Social media has NOT helped my life.
Its speed dating on SPEED.
Its coffee, acid and weed together all in a portable carry-it-where-you-will package that your mother approves.
A couple of days or nights of intense IMing can get one so intensely knowledgeable of an absolute stranger, so much more than someone one sees on a daily basis.
The mask the internet wears in the sheath of pseudo anonymity only serves as a lure into extreme self exhibitionism, and deepens further as connections are made.
I have come to this bitter conclusion after several years of playing with this fire.
I was not so fortunate as to have been introduced to social media through the safe and managed world of desktop IM and email.
No. mine was a baptism of fire. It was the early pre-gprs days of dial up internet on the phone. When downloading a ringtone and having it ring in public made deep deep impact.
I am definitely not that old a man, old enough though. Twas my campus years , and the phones used belonged to that parent, aunt or brother who had a phone with complex facilities way beyond what the network could offer.
I can remember thinking up such beautiful ideas such as starting up a company that does MMS advertising so that by the time our networks adopt MMS, then we would be market leaders…ah,good times. concepts superceded by technological advancements i guess.
At the time my addictions were not so severe, due to the high cost of dial-up data.
AND THEN THERE WAS GPRS.
To add to the above gift which I now see as a predicament, I received a Nokia 3300. A phone way way way ahead of its time.
Thus through GPRS and WAP, I discovered the IM networks, some british, a good number asian and Indian, some american. The population was mainly young people, very young.
We were all either in our first or second years in campus at most, the rest, even kids in primary school.
Peperonity, Mig33,wapamp, mygamma and some which i refuse to name as they were text based with intense and revelatory conversations forever hanging out there on the wap web… sigh.
Those were the good memories. I made many friends , to whom I spoke (no, chatted) with daily for hours on end daily for a minimum of ten hours a day.
When did i find the time? You did it everywhere. My thumbs (the 3300 was a rela of the Ngage, qwerty things)were almost always sore like a pro gamer.My mom hated it .
The bad bits was the fast love culture it bore. I know alot of people used those portals to hook up. look up the words “hook up” .
The second aspect was how emotionally draining it was. I cannot say anything more on that.
I wasted tons of credit. Tons. the money I spent on airtime…. considering I had no source of income…coz you had to chat daily. You know the way you do not really need your cell phone, but if you leave home without it you feel as if your day is destroyed? that was how I would feel after an hour of not responding or checking on updates.
Alot of the emotional hangups I have with regard to women and relationship were built around social media addiction.
To be honest, from all the time I spent on the stuff, I gained NOTHING.
All those companies are laughing to the bank in conjunction with the service providers.
I am saying this now that Safaricom is endorsing MXIT ( A service I had been on for about a year) and Facebook for popular and widespread use all over the country.
I just feel that someone should learn from my terrible experiences and that my example should cause some sort of protection to be put in place towards regulating these addictive things.
I swear NACADA should be told about this new drug and its worse than all the rest because its in the guise of cool government supported companies and no one can see the problem as it is novel.
I do hope this post will help any chat addicts and net addicts out there to know they are not alone, others have overcome and it is possible to get out.