Social Media, Nigerians and Morbidity.
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.
- It is far easier to capture these gruesome images.
- It is easier to share
- The more things are done without repercussion the more acceptable it becomes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Yes, this is worryingly particular to Nigerians