The thin line between “cool and uncool”: “Nigerian Twitter” in Perspective

These days you can hardly come across a young person who does not have one social media account or the other. There are equally enough social media networks available for the average young person to “feel among” and participate in the delight of being able to connect with the rest of the world. Facebook, Twitter, Badoo, 2go, Instagram, to name a few, are examples of the various social networks that have been designed to connect the average human being to the rest of his/her kind in the world today. The influx of youths on the various available social networks brings to mind the different consequences of this “unfettered virtual freedom”. Image

  Social networks connect the average user to a multitude of things that could either be helpful or harmful to whoever has access to them. I would want to focus on Twitter especially as a social media network. The number of young people who have access to Twitter services in Africa has increased significantly over time. In Nigeria especially, a good number of youths have twitter accounts. Majority of these youths in most cases are below age 20. It is important to note that the age at which a young person should be exposed to the world of social networks is very important. On the average, a Nigerian youth is bound to be exposed to at least a thousand twitter pages owned by people with different motives asides “socializing”.

It is no news that there has been an influx of what i would like to call “porn pages” on twitter. These pages have different handles, an example of such being “ipostbadbitches”. Handles such as these post lewd pictures that could be psychologically damaging to a green eyed twitter user who just happened to be lucky to own a device that enables him/her to access Twitter. Most times, people tweet through their handles claiming that they are on twitter to “have fun” and post things like “its only twitter”, and “if you dont like what i tweet fuck off”. It is at this point i begin to wonder, what exactly is wrong with the young people in this country?. Is it not appalling to see a young person who could not be more than 18yrs of age tweeting something like “you gotta satisfy her if you want that bitch to keep coming back” or “i want to be licked and sucked”????? I mean, what are the owners of such handles that post such tweets trying to portray? 

I could go on and on about the moral decadence that defines “Nigerian Twitter”, but i’d be writing a long essay that would probably be termed “uncool” by those who may read it. I had the opportunity to attend a seminar once that centered around using unconventional means to land a job. At a point in the discussion, the conveners talked about using one’s social media network to “sell oneself”. Hearing this i had to laugh, because i began to wonder how many of the people on my own timeline could actually use their twitter accounts to “sell themselves”. In my own opinion, a good number of the people i happen to follow would probably be fired from their places of employment if anyone from management should happen upon their twitter accounts (that is in the case of those who have a job). The remainder of those who are unemployed would probably stand no chance of getting a job if they were to be appraised  on the kind of things they tweet.

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Going by the last paragraph, anyone reading this would probably think “how self righteous of you” or “lets get her handle so we can even see what she tweets”, or “what does having a twitter handle have to do with my potentials of getting a job?”. The truth is, and this is going to sound a little cliche, YOU ARE WHAT YOU TWEET!. To those who constantly try to appease their conscience(s) by tweeting “oh i am not my tweets”…… IN YOUR FACES! You are exactly what you tweet. There is no point trying to deceive yourself into thinking you magically become someone else once you log on to your twitter account!. 

   According to Freudian psychoanalytic theory, all psychic energy is generated by the libido. Freud suggested that our mental states were influenced by two competing forces: cathexis and anticathexis. Cathexis was described as an investment of mental energy in a person, an idea or an object. If you are hungry, for example, you might create a mental image of a delicious meal that you have been craving. In other cases, the ego might harness some of the id’s energy to seek out activities that are related to the activity in order to disperse some of the excess energy from the id. If you can’t actually seek out food to appease your hunger, you might instead browse through a cookbook or browse through your favorite recipe blog. (www.psychology.about.com). 

 Going by the above, it is safe to assume that majority of us are controlled by the urges we have to certain things, (tweeting inclusive). If you always have the urge to post tweets centered on lewd topics and post lewd pictures, it is safe to also conclude that the potential to be a perverse human being is innate in you. it is not possible to “just be something” if you did not have the traits of such. 

  There is a thin line between being “cool” and exhibiting deep moral decadence. I believe social networks should be returned to what they really should be, “social networks”, and not glorified porn sites, where the young and old are exposed to stupidity and  the morally bereft. Let us focus on issues of the day and how they affect us personally as Nigerians and as young people. Yes, it is allowed to be a little bit personal with your tweets, and in fact with your posts on every social network on which you have an account, but there should be moderation in the things you post out there for the world to see.