October 9, 2013

Social Media and its Pitfalls

I am putting in this quote late, probably everyone has read this already...but better late than never

“You used to be much more..."muchier." You've lost your muchness.” 
Alice in Wonderland

It has been a while since I ranted on here.

This has been a long time coming... Y'all have had it coming.

And feel free to tell me I am pot calling kettle black...

Like everything we lay our hands, Nigerians tend to take something that was meant for good use and find a way to make bad use of it. Social media, Twitter specifically has not escaped our leprous fingers.

From ordinary people pretending to be all that they are not
From uncrowned princes crowing in their pajamas about lives lived in their castles
From unknighted preachers telling you what to do and how to do it and failing everyday to swallow their own medicine...
From writers with no shame pining for votes

The list is long and boring.

I stumbled upon a blog recently and I was so enamored by the writer. This was the real deal-tackling real issues and sharing experiences. And then Twitter got ahold of the blogger. Today, said blogger has become a Twitter celebrity. I resisted the temptation of following for a few weeks and then I did. It took a few weeks for me to retrace my steps.

Why do we need validation? Why do we crave love from people we might never meet? Why are we so hungry for things what isn't ours in the first place? And in so doing, we soon loose the essence of what it was all about in the first place.

Today, very few real people blog anymore. What we have now are preachers who have never been to Bible School, writers for whom writing is all about gaining popularity, relationship experts who wouldn't know real love if it slapped them in the face...Name it, we've got it!

And I will be the first to say I am guilty. I can smell crap on myself too.

Even on here, i find myself writing stories i know people will like, stories that are not me and ring hollow, just because I want people to say 'oh you are a great writer.'

But I AM a great writer. I am validated in myself and the feeling I get when I read my own work. I don't need anyone else to tell me this. (Feel free to tell me though. :) )

This weekend some guy copied me on his 'Letters to my Daughter' or something like that. I read it and all i could think is 'what an insult?" to fathers everywhere. I asked the said dude if he was a dad, if he knew what it was to birth a child and watch that child grow away from you and you can do nothing about it? if he knew that fathers went to bed sometimes crying for their children? If he knew that fatherhood meant fear and courage at the same time? (i dont know all these things either -lol)

Guess what, dude has no child. And yet he writes "letters to his daughters". These letters, according to him are based on his experience as a relationship coach. I swallowed my next question but i am sure you can guess it.   

I am so tired of the rubbish I read on blogs these days.I am so tired of people telling me to hold my tongue and not say anything. I am so tired of conforming. Why can't we stop for a moment, breathe and ask ourselves why? Why am I doing this? Is it for the praises or because I will get no sleep if i don't type out the words burning in my heart? Is it because I bear a  burden for the unsaved or because I want to be called a 'man of God' or whatever titles people use now? Is it because I love my neighbor or because I love myself and the sound of my own voice? is it because I love what I do or because you love it?

I am a great girlfriend, an amazing sister, a loving daughter, a friend that sticks closer than a sister, a smart business woman, an evolving great writer (lol), a Child of God. I do not need anyone's validation of any of these facts. It is like asking for validation from the next person on my skin color. Don't I know I am black? Don't I know who I am? Why am I waiting on your approval to go ahead and be me? Why won't I stop, breathe and just do me and let you jump into the Thames if you don't like it? Why do I open myself for definition from people who wouldn't know where to start, from people who have no sense of worth, from people who go along with the crowd always?

I am Kiah.
I am a Season's beginning
I am a lover
I am a warrior
I am more than what you say I am
Who are you?

This one is for all the amazing bloggers who have kinda let the mediocre ones take over. Come back! Yeah, you, T.Notes, to start with. Then maybe we can Muse to come back too. Stay away from Twitter though- there are Mad Hatters thereon.

Song of the day:  Jewel - Hands


  1. lol I am Beautiful and I don't tweet :)
    I miss T.Note's updates.

    1. there are so many amazing bloggers that i miss...i don't even know where to start in counting them.

