By James Kanyip
The trend today in the social media in Nigeria is that, anybody whose stock-in-trade is to insult the government of the day, the political leaders and elders in his updates and posts is seen as an “activitist”; and thereby attracts to himself a sizable number of followers.
Unlike in the past, social media now provides many with an opportunity that is increasingly appearing too fast for them to reasonably and responsibly handle. They become heady by the number of followers they have; and thus develop this false sense of security that they are invincible to, and untouchable by those they insult, even the long arm of the law.
The praise-singing from their false followers stultify their sense of discernment so much so that caution and objectivity are thrown to the wind. They have no respect for anyone. They churn out insults and unverifiable/unprovable accusations against the government, leaders and elders with brass arrogance to the ovation of their followers. They substitute objective/constructive criticisms with insults. This has become their pastime on social media. They think the right to freedom of expression is their exclusive right to be enjoyed by them, and them alone.
This situation will not continue to go on unabated and unchecked. Someday, somehow and somewhat the long arm of the law will catch up with them; and they shall be made to face its full wrath. Their false sense of invincibility and untouchability will be exposed and they shall be called upon to account for their words and utterances. This shall be followed with dire consequences.
When that time comes, their many social media followers and friends will abandon them to their fate. That social media “friendship”, “comradeship” and “togetherness” will vanish immediately; and they will be left to carry their cross all by theirselves. No Simon of Cyrene will come to their aid. That is when they will realise that when people clap on sighting a mosquito, their intent is not to praise it but to kill it.
I have a piece of advice for these people: when you want to be a social media “activist”, make sure your facts are not only correct but also provable; and be ready to defend these facts before the court of law and not before the court of social media.
Meanwhile, enjoy your “social media activism” while it lasts!