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Seun Tegbe: Birthdays, Facebook & Testifiers – The Attention Seeking Syndrome

Seun Tegbe

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dreamstime_l_55000214Birthdays: that day you believe should be about you, but somehow neglect the fact that you’ve always made every other day about you. Quick test – How often do you cut people off or interrupt conversations by saying ‘me too’, ‘I had the same experience’ or ‘just the other day’ when someone is talking to you about them. Think about how many times you changed the topic and made it about you. Someone calls you and you go off on them about how they don’t call to check on you. If your answer is ‘often’ or ‘very often’ then you’re self-centered, narcissistic.

I personally don’t care for birthdays and I even care less for birthday celebrations. This is partly because I just because I was brought up in the Deeper Life church – with the belief that birthday celebrations can easily get out of hand and lead to ‘sin’ or even result in some person’s head being served for dinner (King Herod, his daughter, wife and John the Baptist.)

Don’t get it twisted, that doesn’t mean that I don’t celebrate birthdays with people. If it means a lot to you I will celebrate it with you. I’m smart enough to know that we can’t all be the same and that diversity is a big part of who we are and how we function. I respect people’s ideas and opinions.

The part I don’t like is when people who beg and agitate for respect are the most biased and opinionated. I usually get this ‘you are just forming’ attitude every other year when I repeat how much I don’t care for birthdays. I can’t be forming for 26 years. I even once forgot my own birthday a few years ago when I thought February had 29 days but it turned out it had only 28, and by the time I realized that it was already the 2nd of March, 24 hours after my 1st of March birthday.

Things got out of hand this year when my wife started crying because I said I didn’t want anything for my birthday. White girls huh? She said she wants to do something to celebrate my birthday but I won’t let her. But I guess I was being selfish also for not thinking about her.

I don’t like birthdays because of the attention seeking, self-centered nature of how it’s celebrated and being one of ‘those people’ puts me off. I sorely dislike attention seekers. I like people who live their lives in the background and in peace.

Which brings me to Facebook, the genius platform that gives a face and voice to all. But simply put, there are some voices that aren’t just meant to be heard. Everyone has the right to have a voice; whether that voice should be heard is another question entirely. Should the voice of a young evil Adolf Hitler be heard? I doubt it. Should Donald Trump be dominating the news everyday with his uncensored stupidity, I highly doubt it. But that is the beauty of Facebook. You don’t even have to be Trump to be seen or heard. Some of the posts I hate seeing the most on Facebook are those ‘happy birthday to moi’ posts.

Really? Are you that lonely, miserable and desperate? You should at least wait for people to pretend to care about you when Facebook reminds them that your birthday is today and practically forces them to send you a wish which explains all the lazy HBD LLNPs you see regularly. People don’t even care enough and are too lazy to write the wishes in one complete sentence. If you ever HBD LLNP me, I’m going to smack you the next time I see your lazy face. The part that pisses me off the most are those people that post birthday wishes to other people’s Facebook pages with their own pictures in it.

Really? Is it that bad now, the narcissism has become that chronic? You couldn’t even pretend that your wishes is about the person for whom the wishes are intended? And thanks to Facebook, I can no longer pretend that I didn’t know it was someone’s birthday when that is the first thing Facebook shows me when you log on. ‘Mr. and Miss so and so have their birthdays today, don’t forget to help them celebrate’. Do I look I care? Because If I do care I won’t need Facebook to remind me. And to make it even worse, now I find it difficult remembering dates I had no troubles remembering before Facebook took it upon itself to become my personal reminder. To Facebook, I don’t even know this person you’re asking me to wish happy birthday, they just added me or I added them because I wanted to stalk their pictures or they wanted to stalk mine. Does it sound right to you wishing your stalker ‘happy birthday’?

