There was a time a long while ago, when mobile phones were still shiny symbols of some form of affluence or the other – I forget which.
But to own a mobile phone, you actually had to have two people who could confirm to the Federal Government of Nigeria that you were of good character and impressive conduct, then you had to have what must have sounded like billions of naira back then – actually just a little over N100,000.
Then, you would take a place on the wait list and patiently offer up silent supplications to your maker, that the powers that be would approve your mobile phone request.
If they did, you got a “naught-nine-naught” number. If you were dropping your numbers off for someone, you would start off with “zero-nine-zero”, that used to be the Nigerian dialling code for affluence.
And then suddenly, owning a mobile phone was not that much of a biggie – all thanks to mobile telephone and the scramble to rush into the virgin Nigerian market.
Now that everything is happening at the speed of light and we are in a microwave generation, small wonder that we are also beginning to dumb down interactions?
Social Media Madness:
> Young man, fresh, no-beard gang, spends time researching the origin of the ancient practices of our forefathers and it’s influence on modern culture.
Writes up a 2,000 word long essay.
Puts up on Facebook.
5 likes (one of which is his because, if you like your own post, it gives it greater visibility).
3 comments broken down as follows: 1 ” gbam” posted 8 hours after the update went up, 1 unrelatable dancing emoji, 1 “no summary”? posted 3 days after the update went up.
> Young man, beard gang, frosh appearance, lit and woke to the rooftops.
Puts up a picture of himself waving a wad of naira with his fingers in the #Peace sign.
Captions it, “Searching for that special woman”.
Likes: 1,000 and counting.
Demographics: All female between the ages of 16 to 75.
> Woman, puts up an update on the politics of the VP acting like he knows this job better than the President.
Conducts a thorough research referencing history.
1,200 words and counting.
Puts up on Facebook.
Comments section is like the after math of a bloodbath.
Furs flying, teeth cracking as the political factions clash and go head to head.
Some find time to fling a slur at her.
Midway through, the conversation degebrates and it is difficult to work out what started it off and why.
Comments count: 586 for the most, unintelligible rants.
> Young girl, 18 – 30.
Twists her neck one way, her legs another. Bum shooting out in the air. Takes a picture and uploads on Facebook.
Captions it: Wen Gd trnd d kptvti of Jdah…
18,000 likes, 1million comments, 30 minutes after the post is up, it has gone viral and has been shared a trillion times.
Today’s people don’t want to read or to be urged to engage in any endeavour that requires the use of the brain cells.
They want to ” sharp in and sharp out”.
Hence the extremely confusing salutations and symbols you find lurking in every corner of social media.
And just when we got around to working out what those strange symbols were and resolving to live with then somehow so that we don’t seem to archaic, the theatre of the absurd parked its Volkswagen beetles comfortably on Facebook Naija.
“Happy womb escape day”.
“Happy earth arrival day”.
“Happy womb survival day”.
Earth, what is wrong with us? This generation obviously did not chop enough igbati and pankere after escaping from their own parents’ wombs.
Never have I heard anything manage to sound so disrespectful of both the recipient, the people that laboured to bring them into this world (literally and figuratively), and the jackass who stands and speed such nonsense.
” Happy womb escape day”?
That there is a sure sign of lack of home training.
Happy anniversary of one foot closer to my grave?
If we let these ones be, they’d soon enough be at the point where they stumble upon an obituary and pause long enough to type out:
Happy death day
Happy world escape day.
Happy sorrows of this world left behind day.
Happy judgement day.
And the rest of them.
Just pause for one moment and tell me that is hard to imagine…
We are almost there o.
And in all this, I only blame the advent of cheap mobile phones and the telecommunications companies with their cheap (and sometimes free) data.
We need to encourage this generation and the next and the next to read more.
Write more articles.
Express their opinions on paper.
This goes beyond salutations, it is rife in almost everything you read these days.
Everyone seems to have absolutely no idea how a proper interaction should go.
Just push them out in as many abbreviations as you can manage and let the reader find a way to manage the migraine he develops as he struggles to understand you.
Do these kids actually write and pass examinations?
(If you can work out what that means, you have N2,000 recharge card for the network of your choice coming up. Go ahead, use it and wish someone HBD or WWULLNP, it’s an epidemic yo!)