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Yetunde Olasiyan: Between Having a Voice & the Need to Show Off on Social Media

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Are you living your life for ‘you’ or for other people’s opinion of you? Are you trying to earn bragging rights for empty instances of your life? Are you trying to convince everyone that you are living the life of your dreams, when it is actually far from true?

As human beings, at one point or the other in our existence, we all seek validation. Everyone loves to be seen and heard.
Since the advent of Facebook and other social media applications, being seen and heard just moved to another level. It has gone way overboard, such that most people have lost touch with reality. They live under illusions, wishes and hopes.

Where do we really draw the line between trying to be heard and showing off? How do we differentiate between reality and vanity – when many have virtually lost touch with reality in a bid to keep up with the Joneses.

Have you been at a church wedding where the sermon was going on and people were outside taking pictures with their expensive gadgets? There are some who are even daring enough to take pictures right inside the church. At that point, they don’t care about enjoying the event, because showing off to people is better than being present there

But why is it that the first thing that comes to mind after dressing up for an occasion is how to upload mixes to social media?

Is it an attention seeking disorder to want other people’s reassurance that we look good or that the clothes we wear look good on us? Or is it an insecurity issue?

Why is marriage a competition on Facebook? You will see people uploading their wedding pictures on the same night they are supposed to be tired and be in bed.

What is the brain behind all the long names? Who is competing your spouse’s name with you that you just have to put everything out there? Sometimes up to four names. For example, Yetunde Olasiyan Adebayo Phillips. What does that mean? Some who try to be modest go like this: Yetunde-Adebayo Phillips.

Is Facebook a form of official page where you must do a change of name? Even our official change of names don’t look anything near this. It is strictly your name and new surname.

With the way people churn out beautiful messages and poetry lyrics to their boo and bae on Facebook, they give me a run for my money. Why? Because so many writers have now evolved on Facebook with the almost perfect way they write out these inspirational messages. I am talking about a full page of tributes.

If everybody’s boo and bae is this perfect on social media, who then owns those ones who are mummy’s pets, those that beat their wives or those who act like garrison commanders in their homes?

I’m not writing a tribute is bad, but what is the motive behind it? Is it to truly appreciate your spouse or to pretend to the whole world that your spouse is almost faultless?

Then why is it a problem when your post doesn’t get many likes or comment and you get resentful against those who weren’t loyal enough to support your appreciation of your spouse. Those silent resentments are very real though unspoken. You hear things like ‘ he/she has never liked my posts, I won’t like his picture too’.

Having everybody know that we have visited ‘the abroad’ isn’t even the big deal but when we do not know the limits at which putting pictures at the restaurant, on the street of DC, in the swimming pool(of probably your neighbour ) becomes a little bit distateful and no longer appealing.

But before you say, “go and argue these points with your village deity. What concerns you with other people’s habits anyways?” Aren’t we all guilty one way or the other? If we all do the same thing in an attempt to be different, don’t we all end up being the same person in the process?

Of course, there are wonderful talented people on Facebook who are wordsmiths and are role models. That’s one positive thing. These people share inspiring and revelational thoughts that brings healthy discussions.

Asides this, aren’t we gradually turning into a profane people? Aren’t we gradually projecting false personalities?
A place where I worked had banned its workers from accessing Facebook during office hours. The connection was even suspended such that you could not access certain social sites except check and respond to your mails. It was discovered that good quality productive time was spent on the internet.

Why is it that instead of people to help accident victims or someone undergoing jungle justice, people would rather stand and take live videos and photos?

During my mum’s burial(she died young and it wasn’t a celebration), I was shocked that some people were moving up and down in front of me and my siblings, trying to take our pictures. We were looking so sad and forlorn; yet, they kept brandishing their IPads and tabs just to take videos and photos. They kept distracting and blocking my view.

We even had to tell one of them to go and sit down.

What about you? What do you do on social media?

Photo Credit: Kadettmann | Dreamstime.com

M.Sc International Affairs&Diplomacy, ABU, Zaria|| B.Tech Environmental Biology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso|| 1st Prize Winner, SouthWest Nigeria-CLO Essay Competition on Child Labour in Nigeria|| 5th Prize Winner, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation Essay Competition|| Certificate of Participation, World Bank Essay Competition|| Author of A Gift of Dreams|| [email protected]|| Former Content Editor, woman.ng|| Ghostwriter, Editor, Profile Writer|| Facebook.com/Ola Nike|| instagram.com/Olanike Olasiyan|| For writing enquires email [email protected]

13 Comments

  1. liz

    February 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    As a super low key person who hates the spot light and is not a huge fan of social media, I agree wholeheartedly with this post as it resonates with a lot of my personal opinions. However, we must all learn to live and let live. We can’t all be the same. Some will show off, some will be low key, and honestly both are okay. The key is to focus on the things we love to see and ignore those we don’t 🙂

  2. Buki

    February 7, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Great write up and so very true. We have become a society lost to all senses of reality, unfortunately, most of us are caught up in the lifestyle of pretense created by social media. .

