by Farida Adamu
Going through the history of Social Media wars and how badly they escalated will make you wonder if the next world war will start from a Facebook post or a ‘sarcastic’ tweet, or a comment by Chimamanda. Anything can easily be misunderstood or thoroughly analysed.
This is how it begins; someone makes a post or comment, another misunderstands the sarcasm in it or not, someone else trolls it, another trolls the troller, many other trolls join, the clash of words begins. On this kind of thread you find different category of troller.
The insultive and uncouth fellows who call everyone who disagrees with them an idiot, the fact-based troll who has well researched materials to back up their points, the O.P troll whose arguments are always off point and off course the grammar police who check to see who is spelling what wrongly.
The peacemakers are yanked off the thread, everyone is angry, nobody is retreating. Friendships are lost, ex-lovers begin to threaten each other with screenshots of conversations.
These are the ones you should fear, the ones who post screenshots. You are no longer one of them, your apostasy must be made public. But by now I believe you know that the fear of screenshots is the beginning of social media wisdom.
What’s scarier? A social media mob waiting to lynch you or an ex threatening to share your nudes?
If the Linda Ikejis of this life decide to make your case a headline, then you know your internet future has become very bleak. A meant-to-be-sarcastic post. A sex chat with an ex. They can all come back to add heat to a war on the internet.
As the Social Interaction ecosystem continues to grow; posts and comments threads are created, read, updated and deleted but the internet hardly forgets. Even what’s done in the dark is not really dark anymore. There’s a screenshot waiting somewhere to recount your deeds. It takes a second for a private conversation to be served to millions of people round the world. With increased 24/7 access to the internet and flexible data plans, it’s hard to control bad behavior.
This is not to preach at you or advice you but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Think before you post. Don’t write or say what you don’t mean or can’t defend. Play safe.