock to us, too.’
Inevitably, the children are often called ‘prodigies’.  But their mother doesn’t agree completely with this. She insists that, while talented, their successes are down to ‘sheer hard work’. ‘Each practices for at least two hours a day, more if they are preparing for an exam or concert’. ‘This lot play like they breathe’ – she said.
The parents also deserve a trophy here. ‘There have been times, mostly when I’m up at 4.30am on a Saturday, when I do think “what on earth are we doing?”- Mum, Kadie admits.
From the beginning, they made a decision to be deeply involved with their children’s music, making sure at least one parent was in every audience.
‘Every penny of our money goes on music. We haven’t decorated for years, as you can see (the plaster is flaking off the walls); the tiles are coming off the roof. We never buy new clothes. I do the girls’ hair myself because it’s too expensive to take them to a salon. Our car is a wreck.’- says Kadie.
Sheku was only able to enter the Young Musician contest; it emerges, thanks to the kindness of a retired luthier (a maker of stringed instruments).
Frank White made an extraordinary loan — an entire package of instruments for the family, worth tens of thousands, including Sheku’s first full-sized cello.
‘This could not have happened without him,’ Kadie says. ‘What would we have done without him? What do other families do? I don’t know. One of Sheku’s strings can cost £80. A cello bow can be £2,000. Then there are the trains, the sheet music, the overnight stays.’
‘We could spend our money on a fancy car but we think this is more important. And even if none of them ends up becoming a professional musician, it will have been worth it.
‘Playing an instrument teaches them discipline, self-belief, the importance of hard work. It gives them confidence. As a parent, the joy is seeing them play together, or play on a stage. They blossom, and that confidence spills over into every part of their lives. I don’t think we will ever look back and say “that was money wasted”. – She concludes.

Source: mail online