Thursday, October 15, 2009


I was waiting for a cab on the busy street of Bode Thomas in Surulere, one hot sunny afternoon, when I heard someone screamed my name out loud from a taxi. It was a girl called Vera, my secondary school classmate. Unfortunately the car couldn’t stop for us to hail and then she screamed… “Check me up on facebook you will find me”. Guess what? I did find her when I checked. Vera and I have been corresponding ever since. This morning, her Facebook status update reads “I didn’t get enough sleep”. I dropped a comment “Go back to bed…lol”.
Check this out; Ted saw Vera profile picture flash across his wall, he immediately adds her…this went so fast now they are happily married, simply put “Marriage made from facebook.
PHEW! At the sound of the whistle we discovered our lives have gone online, all thanks technology. Facebook happens to be one of the latest buzz words on the internet alongside others such as; Google, Myspace, Youtube, blogs,Twitter, e-Bay, iPhones, podcasts, and whatever the latest buzzword is. But just what is Facebook?
Facebook is a site that is set to enhance social connectivity, where you can catch up on old friends, and meet new friends. It offers us a medium to express ourselves, access cultural trends, opinions and information, advocate for causes close to our hearts, while investing in networking with people from all walks of life. Just with a click to a link, with our own fingers on the mouse, we are exposed to wealth of information about more friends and celebrities or people we admire.People have different reason for being on Facebook,it could be good, bad or ugly” Like Vera and I, most young people have thriving and busy Facebook account large numbers of Facebook fans (less than a quarter percent we hardly know, personal blogs,) and huge twitters following. New lexicon is floating out, sure you must have heard of some terms used in describing people these days, woman are no longer from Venus, but Wikipedia, men are from twitters no longer from Mars, relative to number of words per sentence. With the internet taking us to places we have never been, made us friends, we may never meet in our life time, yet these friendships often transcends kinship. Yet in the midst of this socio-technological milieu, “There’s a worry”, said Tammy, 32, “I joined Facebook but got out after a while, there is so much poke nosing, you would lose your privacy for almost no benefit. I think is for idol people”
Ola, 17, shares a different opinion of this “I have met a girlfriend from facebook, when she discovered I stay in Lagos; we hooked up. I have met a lot of people I didn’t know on facebook”
Mrs. Bolaji 42, is a mother who also has a Facebook account “My son was always too engrossed in Facebook, so I had to open an account at some point. I remember the first time we got to chat, he told me about his poor grades at school, but we lived in the same house and I didn’t know this. I think excessive us means we are losing some of the ability to build interpersonal communication that’s necessary for living together and building a community. More so I think parents should try and be more adaptive with technology so they can follow-up strongly on their children. It is a good time as it will help our children to keep their friends longer than our own generation did.
Answering to whether she thinks there is a disadvantage, she said “I know many people express concern about this networking, but I think that there’s much that is positive about it than there is negative. Sure this Facebook stuff goes wrong when users can’t drawn the lines. I tell my son about moderation in all things as the bible urged us to do. lDr Sigman a biologist based in the US, published a paper in the journal Biologist entitled “Well connected? The biology of ‘social networking’ ”, in which — according to one precise — he “warns us of the dangers of sacrificing old-fashioned social contact for the current trend towards more online interaction”. The problem lies with those who spend too much time on Facebook with people they have never met. How can a few lines in print ever replace the intricacies of tone, body language and laughter of meeting someone face to face?” She wanders.

Maku is a youth teacher who shared her heart said “Now, the argument does not lean towards what we are achieving with technology or how it is changing our world, definitely it is, rather it is more about how technology is affecting our lives. This interconnected world of endless possibilities offers us a rich popular culture, with standards of what is right and wrong as varied as the strings of a harp. I think most of the problems our parents battled with have not reduced or changed any bit, rather the problems, like our cell phones are getting smarter. Pornography is no longer the magazine buried beneath the rumbles in the drawer, or under the traveling bag. It has outmoded the erotic romance novel, the DVD, or even the web page on the Internet. Far beyond that! Today, it is just a flip away, in our mobile phones, iPods, and other communication devices, and it is coming closer, perhaps it would soon be a programme permanently installed in brains, 24/7 assess. And as the perversion among this generation heightens, we are told we do not need to even watch others any more. With the video recording device in our phones, we can ignite our lusts by recording our escapades for our own private indulgence. If you doubt me, check the video of your friends...just that you might have to ask them for the password, it is coded. Here is how relative right and wrong is, unmarried young guys and ladies, believe that being principled is not about abstinence, but being faithful to one partner. Young people are engaging in online sex and other unhealthy practices. There is a need to talk about the threats these people are facing”.
Now let’s talk to ourselves, I very much hate to admit that all around us, in our friends, folks and maybe in ourselves, we see the lethal effect of all of these on our psyche, as it becomes more apparent. Already we seem to be losing most of our talented young people in this generation to drugs, prostitution, violence, militancy, crime, immorality and mindless killings. If you name it, someone is living it right around you. Sometimes I feel for every one youth that is right, there are nine others that are so badly screwed you need help to envy them. They say young people are the future, how so true! Only if we are protected and insulated against the destructive vibrations that lurk in wait ahead of us. My fears is can we survive the macabre beats of this tragic orchestra? How can we cope with all these and how will these challenges affect us in the future?
Facebook and the various forms of technological expression has become a tool that is shaping our world and life. It is a medium to share our faith and our testimony. It is a medium to affect lives positively. The world has changed, so should our strategy for reaching out.

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