OoTheNigerian

sometimes, I make a lot of sense.

Social Media, Nigerians and Morbidity.

07 August 2012 by Oo

I remember the good old days i.e before Facebook/Twitter and Blogging became part of our lives. Anytime you visited someone’s  home,  especially as a first time visitor, the first thing you were offered to view was a photo album. During that period, I went through thousands of images and NOT ONCE did I see a picture of a burnt body, headless baby or crushed person.

Fast forward to today, our Facebook profiles, Twitter feeds and blogs are the equivalent of our documentation of our lives. The photo album of today. 7 years ago, it would have been unimaginable to visit your friend only to be shown the picture of a dead body or the splattered brains of an accident victim. Today, I log on to FB and in my feed, I see otherwise sane people sharing burnt bodies, headless children with me.  While before you needed to visit people to see their albums, these days, the albums are pushed to you. Thankfully, with Facebook, you can mute people with morbid fantasies. For me it is one strike and you are gone from my news feed.

So my main question is, what has changed when did abnormal become normal?

There are some good arguments I have heard.

  1. It is far easier to capture these gruesome images.
  2. It is easier to share
  3. The more things are done without repercussion the more acceptable it becomes.
  4. It has always been in us.

Out of all those arguments, I think number 4 holds the most water for me. Technology just made it easier and ‘democratic’ to display the eerie side of our beings.

Anyway, before you decide to RT/Re Share/ReBlog the picture of the next dead body, pause and THINK.  Would you would be cool if that body belonged to you, your family or your friend.

PS:

  1. Although Linda Ikeji’s post showing the picture of someone’s Father/Brother/Friend/Cousin/Husband crushed in his car triggered the timing of this post, it goes beyond her. When Nigerian artist MC Loph died, former humans were using the picture of his dead body as their Blackberry display picture. The images of those that died in the northern political/religious crises, sacrificed kids among others flow into our feeds daily.
  2. Yes, this is worryingly particular to Nigerians

10 comments | Categories: Commentary | Tags: , ,

  • http://sugabellyrocks.com/ Sugabelly

    I agree completely. I think the height of it was one day I logged onto a tumblr blog that usually is about Nigerian fashion, right after the jos crisis and I saw a picture of a young girl whose head had been cut open and part of her brain had been gouged out. I threw up at my computer and made a lengthy report to Tumblr requesting that the blog be shut down. That is somebody’s BABY. That is a human child who fell victim to terrible circumstances. To casually share such a picture is beyond reprehensible. But what do you expect when people in this country think nothing of posting and sharing videos of women being raped, videos of children being sexually molested and all manner of horrific things. Nigerians are a morally bankrupt lot.

    • http://myOnePage.com/Oo Oo Nwoye

      I think that we just have lost the plot. Technology should come with some ‘training’ or responsibility. I take responsibility for having viewed some of these things.These days, I just block it off. I will start letting people know it is not acceptable instead of muting them.

      • http://sugabellyrocks.com/ Sugabelly

        Letting people know definitely goes a long way. I was at a book reading right after that awful video of those children being molested came out, and I noticed the lady next to me laughing so i looked over to see what was amusing her and lo and behold she was watching that video of those children being sexually molested and showing it to her friend and LAUGHING!!

        I just lost my shit. I yelled at her in the middle of the book reading to turn it off and told her off seriously. She started mumbling some shit about how it’s so sad and I was like, if you really think it’s sad then why the fuck do you have a video of children being molested on your damn phone so you can access it any time and show another bunch of idiots??

        She was totally embarrassed but honestly i didn’t give a shit. Some people do this shit because other people let them get away with it. Don’t let them.

        • http://myOnePage.com/Oo Oo Nwoye

          People do not realize it. But maybe you should be a bit gentle next time.

        • YeyeDeySmell

          I just about threw up at this. WHAT. THE. F–K. Kids being abused in 9ja & ppl making vids of it? And a woman laughing at such? I would have called the cops on her or grabbed the microphone to ask ppl to help me tell her off because as far I’m concerned, the only way she can find it amusing is because she probably does the same to kids around her. Thank you @Sugabelly for telling the depraved woman off.

          Oo, what d’you mean be gentle next time? Abeg.

  • http://www.facebook.com/omosedeimohe Omosede Imohe

    Wow, you must know strange people :) – just joking. But I won’t tolerate anyone on my BB assaulting me with the image of a dead person as their dp. Now as for Facebook, it’s hard to control but I have never actually noticed such images too but that’s probably because I don’t spend that much time on there. But I can totally relate to the video of the kids, I couldn’t believe the number of sane people who forwarded it to me. The forwards started with “parents please keep an eye on your kids” as if to say the reason for distributing child porn is to remind parents to be watchful. Well guess what, parents don’t need to watch “child porn” to help them in discharging their parental duties.

    • http://myOnePage.com/Oo Oo Nwoye

      Lol. Na real assaulting.

      People just do not know I suppose. We are becoming wired in a different manner. When you see an accident, the first impulse is to ‘capture’ it. The child porn is another thing entirely. There was this blogger chap that published a picture of a girl with ‘small boobs’ he found it funny. Interestingly, the guy is based in Yankee. I emailed him and told him he could be jailed for child porn. He thanked me and deleted it. He just did not know right from wrong anymore and had to be reminded.

  • Nedu

    Nice one Oo… Really true and it’s sad. I guess it’s because that’s what most people want to see. It makes news and gets people talking… It’s similar to the sort of things that make the news today, makes you wonder if nothing good is happening anywhere in this world.
    Unfortunately, i think it’s going to continue happening. Sad but true.

    • http://myOnePage.com/Oo Oo Nwoye

      I agree with you. Na ‘evolution’.

  • Uandi

    Bad news seems to get a lot of attention and we’re in an era where we’re just so hungry for attention and fame. Sad but true.