Still on Facebook and self-centeredness especially on Sundays, what’s the deal with all those pictures of people in their outfits that are colorful enough to make a chameleon jealous and quotes from Bible passages? You make a collage of your pictures before, during and after church and you add a quote ‘Christ in me, the hope of glory’ and other bs of that nature. Are you sure it’s Christ you’re trying to praise or it’s just an excuse to show off your new Ankara dress and fake LV shoes, belt and bag. If you truly want to praise God you shouldn’t add pictures of you staring at the floor looking for the coins you lost a while ago. You all know what I’m talking about, you’re probably guilty of the same thing.

Lastly, I’ll touch on the perpetual testifiers before I lay down my pen to dry. For those of you that come to testify of how you left your pressing iron on for the whole day and your house wasn’t burnt down to ashes when you got back, I have something to say to you, mind yourself.

Do you even know what testimony is? You should be more careful, not go around being stupid and come to church to bore me about your stupidity on Sunday. There are people that had real problems, had real faith, stayed real faithful and got real help and answers from God. Let them testify. What is the point of those ‘go to the back to meet brother so and so before you testify’? Isn’t that supposed to screen out the phonies? To all you phony, attention-seeking testifiers, again I say mind yourself. You better be careful with your testimonies before you tempt the devil into showing you what real affliction means.

Attention seeking, especially when it is excessive, is highly inappropriate and it puts me off, and probably others too which will mean I’m not crazy. But unfortunately there are hundreds of platforms and applications built for such purposes now.

If you’re an active user of more than 3-5 of these social sites and applications you’re an attention seeker and you need help; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, VK, Pinterest, Snapchat, BBM, Flicker, Vine, IMO etc. Essential communication apps like Messenger, Whatsapp and Viber and exempted. You need to find better and more productive ways to maximize your time and talents. The moral of the story is, live your life however you want, but just live it to yourself, I don’t need to know the details of it and you don’t need the approval of strangers to survive either. Hashtags, likes and shares aren’t going to feed you, except you’ve found a way of regularly getting hundreds of thousands of them of course.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Oluwaseun is a trainee doctor with the Dnipropetrovsk Medical Institute, Ukraine who has a knack for writing. He likes to exercise his imaginations poetically.He loves good music and plays the Piano. He's published a book ALiSA THE ODESSA BRiDE and runs his own blog at www.seunlight.blogspot.com

33 Comments

  1. Toks

    March 2, 2016 at 10:23 am

    WoW! This is so on point!, so many attention seekers are out there. I use the different social media platforms for different reasons though. Pinterest for me is to look out for styles, or anything trending, Instagram is to feed my “gbeborun” instincts , I used to be very active on FB but not any more, twitter is good for information sharing! So I think what you hope to achieve from social media is key; and happy belated birthday to you Seun, you happen to be my birthday mate!

  2. Ms Jayee

    March 2, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I like this guy!

  3. Barbara

    March 2, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Seun Tegbe I disagree with almost all the points you raised in this post. Even though I’m also a very lowkey and private person, I believe everyone has a right to do whatever pleases them. The one that got me most was the testimony example. So because someone forgot to disconnect an iron from the socket he/she is stupid. Seriously, don’t you make mistakes sometimes. And so what if they decide to testify at the church. Do you know this same mistake has cost some people lives and property so why shouldn’t they come to church to testify. And how do you know whose testimony is real or not. Are you God ? Well, I think this article is a judgemental one.

    • DAME

      March 2, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Thank you o jere Barbara…very Judgmental…who gave you the exclusive definition of testimony sir ????????????/
      Abeg i cannot waste more strength sef
      BYE FELICIA

    • Magz

      March 2, 2016 at 2:32 pm

      Thank you o. I thought i was the only one who found it judgmental! For someone who doesn’t like self-centered people, he came off as being self-centered especially with the complaints “it pisses ME off”, “attention-seekers offend ME”.

      Mschewww. . .

    • ThatGhanaChick

      March 2, 2016 at 5:37 pm

      Exactly! I stopped reading at a point. I thought he was being so harsh and judgmental too.

