I think I joined Facebook sometime in 2008. At that time, it was the “in” thing and every happening person was on Facebook. It all made sense after I relocated to the States because it made communication a little bit better and gave a sense of being around the people you would have loved to be around but for the geographic distance.
However, increasingly, I (and the rest of the world) am realizing how much of a bad idea it is turning out to be. Please exercise some patience and walk with me.
The first red flag came from the kind of comments which people dropped especially on pictures. I am an oldie at heart and an almost avid believer of the dictum that you keep to yourself a negative compliment. I say “almost avid” because when the pictures are of my very very close friends and family members, I am usually the first to make fun of them/tease, when need be. Why? Personally, I am a very jovial person and more often than not, things I say should not be taken to heart. These people understand that and that makes it ok. But for the others, I really don’t want you asking me why I am so fat compared to 5 years ago…:-o. I wouldn’t ask you same! So, mbok, for the hatred of homicide, keep your “un-well-thought” comments to yourself. Basically, most sense of social etiquette and decorum is lost while in the clouds.
Another was from two creepy situations. I was talking with one of my “I-wan-be-your-man” boys and he told me of how my picture was his computer’s background image…:-o! Ohkay!!!! My pictures are really that accessible?! As if this was not enough, one of my juniors from high school added me. He would comment on my pictures and all sort. I regarded him as a younger brother since he is close to my younger brother’s age anyway. Tell me why I instinctively went on his profile one day and starring back at me was me! My pictures were all over his wall with captions like “Isn’t she hot?”, “Sexy” etc. I am not talking of 1,2,3 pictures, I am talking of a whole frigging album! Now imagine the kind of comments boys about 5-6 years your junior will be writing. I was mortified and unfriended him, sharp sharp.
The third came from some accidental incidences. Prior to my relocation to the States, there was this group of boys in my area. They consisted of step brothers and their friends, about 5 of them in all. I used to talk to them (one of them was trying to date me) and my mum knew them because she was once their principal. It took a while but they eventually joined Facebook. We corresponded a couple of times but I soon got tired of the usual, “ah, na u dey enjoy o!” kindda discussion. When I went to Nigeria last year, they came to the house to say hi and one of them refused to come with the rest. When I asked after his whereabouts, they told me that he was crossed with me. My offence? Oh! I ignored some of his comments on Facebook while responding to some others. Was it intentional on my part? Nope! As it so happens, some comments get me more animated than others and somewhere along the line; it is easy for me to forget to personally acknowledge some. But how could I explain this to the youngman when his accusation held true a couple of times (apparently, he had been on the lookout and was counting). I felt bad and had to send him an email.
Another of those incidences happened with another friend, lets call her Plaid (shall we? :)). You see, this friend is an exhilarating person. Her view of the world and life gets me thinking. Even though I don’t usually agree with most of her takes, it still tickles me to her such different perspectives. Last semester, she was going through a phase in her r/ship and as such, had quite a bit of time on her hands. We hung out a lot and took quite some pictures on different occasions. This semester, I realized she seemed a bit standoffish. I attributed it to her rejuvenated relationship (= she ain got me time anymore, no wahala there). Because of the kind of person I perceive her to be, I didn’t push it. She is the type who would ask you why you are asking after her. She means no harm but that’s just the way she is. Sometime last week, a newly-made friend came over while I was cooking. She then told me that Plaid was coming over. Plaid came over and I teased and joked about how she had abandoned me and all. I got done cooking and we moved back to my room to massacre the Iyan and Efo Elegusi (Couldn’t resist chipping that in, sorry). As my other friend was lemzing the poor plate of food, I made to pick up my camera and take funny pictures of her. Plaid then made a comment and said something about me taking all those/these pictures and not knowing what I did with them. She them told me that she wouldn’t allow me take a picture of her till I put up the ones I had from last year on FB. I sort of made a joke of the whole thing. My other friend left and Plaid and I got talking. She then proceeded to tell me about how she had a bit of issue with something I said last semester. We had planned on cooking together and I was pretty excited because it was for a breakfast of Yam and eggs. I guess I made a comment on her status or on mine saying something about me heading to her place to enslave her with my yam and eggs. She took offense to that. I apologized. She then went on to tell me how I got her thinking because I never put up pictures that featured me and her, yet I have pictures of me and like one/two of my other friends on FB. *Sigh*
Permit me to digress a little bit here.
I am finding out that my attitude towards FB is a bit unusual and unconventional for someone my age. While most of this has to do with my upbringing (because Ngor exhibits some of these characteristics too), I think it has been amalgamated into my personality as well. Some of the reasons are:
As I have said, several times, I am an FB stalker (What? Ain no shame in my game). What fun is there in logging on, only to view my status updates or my pictures? I see loots of stuff! I find ways of circumventing blocked profiles. All it takes is for someone to have tagged you in a picture. My discoveries during my stalking adventures make me very cynical towards the network. Hence, I rarely update my status, I put up pictures eons after it was taken, I mix pictures in an album etc etc etc.
I am a bit of a private person. I kind of have an aversion to people knowing all of my business, from where I school to what I study to what I eat to my routine (You get the picture?). Once in a while I hint at some things and that’s all (the people who matter will understand what I am hinting at). Because of this, you will rarely find updates like “Hanging out with xxxx” and all those stuff. I don’t have a problem with people who do all aforementioned. You guys keep me amused otherwise; your profiles will be as boring as mine.
I actually care (maybe a tad too much) about perception (sometimes and on select issues). Maybe I am a people pleaser *shrug*. That’s why you probably won’t find me putting up pictures of a ceremonial activity in my life, but will put up those for my friends. E.g., I might not put up pictures of my birthday bash, but I will willingly put up those of my friend’s. Maybe I feel that it says something about my presence without wanting to come out as a vain person. I occasionally go through my albums and delete some before uploading new ones.
This is getting too long. I guess I have to write it in parts. But really, I think I am too over-analytical and complex…*sigh*