      And yes, You Are BEAUTIFUL!

  2. lol I am Beautiful and I don't tweet :)
    I miss T.Note's updates.

  3. Thanks for this rant dear. Very timely reminder to me to check my motives lest I become someone I do not recognise simply to win commendation and following. So what if some people don't share my opinion? Shall I not remain true to who I am? thanks dear, this was a timely warning and I truly appreciate it. Self diagnosis kicked in as i read. True beauty is in being true to who i am and expressing my thoughts even if no one RT's or comments. That is the woman even God expects me to be. Unmoved by the court of public opinion.
    Thank you for ranting.

    1. no one has ever thanked me for ranting...lol.

      thanks for reading. :)

  4. Hmmm. I was wondering who the blogger was when I read it. I know it's not hubs and me cuz we're NOT celebrities! Either way, I agree with Eloxie. It's very important to write for what you want to write for.

    I had a hard time dealing with twitter snobbery and tomfoolery and all at first but over all, I'm glad we joined because we "met" a lot of cool writers and "tweeps" that way. I've never met Eloxie in person, but I like what she has to say. I don't ever have to meet her to like her words. I've never met you, but I read your blog because I like what you have to say. Even if you never follow me on twitter, I'll still read it!

    It also gave me a chance to actually talk to bloggers that I'd long admired from afar in a way that leaving comments couldn't offer.

    Social media has also kept me in the "know". I hate watching the news and prefer to just read my books, but twitter has forced me to take my head out of my own bum for once. I get to see human reactions live and instantly, when things happen. While twitter does get very ridiculous very fast (e.g. someone accused us of being an elaborate trick), and I'm very tempted to get caught up , hubby always reminds me to keep it at a distance. It doesn't matter whether people think we're real or not. We'll stay anonymous to protect what we have. We write for ourselves AND for those who care to join in our shenanigans. and that's ok! We'll write stories based on our truth because that's what we want to do. We don't expect any more from it or any less.

    Social media is only a reflection of what we do naturally as humans. We all seek commendation ( I had a convo with eloxie earlier about this) whether for our work, or our personalities. twitter and facebook just make that easier. All of us who blog, whether we want to admit it or not, do it because we want to share it with others. Otherwise, we'd just write in our diaries at home.

    It's great to break away from that need for commendation, but at the same time, it's natural to want to be recognized. I don't think we should condemn those who want it. We just need to walk a narrow line and make sure it doesn't become the end goal. For me, when i start feeling tempted to need recognition, I like to remind myself that the only commendation that matters is God's.

    Anyhoo. Let me stop ranting now. With that said. Kiah "Kindly follow back!" (just said that to annoy you ! )

    1. toh, this kind of long response...is someone's conscience pricking them?
      This is almost worthy of your own blog post na. Lol

      Yes, we need commendation from time to time but why throw away your values in seeking it. Why cut off your nose to spite your face? Like people who were not hugged as children and come to social media seeking 'likes, RTs, blog comments and views, and blablabla...

      Last I checked the best writers (and people?) aren't even on social media and the ones that are barely even use it. Shouldn't that tell us everything we need to know? They LIVE; while we pretend to LIVE from our keyboards.

      As for following back on Twitter, LOL. Didn't we try that already?

    2. hee hee nope! my conscience is clear! But i wanted to prick your own conscience after reading your TL thoroughly and putting 2 + 2 together ; - )

      girl my posts STAY long. Haven't you seen our site? 'tis our Modus Operandi.

      Some of the best writers aren't on social media true o...but some of the best writers HAVE been discovered through social media (not to mention the scores of talent out there that are just waiting jejely to be discovered). I can't blame any budding writer who's looking for encouragement. Especially someone who wants to write full time. Yes it may seem to you that they weren't hugged as kids...so give them a hug! Some people are from families or communities where creativity wasn't encouraged (especially in naija! where everyone's parents shout "read engineering or medicine! Which kind writing you wan do?"). Have you noticed how all the top creative people in Naija (musicians, interior decorators etc) were former lawyers or doctors? So Kiah abeg have some empathy o. When a budding writer asks for a vote or an RT, they might just be saying "hey, i'm finding it hard to be a writer, and i'm doubting whether it will work out for me. I just need some encouragement. Would you be willing to encourage me?"

