It was an impossible task of sorts. I was mandated to write four articles within a few hours—and no, I wasn’t given topics—I had to come up with them. This meant developing a concept and conducting a fair bit of research before going ahead to put pen to paper. Already mentally tired and inundated with plenty of work, it seemed unfeasible to pull off. A colleague asked how I would go about it and the next words I spoke surprised even me. “I am the “baddest” and the best at this. I’ll find a way,” I said. It was a resolute, firm resolve, not a boastful one. But that statement was all the fuel and fire I needed to work my magic. I delivered before the deadline.
We couldn’t have been older than eight and eleven years old at the time; children who loved treats, just like any other kid. So when we laid eyes on them at the supermarket just outside our estate back gate, our eyes lit up and we chattered excitedly about how we would love to have…
I probably belong to a negligible number of people who believe in keeping things close to their chest until there’s some form of desirable result. Many would call someone like me secretive, and maybe they are right. In a world where it’s now the order of the day to put every minute detail of one’s life out there, people like me are dinosaurs. We are going extinct because that’s just not the way the world works right now. If you are living well and life’s treating you with the level of care newly married couples show each other, then, by Jove, why wouldn’t you want to share it with others? And if you are on the side of the divide where each day is drab, uninspiring or even tortuous, you should also put it out there too. You never know who can help.
We live in a time where everyone wants to be heard. Everybody is an expert at something and oftentimes, it’s the reason we have a cacophony of voices jostling to be heard. There are “Masterclasses” advertised on every other social media profile. The belief that the more knowledgeable one is, the greater respect they command may be true, but the flip side is a horde of humans who overestimate their grasp of a subject matter. People who think they and are convinced that because they have done something over time, they are masters at it. While this can be true, it is not necessarily always the case. You could have been doing something wrong for the ten years you have been an “expert” at it.
The hot topic in the last two weeks has been the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The tournament holds once in four years and it’s not surprising that it would take over the discourse space. Apart from the adrenalin-inducing effect the event has on football lovers all over the world, regular individuals are also sucked into the frenzy of the month-long competition. However uninterested they may be, they are not completely immune to the buzz and activities that come with the game. It’s practically impossible not to “stumble” into conversations or arguments or some good old banter relating to the event, let alone the adverts and constant updates in the traditional and online media.
The royal wedding lived up to the hype that preceded it. It was all we expected and more. Beyond the haute couture outfits, the array of celebrity guests dressed to the nines and all round pomp and pageantry, there were many highlights of the epoch-making event. And depending on who you were talking, to the star of the day could range from the Kingdom Choir, a group of 20 whose rendition of “Stand By Me” was anything but pedestrian to 19-year old Sheku Kanneh Mason’s graceful performance to Bishop Michael Curry’s unusual sermon.
Twitter might be the abode of witty comebacks and humour, and Instagram might have all the puff and fluff, but Facebook rules where the numbers are concerned. The leading social media platform combines an eclectic mix of fun and seriousness that is hard to find in other virtual communities. The proof is in the almost 2 billion active users it boasts of – far higher than the combined number of active users its rivals have. Facebook’s goal of connecting family and friends is the chief reason it remains the preferred platform for the majority. In these times where more people interact online than physically, it’s not unusual to have more virtual friends compared to “real” friends.
On Friday, the city of Lagos was on lockdown because of one wedding. The wedding of the daughter of the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote. I didn’t get the memo on time. Not until I visited social media and found that the first class wedding ceremony had not just been attended by the high and mighty of Nigeria’s corporate, social and political class, it also had in attendance one of the most famous people in the entire universe – Mr Bill Gates. And when the pictures taken at the event started to make the rounds on popular blogs and news sites, I fully understood why there was a huge buzz around the occasion.
Since social media became a phenomenon, people have explored it for various uses. In the virtual community, there are really no rules. Yes, even though most platforms provide the option of reporting toxic posts, more often than not, bad conduct goes unpunished. I am active on social media. I hardly have a choice because of the nature of my job which demands the use of the platform. However, even I am tempted to take a break from it sometimes. The reason – social media can be overwhelming. The cacophony of opinions, the controversies, dirty fights and fake life…it can all be a bit too much for a more introverted personality like mine.
At first, they were a tad too cheeky about it, and most of their customers weren’t particularly thrilled. Then, they did it right. Offered a simple, what-appeared-to-be-a-heartfelt-apology with a twist of genius copy; and since then, not only has their target audience become more accepting of their apology, they have further propagated the gospel of KFC by eulogising the brilliance of the ad.