Why are Nigerians so angry on Twitter? – Peju Akande
I used to be on Twitter… well, I still am. But I have a measly followership.
I used to check Twitter regularly. I used to go there every day for news feeds, to retweet a few things In fact, I felt might be useful to others; check a few posts, follow more people even though I hardly posted myself.
Mainly, I was just content with reading and retweeting. It used to be for me a fun place to get a few laughs because people can be really funny; especially in the retweets and savage responses, gee, you will always find crazy Nigerians there.
Some two years ago, I began to slowly retreat from Twitter as I became more of a Facebook fan. I began to back away from Twitter because it was at that time becoming a platform for hate! A platform that moved from people simply wanting to rant; to a ground for spewing rage of volcanic proportions; rage that sweeps every contrary view right into the gutter full of slime and dirt and filth and germ.
The acid on Twitter eats deep! It cuts flesh and bones and dissolves rapidly into heaving bloodied mounds!
And here’s the thing, no one is safe; don’t be thinking hey, “I am an elder, Nigerians respect elders… Or “I have achieved so much, helped people a lot. Surely I will have people who will support my views…”
If you make a ‘false’ tweet, as much as hold a contrary opinion to what is popular or trending; the very people you think will be on your side are coming for your main artery; they will slice it off without a backward glance! What’s instructive here is most of the people spewing hate, being downright rude and disrespectful are kids…
Yeah, junior Nigeria!
They are Nigerian youth with access to data. I should say, ‘thankfully have access to data.”
The so called restless youths; the so called lazy Nigerian youth; they are not lazy, just unemployed…for the moment. So, Twitter is the ground to pounce on anyone who as much as airs an opinion they think is ‘wrong.’
Which is why they won’t hesitate to tear into you like piranhas; leaving no bones but blood and measly pieces of floating flesh; a gory reminder that someone made a mistake of taking a contrary view in the wildlife infested ocean called Twitter!
The rage is shocking…But then again, it’s an expected reaction from someone who has trudged the length and breath of his/her community after writing countless letters of application and emailed several more to prospects that yielded nothing! Or in many cases, what they have isn’t even enough to support them.
It doesn’t even help that each year, the chances of getting the job dims as they age!
So, I can deal with hate; people don’t have to like you; but when it gets steeped in an unhinged tantrum, caustic words and downright disregard for another’s humanity; I ask myself, why are we even arguing about this?
Can’t I hold a contrary opinion without the vitriol? Without the call for my family’s head? Insults to my children, parents, people who have no idea what the dissent on Twitter is all about?
Look at that Wole Soyinka plane seat issue? People only read half-truths leading to the exchange of seats between him and the passenger on board. Yet, Wole Soyinka was dragged all over muddy Twitter by kids who can’t even spell his name correctly. Should we revere WS simply because of his achievements?
No, but when it was discovered that many reacted based on false information; one would have expected those who insulted him and ripped him to sheds to at least apologise for their error! Not one of them did.
Twitter is fast becoming the ground for trading insults, for vituperations, for the spread of lies and half-truths. Some have made the platform a place to bully whoever they choose to pick on simply because they have blind followership.
Before I finally decided I had no heart for it; I had read with rapidly beating heart about several people who had been mauled by hateful words on Twitter. That was when I decided I had no liver for these roforofo fights…
I’ll continue to watch from a distance and hope that those who have become masters of hate; those who earned huge followership – not because of anything exemplary but because they have the more toxic words at their fingertips – will not burn themselves one day; because you see, the internet doesn’t forget.
Some day, those words will come to burn them… but why warn anyone? They should continue.
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