The royal wedding lived up to the hype that preceded it. It was all we expected and more. Beyond the haute couture outfits, the array of celebrity guests dressed to the nines and all round pomp and pageantry, there were many highlights of the epoch-making event. And depending on who you were talking, to the star of the day could range from the Kingdom Choir, a group of 20 whose rendition of “Stand By Me” was anything but pedestrian to 19-year old Sheku Kanneh Mason’s graceful performance to Bishop Michael Curry’s unusual sermon.
Twitter might be the abode of witty comebacks and humour, and Instagram might have all the puff and fluff, but Facebook rules where the numbers are concerned. The leading social media platform combines an eclectic mix of fun and seriousness that is hard to find in other virtual communities. The proof is in the almost 2 billion active users it boasts of – far higher than the combined number of active users its rivals have. Facebook’s goal of connecting family and friends is the chief reason it remains the preferred platform for the majority. In these times where more people interact online than physically, it’s not unusual to have more virtual friends compared to “real” friends.
On Friday, the city of Lagos was on lockdown because of one wedding. The wedding of the daughter of the richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote. I didn’t get the memo on time. Not until I visited social media and found that the first class wedding ceremony had not just been attended by the high and mighty of Nigeria’s corporate, social and political class, it also had in attendance one of the most famous people in the entire universe – Mr Bill Gates. And when the pictures taken at the event started to make the rounds on popular blogs and news sites, I fully understood why there was a huge buzz around the occasion.
Since social media became a phenomenon, people have explored it for various uses. In the virtual community, there are really no rules. Yes, even though most platforms provide the option of reporting toxic posts, more often than not, bad conduct goes unpunished. I am active on social media. I hardly have a choice because of the nature of my job which demands the use of the platform. However, even I am tempted to take a break from it sometimes. The reason – social media can be overwhelming. The cacophony of opinions, the controversies, dirty fights and fake life…it can all be a bit too much for a more introverted personality like mine.
At first, they were a tad too cheeky about it, and most of their customers weren’t particularly thrilled. Then, they did it right. Offered a simple, what-appeared-to-be-a-heartfelt-apology with a twist of genius copy; and since then, not only has their target audience become more accepting of their apology, they have further propagated the gospel of KFC by eulogising the brilliance of the ad.
Smart, street savvy, boisterous and impatient are all adjectives that come to mind when describing the Lagosian. That special breed of people who define the pace and set the trend for other Nigerians to follow. The good, the bad, and the “extra”- Lagos boasts of them all without trying too hard. The DNA of the Lagosian seems to be hardwired from the point of conception. One look, and you can tell that if a person is cut from the Lagos fabric or not. You can’t fake it, it’s either inborn or not.
One of the thoughts that got me excited when I was about to conclude my University education was the fact that I was going to start earning a living soon. That I was going to be financially independent for the first time in my life. I also figured that as the last child in the family, I would have little or no responsibilities in line with having to share my income with anyone (even though I knew I of course was obligated to my family in some ways), after all as the baby of the house I was allowed to take, but hardly expected to give. Looking back now, I can’t help but laugh at my naivety, as I have since realized how completely deluded I was.
It’s best to keep things as simple as possible. But like many other things, it’s easier said than done. In a world that constantly conspires to subdue and overwhelm, staying calm is one of the difficult things to do. Life is short. The average person out there desires to achieve as much as they can in as little time as possible. There are personal desires…desires which the world oftentimes indirectly and sometimes pointedly oppose. The cacophony of voices that tend to drown out our own inner voice. A lone voice in the wilderness.
We are almost a week into 2016 already. What are you doing differently?
Happy new year people! Here’s hoping everyone had a good start to the year. So, one of the major challenges I faced last year was in the area of personal finance. Like the average person out there, I get cash strapped from time to time. However, the year just gone by was particularly financially challenging for me for many reasons. And so, one of the things I have resolved to do this year is to ensure that I reduce the chances of that happening again to the barest minimum. I intend to achieve this by going back to something my siblings and I were encouraged to do as kids – save the traditional way in a money box!