  3. Tokstarr the Fakestarr

    February 7, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    You have issues!

    how is at any of your concern that someone who uses their own money to credit their gadgets etc,then decides to post their latest shoes,bags,new change of name,poems,travels etc!

    self righteous wankstress!!

  4. Anon

    February 7, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Ugh can people on this blog stop obsessing over people that show off? If you don’t like it, block or ignore gosh. Yeah people like makybenson do the absolute most and it’s ridiculous, so I unfollowed her and never look at her page cause it’s not my business what she wants to do. I know that me I’m broke and they are clearly rich or at least have enough to pretend to be rich. So why would I be coming here to insult them asif that will add to my account. There are billions of accounts ranging from food to style to hair to politics, so you people that obsess over show off runs girls and yahoo boys or bored housewives are also questionable characters if those are the only types of people that show up on your explore page. I hate anything to do with weddings, blocked them all, and now I never get them in my explore page, and luckily my friends don’t like people like that either so they never get retweeted to my TL. Live and let live shikena

    • tunmi

      February 8, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      ??????

  5. Ethio

    February 7, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you my sister oo, I’m largely displeased with what social media has turned us into not just the Nigerian celebrities. All these guys that are being talked about who are supposed to draw some attention to the fact that the nation is turmoil and our legislators are buying motor are busy telling us about “today’s look” from some well known designer (who doesn’t give a beep). It’s time to sit up!

  6. Baby gurl

    February 7, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Sound and true piece! However I cringed at your mentions of Facebook. Who still uses Facebook to show off? It’s Instagram o. You will be green with eny just scrolling and stalking. God help us.

  7. Osa

    February 7, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Its quite laughable to me when i see grown men and women show off material things and not even pretending to do it i passing. I actually look at them like really childish folks and like people with perhaps with psychological or brain issues. Dont really accord much respect to such people .

    Some dude actually deliberately Reversedhis car for me to get a glance at his new shitty car. ????

  8. funmilola

    February 7, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    as in ehn, that part of people bringing out their phones to take pictures and record videos of accidents/jungle justice victims is just unbelievable and pathetic, I can’t just deal with that…..like anon said above, I also block people who are of no use to me on Instagram, I follow people who inspire and push one towards greatness and there are loads of them.
    if you’re feeling intimidated by anyone, simply stop following the person rather than complaining cos at the end of the day, it’s their gadget!

  9. B

    February 7, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    I resonate with the writer of this article. I’m not very keen on social media just because I don’t like the idea of putting everything out there and I don’t subscribe to the idea of living your life for other people pr social validation. However, this does not mean that there aren’t people who just genuinely post stuff because they want to share their happiness or share tips. I personally decided to leave facebook because I hardly use it and it wasn’t of much use to me. I like to watch funny posts on instagram (although I find that instagram can be a time waster once you really get into it, lol) and I’ve also gotten some helpful tips on different aspects of life on instagram – from cooking to life hacks or spiritual posts. In tandem with what @Liz said, the key is sieving what is useful to you and ignoring those things that are not. I’ve also come to understand that everyone is different and that’s okay, simply because we weren’t created to be the same.

  10. Just Y

    February 8, 2017 at 9:26 am

    This is still part of social media, if people don’t brandish their lives on social media, how will ‘Bellanaija’ amongst other platforms get news?
    It’s as bad as people feel particularly excited that ‘Bellanaija’ for instance featured them!!! Isn’t that a form of validation in itself.
    Well social media platforms are a form of entertainment for me and staying in vogue. I am a fashion lover, so I look at instagram to know the latest. Oh yes, I post on birthdays for my kids, parents etc.
    I post my pictures because I like them but no- I don’t do PDA because I don’t live a fake life. If my husband annoys me, I don’t show it and when we are in good terms you won’t see it either.
    One thing I have observed about posters is the more ‘likes’ they get, the more they post.
    Even the most reserved people every once in a while post pictures of a landmark event, we are in the social media era. It’s now up to us to determine the limits (if there are any).
    I for one tease myself as being vain… I take pictures a lot but I don’t post them on social media as much as I take them otherwise I would have become a picture upload nuisance!! lol.

  11. debby

    February 8, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Nigerian youth needs to read dis especially Facebook and Instagram user,the rate at which people expose themselves enn,they will start saying things aren’t going on well wen u started showing people wat u are not. Recently one of my friend did something stupid,u never get job and he start telling us about the interview posting picture of the office u haven’t start working,like it ridiculous i feel like slapping him if i have the chance,now i don’t think he has the job cause we haven’t heard anything since den,u can determine wat is happening in some poeple life through dere social media,it good to socialize but it should be minimal.Since i started working have never upload pictures i snap in my office not dat am ashamed of my work but i love privacy.not everybody should know wat am up to. i wish people learn.

  12. biolakaz

    February 10, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    who is Adebayo Philip?

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