The world was bright, beautiful and less burdensome when we didn’t have to prove anything to anyone, when we didn’t have to impress some followers and friends whom we may never meet till we leave this world, and when we didn’t have to participate in a race of reality with fake fighter jets.
The social media space has become an arsenal filled with weapons of mass distraction and a stage for fashion of oppression. What was meant to be a platform for self-expression has become a source of suppression, a dungeon of depression and an open field of oppression. Every selfie, story and snap seem to be an invitation for imitation and indignation.
Some years ago, I was a teacher in a girls-only senior secondary school and I made it a point of duty to spend the first five minutes of my lessons sharing inspirational messages with my students. On a wonderful Wednesday morning, I entered into a class to teach the topic ‘Budget’ and typical of me, I said
“Most of us use the money we don’t have to buy the things we don’t need in order to oppress those who do not even know we exist and also impress people who do not really like us while some of use the money we don’t have to organise flagrant feasts just to feed people who are not hungry”.
One of my students whose family was planning a wedding ceremony went home to share the latter part of that statement with her mother and that made her to decide not to run into any debt in a bid to cater for the guests. Interestingly enough, I attended the wedding ceremony and it was more than cool. However, if she had decided to borrow more money to prepare more pots of soup, ‘hungry’ guests will not mind having as many take-away packs as possible while she would have had to deal with debt after the ceremony.
One of my very good friends, Shirley Amos wrote, “You don’t owe anyone a success story”. I think we are better off being the best version of our true selves than to be the latest version of someone else. We don’t have to oppress ourselves just to impress people who will never get satisfied no matter how much we stretch ourselves to satisfy them. Sometimes, you don’t have to follow your mind, you need to lead your mind based on the principles of contentment and godly investment.
Welcome to the age of social media where you don’t need any leadership quality to have five million ‘followers’, and you don’t have to be friendly to have five thousand friends. What was meant to be a revolutionary innovation has become a delusionary innovation. Photoshop has ridiculed what is left of reality, it is now possible for someone who has never been to Dubai to post pictures of him/herself having fun at Burj Khalifa and shopping at the breath-taking malls in Dubai. There are a lots of untold stories behind those sights, sounds, glitz and glamour. Fake lifestyle and falsehood have become fast food, na we dey rush dem. However, we can turn the table, turn a new leaf and change the narrative for good, for God and for humanity.
Here are some useful tips on how to stay sane and contented in an insane and perilous social media age…
- The fact that you don’t blow your trumpet does not mean you don’t have one.
Yes, you deserve some accolades but does it have to be gotten by all means possible? God didn’t create you to compete with other people’s progress; you were created to contribute your quota to make the world a better place. Focus on becoming a better person and you won’t have to IMMITATE anyone.
- Be the best version of yourself and not the latest version of someone else.
You don’t have to tear your purse or terrorize your pocket just do what is trending; slay with sense and be a baller with brain.
- Take a break if you don’t want to break down.
You don’t have to show or share everything. Not everyone needs to know what is going on in your life at all times. The moment you feel pressured to participate in ungodly act just to stay trendy, it’s time to take a bow. Don’t commit social suicide.
- Be attracted to purpose and you won’t be distracted by poor rose.
If you are on social media for a genuine reason, you won’t be a victim of the purposeless prisons on social media. It is important to have principles guiding your use of social media; stay true to your principles; avoid undue pressure or immoral suasion from people who do not share your creed.
Written by Adeleke Adeite
Great write-up and very relevant for the youths of today