I am not proud of this confession I am about to make and I am generally pretty upset as I write this.
Very recently, we sorta got our internet back in a way that tele turns a blind eye to the fact that we can cheat our way into the blocked sites with VPN and keeping its eyes blind, it reaches right into our pockets and takes away all our money. Somehow we don’t stop it with all the internet even after we’ve lost way too much in a day in some cost we don’t understand. We have decided to accept the fact that tele takes our money and there is nothing we can do about it so we go out and buy another card.
Last year, most of my contact with people happened exclusively through the internet. My phone was glued to my hands and school and literally everything else came second to whatever I was doing on the internet; my job was online, everyone I liked was online and anyone who would pretend to not have been thinking about me until that moment they see me online so they can talk to me now was online….. Half my allowance went into paying for my phone credits and I cut contact with actual human beings because somehow they were very very annoying. If you asked me how much of whatever I was doing then stuck with me now or how many of those cyber friends actually tried to keep contact when we lost our internet, I would just be mad at you because you will have asked a good question I don’t have a good answer to.
I once had the following conversation with my cousin.
Her: I don’t use Facebook a lot because no one uses Facebook anymore. (She’s from Sweden. Of course we still use Facebook a lot here in Ethiopia.)
Me: I do. My whole life is in there.
Thinking back on it now, the amount of wrong in the above few sentences makes me sick. I hope upon seeing this, none of my Facebook friends, especially those I’ve never met, will hold it against me but I don’t know what to do with the whole lot of you. I don’t know how many of you would write RIP on my page if I died. I don’t know how many of you will hear of my death. I don’t know how many of you will remember it was me. How many of you would recognize me in the streets and say hello? How many of you would pretend not to recognize me?
This wasn’t the point I wanted to make but the point is made nonetheless. I understand that from a marketing point of view social media is a goldmine. Creative artists get the majority of their audience from social media but perhaps “friends” is a much too friendly term we are using. I don’t know if changing it would make me feel better. I don’t know how to refer to someone I know on Facebook only. I don’t know whether I should say I know them or not. I know that social media plays a very important role in keeping long lost friends, who would have otherwise drifted apart and become total strangers, in contact. I guess all the effort we make to keep our friends these days is deciding whether or not we want to push a few buttons.
My phone dropped from the top bunk of my bed today and it’s safe to say she’s gone. After sticking with me through thick and thin for about two and a half years, my true best friend is gone. The first thing on my mind after this realization was that I thought my whole life was in this tiny device…and it shattered. Was that it? Is my life gone now? People call me on this thing, people find me on this thing, I can’t carry my laptop around to listen to all my music…. What happens now?
I don’t say much in real life unless I have gotten really comfortable with you or I’ve had a gallon of coffee. I post things on my Facebook page and on Instagram or here on this blog because they are sorta like my mental toilets and where I shamelessly steal people’s ideas and where I get to pick people’s brains. But there’s a backstory, the confession I mentioned above that I’m sure many feel but won’t tell you. If we stopped our activity online, it truly feels like we might just vanish off the face of the earth.