  4. Lucinda

    March 2, 2016 at 10:55 am

    If you don’t like what a person posts, why don’t you unfriend them? Better than reporting to bellanaija.
    On birthdays, I hated them too. But this is changing this year onwards. I went through a lot recently and I will do something good this year for myself. I’m buying myself flowers and gifts sef join the pictures I will post. There are different ways people show self love and celebrating landmark life events (like birthdays! ) is one of them. Your birthday is a landmark event! Your wife go hear am. I hope you remember anniversary dates and buy her gifts on these days.
    Facebook testimonies: indifferent. I used to post every and anything till I got really busy. My Facebook is a ghost town now.

    • sigh

      March 2, 2016 at 11:37 am

      And I will like to wish you a happy birthday, long life and prosperity. God will always be for you.

  5. person

    March 2, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I stopped reading after you used the words: “white girls huh?” because your wife was crying. Why did you have to include the color of her skin as a possible justification for her emotional reaction to your decision not to celebrate your birthday. last time i checked, white and black people cry. I might be misunderstanding u, but that question did not make sense.

    All the same- i get ur point about people that need to show off on social media.

    Infact I did give a testimony about how I left the iron on for 48 hours- the iron was lying face down on a towel for 2 whole days- my kids, my hubby and i were in the house. It is ONLY GOD that saved us. how the towel did not even burn is still a mystery. people have had thier houses grazed from just using ordinary washing machine. I am testifying AGAIN via BN that our house did not burn down!!!! Where would we have started from? in this UK winter?

  6. Emenike

    March 2, 2016 at 11:15 am

    I’d be damned! I felt I finally read someone with my kind of weird. I don’t understand d hullabaloo around birthdays and so many other celebrations our imaginations have come up with. Its a case of any-reason-to-jig for most of us. To each mallam his kettle. I am just happy to know that I am not ‘off’ when it comes to living and leaving it privately.

  7. Frosh

    March 2, 2016 at 11:20 am

    you are a very unhappy man because it is not that serious!!!

    you never seem to skip the fact that you married a white woman (congratulations Kanye) and have a perfect life in your posts, you sit on your pedestal and judge everyone, why not fall back and take a look at yourself for a bit, why so serious? attention seekers are everywhere, we all know and see them, if you feel they are over doing it then un-follow the over doers and focus on the low keys that post up twice a year, yes there are lots of people like that on social media.

    your rant wont change the way people do their thing so who you help? bruv chillax okay, its either you are very unhappy and disgruntled or this article.was meant to be a big satirical joke in that case i would contribute my Ha Ha Ha

  8. Tai omo yoruba nimi

    March 2, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I 100% agree with all you have pointed out seun . Social media has turned crazy now ,some people will even be counting down to their birthday with pictures included oo..I mean how silly is that ? I’m sure they are putting those reminder pics cos that people can use it and wish them hbd and then they can repost it on instagram just to show the world how loved and special they are ..chai! So childish ,I even heard some people slide into dms and remind people to wish them hbd when the time comes . It’s very sad and ridiculous the extent people go to just so that they can be noticed

  9. Tai omo yoruba nimi

    March 2, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Don’t get me started on people begging for likes and follow back . Nigerians are the top culprits with their kfb abbreviation . Smh y’all are jobless begging for such ,no dignity whatsoever

  10. Xx

    March 2, 2016 at 11:47 am

    @ frosh, why so angry though?? Are you on of those narcissistic people?

