Social Media: A Possible New Migration Channel?

Information, technology, internet, factors or instruments of globalization, have all made communications simple worldwide.

Who can speak of globalization and keep silent about migration? People have been moving for times, but the flow became more significant from the last century.Social-Media

Reasons as well as channels are different and they evolve day after day. Now that people can communicate easily, social media is helping some of them to build networks that help them in the whole process.

This is the story of “John,” a man who has chosen to take on an alias for safety reasons.

Chatting on Facebook with his brother in Uganda, he accepted to switch him off and talk to us to tell his migration story:

The strong idea to leave my country was boosted by the name of an early classmate whom I had no whereabouts for quite a long time. As I sometimes had access to internet, I randomly searched on Facebook to see if I could hear from him.

I came across an account with his name, Alareny Okello, Ugandan, 35 years old, though no profile picture, the rest of ‘about’ him was not different from my former classmate’s identification. Even better, he went to the same school. That is why I sent him a friend request which he accepted, and our communication started. 

After a short conversation, we both noticed that we didn’t know each other. Actually I was wrong, the person was not the Alareny Okello I used to know, they only had a similar full name.

However, we decided to continue chatting! Why not? It was a heavenly luck that we got in touch. He suggested I would be giving him the homeland news. We became so close that he even sent me to visit his mother who was seriously sick. This assured me that my friend is not a ghost.

I asked him about how to get to the U.S., and he put me in contact with a smuggler who helped me come here. Okello received me and helped me get information about the integration process, and here I am, already 10 years in ‘States,’ as say my friends in Uganda.

Without social media, I am telling you I would not have got all the information that helped me get where I am now. Second, through social media I keep strong ties with my homeland. I can chat with them, even yesterday I saw my mother on Skype, I was very happy though I could not touch her.

John is one of a big number of people who managed to reach their migration terminus or who are still moving thanks to social media.

Yet not all of them have seen their dreams come true, since these networks are also full of fraudsters, hence risky.

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