Virtual Chat Groups in Nigeria and Relative Experiences of Inclusiveness’ Codes of Conduct



Since pre-historic times, interaction has remained fundamental to all forms of development. Therefore humans have often strived to enhance and sustain interaction. For instance, via varying forms or spheres of group interactions, nation-states such as Nigeria have sustained relative socio and civic coherence. Nevertheless, there has been increasing sensitivity towards diversities, diversifications, and restructuring. Seemingly, civil order and parity in Nigeria are most recently questioned and or threatened. The Nigerian government is even tinkering with the situation by suggesting censorship of social media in particular and increased regulation of group interactions via digital information communication technologies in general. However, with one of the highest digital mobile-telecommunications and internet penetrations in Africa, Nigerians have continued to form virtual chat-groups on Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram among other social media applications. Without belittling the suspicion of the Nigerian government that these social media have enhanced acrimony amongst Nigerians, this research rather investigates the extent and how some virtual social media chat groups in Nigeria have been able to ensure togetherness. While it is not difficult to imagine that some Nigerian based virtual chat-groups made up of Nigerians may have huge diversities, this research hopes to probe how inclusiveness’ codes of conduct are set, managed and encouraged. Understandably, inclusiveness’ codes of conduct are not just meant for managing default demographic human interaction differences but are also used in the management of psychographic and general perspectives to life. Framed around the uses and gratification theory, social inclusion hypothesis, as well as utilitarian theory of ethics, this paper postulates that contemporary digital interactions [such as virtual chat-groups in Nigeria] are necessary but can only be profitably managed through projected gratifications, stated rules of inclusiveness, and predictable utilization of clearly stated codes of conduct. The research will, therefore, adopt focus group discussions and quantitative surveys in order to understand codes of conduct processes and experiences of Nigerian virtual chat-groups. The ethos of various virtual chat-group engagements and relative inclusiveness across diversities and distances remains to be empirically appreciated.

Keywords: Virtual Communities, Chat-Groups; Digital Inclusiveness; Digital Conduct