SOCIAL MEDIA: THE NIGERIAN STRUGGLE

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


How do you enjoy social media when you are cash strapped in Nigeria?

Submitted: December 16, 2017

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Submitted: December 16, 2017

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I’m brimming with joy, grinning from ear to ear. Economic recession is everywhere. Everyone is complaining but I don’t care. I clearly cannot add being a social misfit to my growing list of problems I just must have data in my phone else my life is a no brainer. So they say. I buy the airtime with which I’m going to renew my data subscription. It’s been three weeks. I wonder how I survived. I’m on holiday, which means I had no money. I had to ask mom or dad. Dad was a bad idea, a truth I’ve discovered lately. I had to turn my sleeves over because the tricks in them had been exhausted in trying to get the money. My phone beeps. That’s the fifteenth time in two hours. It’s Facebook calling. “Just a moment” I mutter to myself. I quickly type my password onto the screen of my phone and it clicks open. I enter the 16 digit pin of the recharge cards carefully. I hate retrying. I wait for a reply from the service provider to validate my recharge, voila! It’s done. Then I proceed to dial the magic code (so I call it) to renew my data subscription, then I wait again. I receive a message which I already know the content.

I can’t wait to get to my room. There must be a lot of messages on these social media platforms waiting for me to respond. I use my thumb to hold and drag from the top of the screen. A roll down sheet reveals all the notifications waiting for me to respond to. I go by default to the whatsapp messenger and opened it. The column with chats was staring with me with a staggering 32 in a green circle. I sigh as I stated responding to them while murmuring to myself in the process. Staring at my phone, I almost knock my dad over. Raising my head momentarily, I mutter an apology and head straight into the room.

“Nkechi will not leave me alone. With all this “Ok” I always put on this chat doesn’t she understand that she is not my type?” I say, as I open my whatsapp messenger to reveal her name as the most recent message. I scroll over her chat and move to the next one.

It’s Samuel. With my keypad disturbingly beeping, I resumed the chat.

“Sorry Sam, I just got into the house.” I say “typing” at the top of my phone where his name was written so I just tapped the back button to attend to another person before he responded.

All these groups I even joined are just purely annoying. I can’t leave them still. “2012 set” “our youths”, “nija newsforum” etc. I scroll down to reveal more chats.

Look! Morenike my bestie left me information. I wonder why she didn’t just call. “That’s so sweet of you pumpkin, I will look it up” I respond , making reference to the link she sent me.

Mary sent me a “hi” message. My long time crush. I had been trying ceaselessly to get her to respond to one of my many hellos and today she says hi? Just as I open the chat, below her name is “last seen 12:05pm”. Eight hours ago. I deflate immediately. With no more willingness to continue reviewing my whatsapp messenger messages, I move to my twitter application. My phone is covered in sky blue with a white bird stationary at the centre. It disappears before Jack Robinson could leave my lips. I had just received another follower. I now have fifty-six followers. After a few months of dormancy I could now boast of fifty-six followers. It wasn’t much but it was somewhere to start. I fell like raising a glass to that.

I scroll through my newsfeed, view a few tweets, laugh at the funny ones, retweet as many as I can, respond to some rhetoric tweets hoping to increase my followers and like  a few more accounts. I hit the heart shaped button at the end of a few tweets too. They call it like button.  I check trending issues and hash tags maybe something I know about could be the bone of contention. None. Boring myself out, it’s time to post some selfies.

I move over to my Facebook application. 16 was the number at the head of my notification. As I tap the notification button, I hear my name, to my utter disgust. I step out to the parlor to face my dad’s angry face.

“ You are so disrespectful. How can you walk past four elders here without even saying a word. Is that what I’m teaching you in this house?

I take a cursory gaze around the parlor to discover we have visitors. Anyways, I just mumble a few greetings to them and turn to return my room.

“Where do you even think you are heading to?” my dad says, stopping me in my track. I turn to face him again clearly irritated.

“You are even angry that I called you?” he says noticing the irritation on my face and cleverly hiding his. Just then, I know that I won’t return to my room until at least after another thirty minutes. God save my soul. Mr. Johnson clearly won’t let that opportunity pass without giving his own sermon. Add another forty-five minutes to the initial thirty. Clearly, I left my mind is with my phone inside my room. So after an hour and fifteen minutes, I can’t reproduce even a few sentences they had just said. I’d be gutted if I was asked. I say thank you sirs beneath my breath to be a bit more respectful before returning to my room.

I didn’t put my phone to charge, the crying sound it made upon my entrance reminds that. “Ohgawd” I curse, the words barely negotiating the calcium bars beneath my lips. Automatically, I lose the comfort of lying down while I respond accordingly to the entire social application begging for my attention.

Comfort is online. We have an unfinished discussion. Pin, pin, pin, my keypad beeps as I type hi on my Facebook messenger and press send to deliver the message.

“Steve I missed you”

“I missed you too bae. How was your day?

“Fine. You just went AWOL for three weeks I thought something had happened”

“Why didn’t you call if you cared so much” that’s my Facebook bae I remember she doesn’t have my digit yet. I send another message to refute what I just typed.

“That message was misplaced”

“Really? She asks then she adds “hmm”. Clearly that didn’t fly but I just move on.

“So when will we eventually meet?” while we drag that issue out, I move to my homepage to update my selfies on my Facebook albums.

The timer in my phone says it’s past 11 pm. Staring past my mosquito net to the clock directly opposite my bed, it’s confirmed. I’m famished. I walk to the kitchen. Mom is putting finishing touches to the activities in the kitchen.

“You should have asked your phone to give you dinner since that’s all you know to do these days”

“Mummy how can you say that. That’s not all I do. I still do some house chores”

“That’s why an old woman like me is still roaming the kitchen when I have a grown up like you”. A statement to which I have no answer.

“Ok. Mummy I promise to do better” trying to suck up to her.

“Please let me hear.” She mocks. That’s what you have always said and I’m clearly tired of your lame promises. I will soon be out of patience. I’m running on reserve now so you know.” She is in no mood for my games for my lame promises or excuses. She’s hurt and I hate that I’m the one doing it to her. I will soon be out of luck. She leaves the kitchen. What wrong could I have done by just trying to move along with the digital age? But until then, I have a hungry stomach to feed.

I leave the kitchen after eating; I take my bath and return to my room. I pick up my phone to continue from where I left off. I receive a message from my service providers which I’m tempted to read.

“Dear customer, your current account balance is ?300. Last data usage is 130MB at 5k per kilobyte.” I shudder in shock while putting off my data with lightning speed. I check my balance to be sure. I revisit the messages trying to find where the problem came from. Just then it hits me. I borrowed  ?500

the week I needed airtime urgently. I read the messages I ignored earlier:

“Dear customer, you do not have sufficient balance for this plan. Please recharge and try again.”

I calmly lie down on my bed and ask myself; what do I do now?


 


© Copyright 2020 chuks c.k. All rights reserved.

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