OF SOCIAL MEDIA ATTENTION SEEKERS


The problem with my comrades is that they are all obsessed with fame. Now, while I have no qualms with people seeking to become famous by making a noticeable contribution to the society, it really chaps my shorts when comrades pursue fickle attention in amoral ways.

Have you been to Instagram and Facebook lately? The kind of pictures my comrades upload for likes would make your head spin. It’s nudity reloaded, that’s the price young girls are paying in exchange for attention nowadays. And if they have any clothes on, then it would be safe to assume that all youths shop at the kids section of fashion stores. I have seen people dress more decently in pool parties than in some of the photos posted on social media.

The way the photos themselves are taken leaves a lot to be desired. Photography has since been converted to geometry, with pictures shot with a strategy that will best portray ‘fundamentals’ from an angle of elevation. It’s a carnivore freak show, I tell you.

In Grandpa Richard’s days, photos were taken only by cameramen who had been accredited by the entire village. And you only got one shot a year, on Christmas and with all your clothes on. Flip the coin to modern days whereby every Akinyi, Wanjiru and Nekesa with a smartphone turn themselves into models, and you’ll agree with me that the picture (pardon the pun) isn’t pretty. To make matters worse, some of these comrades who post obscene photos just for fame possess looks that are more likely to break mirrors than warm hearts.

The situation gets worse when you go through tweets by attention seekers. In a little less than 140 characters, comrades will say extremely demeaning and offensive stuff just to create trending topics. I introduced Grandpa Richard to twitter on Mothers’ Day, and the pensioner threw his phone out the window after reading tweets from young people making awful jokes about their mothers. Some of the tweets were downright obscene crap that can send a conservative like me into a month-long comma. How did stuff only meant for a gynecologist’s ears end up on social media?

Call me a damned homo-erectus if you may, but when exactly did being famous become a career in the first place? Some of my comrades are even shoving their aspirations aside in pursuit of fame. Problem is, they strive to be famous with absolutely no talent at all. Tell a comrade to sip Countryman for attention and they’ll gladly do it. The pinnacle of their lives would be to participate in a twerk video that goes viral on Whatsapp.

“In the halcyon days, you had to fight for uhuru, produce a benga hit or get assassinated so as to be famous. You had to earn to your stripes,” Reminisces Grandpa Richard.

It is high time my comrades strove for obscurity and redirected their energies to getting rid of their own limitations. Life does not solely depend on the number of likes and retweets.

@JowalJones

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jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.