Yeah, it is that time of the year when

Professor Monica Swahn graces us with her presence and that of the team she travels with from the Georgia State University

As part of a study group in Uganda

Just like in 2018, the offer came up from Professor Swahn

To interact with the team from Georgia State University in the USA on the 24th of May 2019

About alcoholism, it’s prevention and social media in general terms

This was going to be a whole day of learning and interacting….more of like what you can call a symposium

Boy oh boy, I was excited

New day, new opportunity, a chance to make new friends and mostly, to learn something new in the field of alcohol and public health

Now, if you have followed me for a while now, you well know that anything to do with alcohol and social media always has my attention

Not only because of my past but also because of where I foresee my country, community and the world in general

It is very painful to see what so many are going through

And on other occasions, we just have to be grateful for what we have lest it is all taken away from us

So then, on the D-day, we rolled it off with a lunch-date at Café Javas made of the team from Georgia State University, the select-team at Makerere University School of Public Health that delivered in their submissions and other friends of course, where I lie.

If you happen to visit Uganda, please do make it a must to visit Café Javas. There is an experience I wish for you to see, feel and live

I love my food and couldn’t definitely pass up on this moment to devour my favourite friend, the trio aka tender chicken served with fries, vegetables, a bowl-size of white rice, tomato and onion salad as well as a Sprite!

Back on our bus, we headed to Makerere School of Public Health….or what many love to call MAKSpH

It’s a thing, I guess

 

On the day’s program, I was the very last presenter of the day

Before I stepped on the floor, Dr. Rukundo and Dr. Bbosa had delivered their submissions on “Exploring Alcohol Consumption and Injury among Boda Boda youth motorcyclists in Kampala, Uganda” and “Tools for Screening Alcoholic Beverages Abuse among Exposed Individuals” respectively.

My turn now….to be honest, I had a struggle deciding on what to speak about….statistics, general information, the technical bits surrounding social media or simply subjective data

At lunch, I made up my mind to go with subjective data

In my experience, it never goes wrong

Always speaking from the truth with the best of intentions at heart

My first question was a very simple one

Look at the sheet of paper you have with you. What do you see?

I could see so many eyes looking sideways at me

With so many question-marks on them like….dude, what you doing?

Hihi….things with me are always that easy! Simplicity is beauty.

There were a number of responses I got including the day’s program, a paper with many words written on it, lunch-time, the way how the day’s events were arranged

But guess what, that wasn’t my major focus…

I gave out a clue…. “Middle column, when you look at it what do you notice there?”

Then, finally many of them got it.

The writing style

Simplicity of the language used!

If you are ever going to pass on information to anybody on social media, you surely want them to understand in an instant without having to flinch sideways for a second glance at what you are saying.

Write or say what you want in the simplest of language(s)

Do away with the big words or terms or abbreviations as much as possible

At the end of the day, we need the poorest language speaker to understand a little of what you are saying!

Next up was putting the word out there itself

I used Dr. Bbosa’s example….he had a very rich presentation, full of information many of us that are not heavily invested in public health know about

Which means, we do need to know about this

For our consumption and use

But the issue is that, this nature of information is not out there and what is out there often in time gets very complicated to read and comprehend if you ain’t in that circle, if you know what I mean

We can all agree science is tedious to break down for any common person without losing the gist of it but hey, we have to try

Otherwise, all that information we have is for our personal use only and not beneficial to the rest of us!

The people in the business of advertising and selling alcohol aren’t resting easy…they have gotten more creative and craftier with their trade, they are everywhere on socio, they are aggressive as they come….so, why can’t we do the same or even more?

They got their money and ambition, we have got our science and passion. Let’s do this!

Onto the best part, how do we make use of social media to achieve goal 2 that we discussed previously?

First of all, ask yourself why you need to join and use social media

Secondly, ask yourself if you actually know how to use it

Thirdly, identify the platform or platforms you will need to achieve this

Next, join the platforms or platform you have selected out

Start pushing and pumping out your content. The world desperately needs it but is not adequately aware of it!

I even offered assistance to anyone in that room that needed help with any of those 5 critical steps of the social media use journey.

As it stands now, I have received one hit on that front….Dr. Rukundo got in touch with me recently on Facebook and we are getting there!

I look forward to interacting with the rest of you all.

Great food, great company, great talk!