SOCIAL MEDIA: THE BAD HABITS

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Social media craze has swept across our minds like bush fire, breathing life to introverts, tumbling on the extroverts and on the flip side killing our century old socialization aspects. Our reference point has to be on the social media. We compete to report first, to show off, to stalk, to break unverified news, to parade our imaginary wealth and to explain to god-knows-who, of what we are up to, travelling to, or where we are savoring sumptuous lunch with whom.

More annoying, we share images of our hours-old kids, never minding that kids are not to be displayed to anybody who cares to see them. Kids are sacred and sensitive and not everybody in social media is happy for you who got blessed with a one. Sorceress and humans who don’t mean well for you are on social media too or at least their agents. In fact they make part of your three thousand friends on Facebook and follow your every move on IG (Instagram). But why would one share a pic of her kid on social media even before she steps out of the maternity room?

We even go ahead to create social media accounts for them. Is that not encroaching on their rights? Whose consent do parents have when they create these accounts? You see, not every kid would be comfortable to learn later in life that virtually all their life was shared widely on social media. A parental expert will tell you this violates a kid’s privacy. Ultimately, we will go down in history as a generation that has not only over-photographed our kids but also over-scheduled for them. We have to come to the realisation that our children are separate human beings with perhaps different tastes, beliefs and personalities from us which ostensibly, should be respected as well. In a nutshell their autonomy and privacy should be accorded the necessary respect. A research done in UK recently revealed that contemporary parents will have shared about 1,000 photos of their kids online before they turn five. Is this fair?

I’m sure you’ve followed on the story of the famous – Kim Kardashian after she was tied up in her luxury bathroom in Paris and her hotel room ransacked and robbed off 9 million pounds worth of jewelleries. Of course no robbery should be justified however; some school of thought would refer Kim as a publicity junkie. In fact one columnist put matters into perspective as far as this American reality television personality is considered, in this form;

For when you live your life as a shop window mannequin, parading the spoils of your success, you cannot be surprised when one day someone smashes down the shop window and lunges at your baubles and bling. Kim Kardashian has built her global fame – and gargantuan fortune – on exposing her life to the public.

Seemingly, Kim is a victim just like many of us who belong to the millennial generation that hovers on approvals, showing off syndrome and rogue competition. To a large extent, social media platform mirrors our inadequacies, insecurities and the gaping emptiness in our lives. That unless we get those staggering likes and double taps, we seem not useful to the world.  Interestingly, we have to let the world know what is taking place around us. There is nothing wrong about it, however, when we overdo it, then it begs a lot. When total strangers get to know all in your wardrobe, or where you can be usually spotted, or how you kitchen layout looks like, then there is trouble.

Speaking of which; you and I know of these IG bigwigs who literally go on the spree, over sharing about their hoods, their family and all the pettiness in between that you can imagine of. In fact, some of you can go round their digs with much ease based on the hundreds on pics uploaded daily about their high end mansions. Just why should we parade all our possessions online?

I was taken aback the other day when I happened to find a photo uploaded by a dude who is supposedly my friend on Facebook, regarding a dowry invitation (read financial help). So the photo had the image of the couple, inviting (soliciting money) Facebook friends to their dowry ceremony. My thinking was; this was an act of desperation. I mean, who shares dowry invites on Facebook? It appeared like soliciting. Please don’t invite people to your dowry or wedding by uploading invites on Facebook for all who care to read them. It somehow dilutes these ceremonies. In fact one appears, ridiculous, laughable, selfish and full of shortcuts. Kindly invite specific people to these ceremonies, not a mammoth of complete strangers on social media who perhaps have never and will never meet you in person.

Further, don’t flaunt your air tickets to Coast on social media; the world is not safe anymore. You never know who might break into your house. And if you have to share them, please let it be after the trip is wrapped up. You just never know. You recall when the infamous Ezekiel Mutua vaunted about his diplomatic passport only to emerge he shouldn’t have been issued with one, in the first place. At his age, was this appropriate? Cut the slack people. Genuine success doesn’t announce itself. You simply can’t have your cake and eat it!

There is an untold rule or is it a memo that should be passed around; That social media is a double edged knife. It is an incredible platform for networking and reaching up to your friends. On the other hand, if a line is not drawn between sharing and oversharing; one can antagonize family and friends, breach on privacy, expose loved ones to unnecessary attention and possibly attract fraudsters.

And by the way, let’s drop this hullabaloo of ‘checking in’ here and there. Who said you should report to social media on every corner you dart at! While at it, stop selfies at funerals. It’s rude and unbecoming. Come to think of it, do we need to be briefed on how your honeymoon is coming along?

WEDDING COMMITTEES & THE CHARACTERS

weddingThe other day a female friend sent me a text message reading that I had been invited to a wedding committee. Actually, she was not really a friend but one of those people who possess your number by mistake. You know, there are those people who shouldn’t have your number, but they have it anyway and there is nothing you can do about it. The bad thing is that they will use it to invite you to wedding committees while in reality the two of you can’t sustain a two sentence conversation. You console yourself with the fact that your number stays dormant, cold and feeling out of place in their phonebooks. It’s hardly used.

