Counselling directorates in high schools and universities have been urged to step up campaigns in guiding students involved in romantic relationships.
A lecturer at the University of Media, Arts and Communications (UniMAC) – Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) , Dr Paul Herzuah, who gave the advice, said that was because most students were deeply involved in intimate relations on campus, with most of them enduring toxic relations.
“Out of 250 respondents, the saved contacts of 88 per cent (220) indicated ‘loved’ relationships of varying forms: (intimate/romantic; family love; besties; special people), the saved contacts of 72 per cent (180) expressed intimate/romantic relationship and the saved contacts of 64 per cent (160) indicated toxic/sour relationships,” he explained.
Dr Herzuah said this yesterday during a presentation on the theme; “Address terms preferences of students in digitally-mediated communication environment in a Ghanaian university.”
It formed part of the institute’s eighth Inter-Faculty Research Seminar, organised by the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Development (DRID) in Accra.
The seminars provide an opportunity for frequent exchange on specific significant topics among academic staff of the faculties and students, as well as guests.
Dr Herzuah, who is a lecturer at the institute’s Faculty of Journalism and Media Studies, noted that the youth used online activities to introduce themselves to the world, get into contact with other users, share information and exhibit their thoughts around a particular incident, navigate risks and opportunities and offer mutual help and proffer solutions to problems.
In that vein, he said, online naming practices of students revealed deep emotions, both positive and negative and added that students expressed themselves freely with words online to indicate their emotions.
“Saved contacts of others suggests bitter/loved experiences of users because online naming practices of students reflect their experiences in life,” the UniMAC lecturer intimated.
Dr Herzuah said students/youth were skilled in negotiating the identity of their contacts and that the nature of saved contacts might influence the line of conversation with addresses on social media.
He, therefore, advised students to prioritise their academic life over relationships on campus since their over indulgence in campus intimate relationships might affect their academic performances.
In addition to offering counselling services to students who were victims of toxic relationships, Dr Herzuah equally urged parents to intensify their interest in the well-being of their children in high schools and tertiary institutions.