  11. Matilda

    March 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Barbara and Lucinda…. you guys couldn’t have said it better…. I am a very private person… no facebook, not on twitter, instagram account set to private and I really don’t post anything anyway… its just for my aproko tendencies 😀 … but I DO NOT judge people that are on these platforms…. that is actually the reason these platforms were created in the first place… if you don’t like certain things that go on there, unfollow those people, mute those features or downright delete your account gaddamit…. that’s what I did with facebook. I love my birthday as I believe its a very special day, I welcome and love birthday messages and gifts, that doesn’t make me stupid… it doesn’t make me an attention seeker. infact I reconnect with old friends on birthdays.
    so I disagree with the writer on the entire article…. in as much as he tried to dissociate his upbringing in his church from his feelings on this topic, its glaring that this has affected his view and he is now trying to tell others that we are doing this birthday thing (and any other type of celebration really) all wrong.
    my view is that this life is not that difficult biko… I feel that a particular person on my instagram feed is doing extra and I find myself feeling a certain type of way when I see their posts? I quickly unfollow (thank Jesus for that feature).
    Seun, ignore notifications to celebrate with your friends, mute updates from certain people, do want you need to do to have your peace of mind, but DO NOT call people stupid for something that may be genuine to them. even if it isn’t genuine, its not in your place to call them out.

  12. AwkwardFromBirth

    March 2, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Thank God I’m not on anyone of these social medias anymore (used to have them though) but i left because of so many BS. I don’t really care about birthdays and anniversaries. It’s been 2years and i must say i have a happy, private, free life where nobody hears or knows a thing about me 🙂

  13. mia

    March 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    As for me, it’s better not to wish me a happy birthday than to type HBD, LLNP, GGMUB, God bless your new age and all those other ridiculous bandwagon thingy we see these days on social media. i believe that if you really want to send warm wishes to someone you consider important or special, making a little effort to actually type something that is original is not too much. I hardly even send birthday wishes via Facebook, i usually call people except those i do not have their number and i really just want to wish them well on their day.

  14. iyaalaje

    March 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Pls who offended this writer??? I totally disagree with the points. This post is very judgemental and everything else that has been mnetioned already. Everyone cannot be like you (to each his own na). Please rant on your social media pages if it irks you that much. Writing a full post on Bellanaija about this, isn’t that attention seeking too???

    • fixnigeriaseries

      March 2, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      As in! BN should just jejely create a Rants section for articles like this. How will some one wake up early in the morning and spew this manner of bile, bitterness and personal vexation on innocent blog readers? Haba? I’ve never understood people that get worked up into a frenzy on other people’s life choices, especially those that don’t relate to life or death or anything important. If a person’s Facebook posts are too narcissistic for you, there is “Block”, “Unfollow”, “Unfriend”, and I’m sure a couple of other ways out Facebook has mercifully created for you to spare your eyes. Please live and let live.

  15. larz

    March 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I agree with:
    – happy bday to moi? See what social media has caused. How often do we wake up in the morning to wish ourselves a happy bday. Vain much?
    – HBD LLNP- I really hate this.
    – I love celebrating my birthday, I really believe birthday celebrations should be focused on what the celebrant likes even if it is non-conventional. If the celebrant loves eating pizza/ ice cream in his pajamas. then if you really want to celebrate him, this should reflect that. If you wanna party like it is 99, then do it but not on their birthday

    Yes- I hate social media so much I deleted my acct. I am one of the haters.

  16. iyaalaje

    March 2, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    typo *mentioned*

  17. Magz

    March 2, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Because i am active on BBM, Twitter, Instagram, i’m now an attention-seeker???? Wawu! Yes, i agree, i am an attention-seeker but let me ask a question, HOW IS IT YOUR BUSINESS?

    I’ve always been the low-key birthday celebration kinda person, mostly because i don’t have many friends & then, i have always had to attend financially to one family issue or the other but last year, i decided to celebrate my birthday. I invited people i felt were close enough and you know what, i had fun!!!

    You ended the article with “live your life however you want” gibberish, forgetting that you spent 98.99999999999% of the article judging people who are living their lives as they want!!!

    You don’t like self-centered people? Cut them off! Very simple!
    Do not come on BN and seek attention for yourself, Mr. attention-seekers-piss-ME-off, I-cannot-stand-people-who-celebrate-their-birthdays.