Back to the wedding committee; What followed is that I was added to a Whatsapp group!

Two things;

One – If I have to be in a wedding committee then I have to be a mutual friend to the couple.

Or

Two – I have to be invited by the man, meaning that dude will have been my friend by the time he is inviting me to this committee.

If neither of the two – I will show up at your wedding day with my present of course!

The thing is, not everybody should be part of a wedding committee. There should be a criteria and something like benchmarking in deciding who should or shouldn’t qualify to this endeavour. This shouldn’t be a meeting where you gather acquaintances, would-be friends, frenemies, secret admirers, phantom friends or familiar people. And by the way, as a lady leave the functioning of the wedding committee to the man. You can help him come up with the list of trusted friends and relatives but this does not mean going all out fishing and combing-clean social media streets smoking out friends (stalkers) and dragging them to wedding planning forum half asleep. Neither is it a time to start looking for erstwhile friends whom you haven’t spoken to in a decade and then converting them to wedding committee members.

You know, there is something beautiful and manly about being invited by the man to this kind of a committee. From a man’s perspective, it reads recognition and appreciation. My point is, as a woman please focus on the gown, wedding cake and that humorous lady who perfects in cake cutting as she engages the crowd. Men are poor in these three tasks.  And for your information, a wedding is an expensive affair, save enough before imagining of who should be invited to the committee.

Assuming you will be convinced or feel the need to attend one, this is who you will meet. By the way it’s terrible to bank wholly on the wedding committee. They will fail you big time if you are not cautious. This is how it plays out;

You invite a hundred fellows, 30% turn up, 70% will never show up, respond to your texts nor pick your calls the moment they smell you need to part with their money. The 30% that turn up, 20% will only attend the maiden meeting just to be noticed and to see who has been invited and who didn’t make it to the list. These are people obsessed with titles and big man syndrome. This is how the rest will unfold:

Observers

Among the 15% out of the 30% that choose to attend, will be a group of the so called Observers. They will check in on time but will never contribute a point. They remain nailed on their seats, mum and occasionally on their phones. You can label them see no evil; hear no evil kind of people. They are mere observers rich in silence, big in attendance and zero on impact. End result – huge disappoint.

Phony People

These are quite interesting creatures better than observers. They contribute just one point in a two hours session and then drift to their pricey phones. Here they take selfies projecting how they are holed up in a big-wedding-planning and share them on social media. They will regularly walk out to pick calls and later comeback to remain glued to their damn phones. They will make it their point to ensure everybody notices their expensive smartphones by the time the meeting is done. Normally they walk in possession of two to three phones. End result – Below average

Technical Appearance Groupies

These chaps will check in to be seen they attended. They show no regard to the agendas of the day or any concern to how the wedding plan is progressing. They show up for 5 – 10 minutes and walk out in disguise of making a phone call. End result – Zero

Apology Lot

They throw perceptions of being very busy people. If they ain’t catching a flight, then they could be driving up country if not jumping to an important meeting. They specialise in giving apologies even on the actual wedding day. End result – Miserable

One Hit Wonder

They show up either on the maiden meeting or the very last one. They are a huge disappointment if one banks on them. They come to assess and gauge whether they should attend in future. They are big on promises but zero on delivery. End result – A mistake to have been invited!

Noisemakers

They are very social guys. They make friends effortlessly and create networks in minutes. To them, they view people as viable avenues to market their businesses, get county tenders, clinch jobs for relatives or buy or sell cars. End result – Fairly reliable.

Trusted circle

These could be close relatives, office colleagues or trusted friends. They are the main decision makers and major initiators of meeting agendas. They are tasked with specific responsibilities from Committee leaders (Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer), Transport Managers, Entertainment heads, Tent & Decor docket and tasks to find the best and affordable Photographers & MCs. End result – Extremely important

Big Kahunas/Financiers

Normally very influential personages, they are extremely critical. They have resources or connections to ensure the wedding is successful. They will avail cars, seek wedding venues and finance the wedding budget significantly. End result: extremely helpful

Wedding committees have been watered down over the years for two main reasons. One, the organisers have not been paying attention to the principle that no everybody should be invited. We are obsessed with numbers which in many a time end up to disappoint. I can confirm to have participated in a lean wedding committee that ended up delivering beyond expectations. The advantage with a small team is that, it’s easy to manage, to allocate specific tasks and to hold them accountable. Again, a smaller team works harder to prove they are equal to the tasks allocated.

Secondly, we are people that do weddings just to be noticed. That said, a majority don’t save enough for the big day but burden relatives and friends to finance their budgets. We do weddings we can’t afford just to smooth our egos and form the talk from the villages, church, office and to other social circles.

Let’s cut the slack and do weddings when we are sincerely ready.