      Even the non social media present writers, they still want people to buy their books, to review their books, to discuss their books, make movies or plays out of their books. They may not tweet, but they certainly use the internet to promote their work. I met Adichie once on a book tour, what's a book tour if not promotion for your work? Which publisher would print your book without promoting you? She herself may not tweet asking for RTs, but her agents will! Her publisher will! The director of the movie based on her book will!

      It's validation for their hard work. Well earned validation. Talent should be recognized. Even if that recognition is sought by the owner of the talent.

      Messages (if you think you're someone with a message) should be spread out to people. Kiah, even Jesus told his disciples to spread the gospel o. Why? Because he felt his message was real and shouldn't remain hidden. Yes Jesus didn't care what others thought of him, but Jesus still interacted with others and said what he wanted to say and asked us to spread his message.

      Life is meant to be lived. You're right. But I won't take away from anyone who "lives through their keyboard". I stay on my keyboard a lot because that's what my job entails (as most of us do). Through that keyboard, I've done some wonderful things for my clients. Made a lot of people happy. (Made a lot of people sad as well lol). I could say no more keyboards for me and run out of my office into the fresh air! But what would I find once I got outside? No one. No one is there to have a "real life" with! Everyone else is inside...on their keyboards.

      On another note...I'm curious. Why do you think seeking validation means throwing away values?

    3. Because when you seek validation from someone else except God , you are sayign to them 'what you think matters, i want to be what you wnat me to be'.

      on the asking for votes issue, by all means. ASK but do not GROVEL. Do not let the rest of us wince when we see you trolling our TLs and hounding people to vote for you like it is a 'do or die'. It is just like in elections-politicians ask for votes but the unscurpulous ones grovel, buy rice and oil and share.

      And conscience matters, hahaha, don't you know me well enough by now to know I have none of that? I do what needs to be done and look forward. :)

  5. I love Naijawife, not because I'm mentioned in her rant but because she speaks her mind. I love Kiah too for same reason.

    Thanks for this... 'It's great to break away from that need for commendation, but at the same time, it's natural to want to be recognized. I don't think we should condemn those who want it. We just need to walk a narrow line and make sure it doesn't become the end goal. For me, when i start feeling tempted to need recognition, I like to remind myself that the only commendation that matters is God's.'

    I totally agree, it's not entirely wrong but we must just ensure it doesn't become the end goal.
    Ha, ha, ha at Kiah, "kindly follow back!". I laugh in Mandarin.

    Take care Kiah and Naijawife, you ladies have made twitville fun for me. Muchos Gracias.

    1. you, my sister, are a treasure. you have made it more than fun; your tweets are insightful and make me think about the woman i want to be and should be. And i still chop cane for your hand once in a while but you also let me sulk and pout...what more can i ask for?

      Thank you

  6. Yes yes yes yessss Kiah!!!!!Ermmm, briefly abandoning the explicit imaginations that flashed through my mind at that fluttery of "yessss"! But I am entirely with you on this one!!!Like you took the words right out of my mind! I will return for proper commentary when I get hold of a keyboard! P.s I hadnt even read this before my last post. See how we are kindred spirits and should let this love happen!

  7. P.s you have also been guilty with all the short stories! We know you're a fab writer, so put aside the story line once in a while and give us a proper good blog post/rant like this! Love it! Haha

    1. hahaha...only you T.Notes, only you. Thank God you have stopped hibernating!

  8. Lol!kiah ti binu....I was like this about twitter and I get so upset at their sillyness but now I just observe and laugh. I can be a nuisance too(hehehe) I know but it isn't terrible.

    1. ah...you are too gbaski oh jare...i am still following you na. hehehe