    Oh! And thanks for letting us know you have white girl as a wife! If that ain’t seeking attention, i don’t know what is *rme*

  18. sammiewolf

    March 2, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Overall, I get the point-and I even agree to an extent, but egbo Seun, you’ve wasted way too much time and space to prove a point that is both trivial and obvious to many. You’ve not said anything new, you only insulted people-implying that you are better…that’s not just condescending, it makes you, AN ATTENTION SEEKER!

  19. Tosin

    March 2, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Hello writer,try not to be too judgemental in your article next time,I also attended deeper life Church for a whole decade but that doesn’t stop me from loving birthdays,if people say hbd to moi it shouldn’t bother you,sometimes,the kind of things we go through in life makes us value even the most silly things,this is coming from someone who survived a terrible accident few years ago(me),ever since then every thing matters to me & i know there are many more people too in my shoes,have a nice day!

  20. Fashionista

    March 2, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    This made me LOL!

  21. concerned9a

    March 2, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    You can always log off Social Media. I for one put up one or two pics of yesteryear…just to thank God and show how far I’ve come..It’s a celebration of life biko ogbeni yi!!

  22. Omotee

    March 2, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Magz. U took the words right out of my mouth. Who died and made him king? He doesn’t like attention but he was able to put this long ass epistle down for people to read. I bet he’s coming here to peep to see how many people have commented. U can’t advice people to live their lives then get mad at how they choose to live it. Did u use yoyo bitters to cook your meals? Hian. Eat some sugar love. Life isn’t that harsh. And yeah, we now know your wife is white. You could have said wife without adding white. Again I say, eat some cupcake, smile and have a life. Justice yoyo bitters.

  23. Tell me

    March 2, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Bruh! stick to your doctoring, I resume you are very good at it. as for this writing hobby of yours, its not the best (at least not for non-deeper life publications). Anyways thanks for sharing your marital status with us, we appreciate.. Thanks for letting us know bae is white, we are truly blessed, thanks for letting us know Facebook has cool features you hate, we will unsubscribe.. ermm what other morale do we have to take home? c’mon get off your high horse my friend!

    • Tell me

      March 3, 2016 at 9:45 am

      presume*

  24. Honeycrown

    March 2, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Kai!! This writer don vex o! But bros you started well and decided to fall my hand completely when you mentioned “white girls”.
    In the end, you came across as the type of “people” you’re condemning. Oya, sing MJs “Man in the Mirror” with me.
    I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways ….. If you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then, Make the change! ?

  25. The real dee

    March 3, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Guys, its someone’s opinion. The writer took his time to pen down something about how social media has made us narcissistic. If you have your own opinion, send BN an article and explain the opposite. He wrote his opinion, I have my own opinion and I don’t agree with all his points but I respect his opinion. Bashing the writer and calling him judgmental or full of bile isn’t the way to express your contrary opinion.

    When you bash him that way, you make it seem like you’re the subject of his article. In otherwords, you’re the narcissist that wants validation by posting everything and anythimg about your life on social media and you are pained by the writer calling you out.

  26. Md

    March 3, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Lol, black women envious of white women since time immemorial, their mention aways make their blood to boil

  27. Maliq

    March 3, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Dear writer, please stand in front of the mirror and repeat after me the words : I am a bloody hypocrite!

    How do you judge people by your own standards and sleep at night?
    By invalidating people’s life for reasons of exposing yours is attention seeking; and why did you have to wail so long, you made your point in the first few lines. Or did you do that to tell us more of your perfect life and consequently our imperfect one? Do you smell the irony yet? No? Open the fucking window!

    This rolling ball is called universe because it is universaly owned, people have a right to do as they please, same way you have a right to use the delete/block botton. Simple like that!

    Get over yourself, the world does not revolve around you.

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