For what is worth, Twitter saved me from subtle depression. Suffice to say, I knew I was slowly getting depressed. Funnily enough, I was quick to diagnose myself.
And here is the thing. Nigerians don’t ever think they could be depressed or admit they are going through any form of depression. We like to form hard guy, hard guy and get on with a day’s work. I was getting disappointed, mostly because I was getting rejections and suicides were suddenly gathering momentum on Facebook as a new dark cloud, taking over the nation.
So I switched off my Facebook and stuck to Twitter. Looking back now, I have never fancied Twitter for any reason. I mean, I could easily write 500 words on Facebook. Rant and rant and get shares and comments but on Twitter. No, on Nigerian Twitter, the attention span is sparse. To break forth a thousand followers, I would have to do something dire. More dire than the trend that enveloped “The Akin Saga, Emeka or Chioma.” Something close to Lagos to Ibadan, like selling my nudes to every girl with a sizeable amount of followers.
For many, Twitter is a cult, a clout, a social ladder to elitist status. Twitter is the intellectual pedestal for social media engagement. The supposed woke and smart Nigerians pervade the generality of the space trying to prove that more is less. The trial to cramp all your thoughts into 140 characters is mentally exhausting. What is worse is if your keypad deceives you and you type a grammatically erroneous tweet – you might have just brought doomsday to yourself. Maybe that is why short forms trend mostly on Twitter. Whether it is 140 or 250 characters- the difference is just, be creative.
When people banter on Twitter, what gives you the bravery to go all out for a massive clapback that will re-echo through the streets is the number of followers your challenger has. If it is massive, everything is at stake because if it augurs well, you could earn a new title- I Stan, Queen, King, and a feature either on Sub Delivery Zone, Instablog or maybe in the entertainment segment of the news. These days, people surpass boundaries. They don’t aim to impress, they aim to drag you down hands and legs and soil your face with wet murky sand. Best placed as- they come for you and drag everyone and everything you hold dear. They look for the fault in your stars- no, in your tweets and will do literally anything to taint that credibility. At least you are not the one buying sub for them.
It is best you avoid them. Sometimes replying a nonchalant “ok” sends the message.
In the end, everyone is a social media hustler. Majorly low-lives hustling for more followers. Many make it better by following people based on relatable experiences, stories, associations or a highly famed alma matter. Deep down, they wish they followed 3 people and had close to a million followers with a verified blue tick closeby their name. That is the hallmark of Twitter fame. The door opener, deal breaker, life changer…yeah, whatever. At that height, nothing they can’t do. It is sad because they make social media managers look bad when a brand would rather “sign” an influencer who could grab more traction than a social media agency who could easily settle employees salary with that cash.
Speaking of influencers, there are a few good ones. More bad eggs overshadow the good ones. There are human right activists, social campaigners; anointed media influencers- this group makes me feel indifferent. You really can’t tell whether they have switched camp and are now good all of a sudden or they are back to licking ass. Most of them mislead a whole populace with 51% youths who are easily swayed in their DMS, TLs and comments.
I wish more credible journalists had the tick than some of the political commentators. Then there are the educationalists, the career professionals- (almost everybody does digital marketing these days), the humourists – I love this group, Satirists- these too, mentally aware, feminists- mostly divided whether their opinions are true or menaskum group (men haters with the inverted commas in parentheses), and clapback squad, I woke up like this, onlookers or nobodies, semi-influencers, beggars for likes and follows, normal peeps, new peeps, and the ones that like to show their bodies. Front, back and thighs inclusive.
Sometimes, if you are not careful, you could drift to the dark side of Twitter. Porn side of Twitter. May you never find yourself there by mistake. It can be a bit disheartening, you know. Especially if you are a good child and really inexperienced with those sturvs; possessing a good conscience that pricks you every time.
Trends! Mostly mundane if you ask me. For a full week, Twitter Nigeria trends ranged from MTN free data leak, to Akin – a boyfriend snatch gist gone wrong, to Chioma- HR tins, Mr Bayo, and Damilola and Emeka- Under 16 year olds, NYSC, and then Casemiro. Sincerely, I put it to you that Twitter trends are mundane. Better argued, Twitter trends make me view the respective users as “loose” compared to the intellectual clout generally associated with woke Nigerian Twitter. You should be more concerned with small businesses, brands, education, youth policy and good governance, not sex trends, boyfriends, a very patriotic and goal oriented under 16 coach who is just minding his business or nudes. How low! Which way Nigeria? Sincerely Local man is not pleased, nor impressed. He is simply unable to can!
Sadly, Sco pa tu manaa which replaced O jewa ke eng doesn’t help create good well-tailored and meaningful conversations. In fact, newer introspection makes me believe there are more horny, clingy and needy people on Twitter nowadays with the Sco pa tu manaa trends. But what is my own sef? Why so serious? Twitter is fun really. I guess it has helped me reflect on lighter thoughts and that’s the essence. But fake stories and sensationalism sends a wrong impression of us to the world. Maybe not just Nigerians, maybe this also applies to the 126 million daily active users that transverse the space. And watch your language use too. Remember the activist who lost his Harvard scholarship? You could lose your freedom and maybe a US visa if you don’t stop with your insults on both citizen and Presidency. Uncle Jimi was right on this one. No freedom is absolute.
And some people just like to belong. That hustle trend is good but y’all over interpreted and overdid it to mean nothing. Trend responsibly. What can I say?
Best you tweet your opinion for yourself. People will always attack your tweets. But you can’t please everybody. However, if you keep swallowing everybody’s tweets, you will be wrongly influenced. May we not be poor and popular. Keep in mind that your best feminist lowkey has a husband and a kid she adores. So also your favourite word bender, thread maker, soup seller, Self-made CEO, Hair care exporter, baker, shoemaker, coder, Dear Designer or Marketing and Communications Specialist. Keep your wits about you and do not be easily be influenced by tweets scheduled to entertain you. Feel free to react to this, comment and share, Expect a sequel, or not!