I am intrigued by the rate at which bants on social media, especially Twitter, have tilted drastically towards sex, hustling and making money by whatever means possible, comparisons between artistes and footballers and advice for relationships and marriages. Do not even get me started on those who talk about marriage as if it is the ultimate life achievement and are quick to ‘advise’ single fellows to learn to respect them now that they have a coiled metal round their finger.
Some well meaning people have tried and are still trying to steer the discussion back to important things like the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Uganda, violence, rape and manhandling of protesters in Sudan, gay rights and laws and consequences of such, emigration rate of Nigerian doctors, importance of mental health and the likes. However, it is obvious that these other topics are avoided by the majority of social media users.
This avoidance is most likely not because of ignorance or lack of knowledge as being on Twitter alone is enough of information. So, maybe it is because the average person is clueless as to what he/she can actually do to, for instance, curb the spread of Ebola or save the lives of the infected in Uganda. The local man in Lagos battling to beat traffic and avoid SARStrouble would relate better with Perruzzi slapping Pamilerin than why the people in Sudan are going without much help and important organizations like the UN are pulling their staff out of the country. Giving relationship advice is easy as compared to engaging in discussions about balancing out the need for doctors to travel out and the need to sustain the little that is left of our health care system by staying back right here in our father land.
It is easy to encourage people to pursue better things and get involved but, think about what it takes to be able to tweet about more than, “o jewa ke eng”, “sco pa ta mana” and creating ‘catfish’ accounts.
Being busy with other life events. You really will not have the time, energy or resources.
Having an entirely different focus and calling. Until you mention something related to what they are focusing on, you cannot have their attention.
Aiming for certain achievements, employments and connections. For this, every word, action and reaction is closey guarded and filtered before being released into public space.
Knowing the wide scale impact of the other ‘serious’ stuff going on. For instance, having loved ones entangled in some ongoing crisis will automatically redirect your antenna towards the crisis and solutions, if any.
Maintaining an important profile and image. An important profile, built over years of painstaking work and sacrifice would mean too much to the individual to allow clout chasing and ‘harmless’ jokes bring an end to it.
Considering other lives as important as yours.
Service to others based on the gifts, opportunities and experience you have.
Now, nowhere above have I said these trends should be ignored. In all sincerity, you cannot even do that. The moment you refresh that page, these things are popping right at you. Some of them are extremely funny, some are annoying and irritating, others are alarming and shockingly true, while others, as it is said, are, “burnt dodo”.
Also, some of these things actually started out well. People had a platform to voice out their dire circumstances (sometimes untrue), fears, issues, concerns and have people reach out to them. Some possible suicides were prevented. Jobs were gotten. And some ladies were saved from marrying ‘community dogs’. Also, actual motives and behaviors of people (friends, family, colleagues) were revealed in their comments under some tweets. I am certain that many people in the past two to three months have had to weed out a lot of people from their friends list.
But of course, as with an excess of anything, things soon turned to jokes and unnecessary verbal-via-typing diarrhea cases.
Take for example the issue of rape and false rape that came up after famous footballer, Neymar’s case.
People brought forth strong points against rape being an issue of the victim, an upcoming lawyer took a public stance to stake her career against false rape accusations and largely, potential rapists were discreetly noted by people. Don’t ask me how.
Somehow though, the topic has dwindled into something very silly as the latest I saw today was of a male twitter looking for males to rape and thinking it funny enough to be posted at all. This was regardless of the number of men who had come out to share their heart breaking experiences of being raped by family members, babysitters and so on.
Really, I think there should be a panel or body of some sort that can draw a line over some trends, bants and hashtags once their usefulness starts depreciating remarkably. Some would argue that certain things will not come to light if not under those hashtags. I will argue though that pertinent issues can always be better presented and delineated from other things that are mere forms of entertainment.
We keep asking God to help us… To safe us, but, we are not helping ourselves.
We have the opportunity to write and tag important authorities and bodies concerning societal issues but we do not.
We have the opportunity to hold public figures responsible for their actions the little way we can, but we do not.
We have the opportunity to make connections, build networks and get moving with life goals but we would rather leave our number of followers as just that; a number.
We would say O Jewa Safe Us many times but salvation may eventuarry just be for vanishing because, you see, most of us, “we dunno, we dunno waiz going on”. We are just gogongos; following the crowd just for follow backs.
PS: WordPress reminded me of something today: