My old man, Grandpa Richard, will never get to wrap his head around some of the things Generation X do. We cannot fault him, though, for old dogs seldom learn new tricks.
Take dating, for example. Grandpa still holds firm his belief that cupid deserted the youngsters ages ago, leaving behind a generation devoid of courtship values, romance and a squat of true love.
During his time, courtship was a lengthy affair that involved productive stalking, carefully rehearsed pick-up lines by the river-bank, and neatly written missives. To think that nowadays one can just log onto Facebook, shop around for a potential mate and get hooked even before the first date is something that will always discombobulate the retiree.
The papers reported a disconcerting story on Tuesday. A college student committed suicide after a foreigner lured her through Facebook and assaulted her, the story said.
‘LOVE BEYOND SKIN COLOUR’
The comrade is reported to have joined a Facebook page, “Love beyond skin colour ”, where she met the foreigner, who would later torment her to death.
As children, we were always warned not to talk to strangers. However, this is one lesson that we gladly throw into the dustbin when we join social media.
Pleading temporary insanity, we forget the Internet is full of sexual predators and make friends with every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Going by the above incident, it is clear that sexual predators actually exist and are a real threat. They are all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, operating with unbridled anarchy like bedbugs on a decent Kayole bed.
“He took my nude pics and told me if I say (sic) this to anyone he will sell them on the Internet and say I am a prostitute,” the deceased wrote in her suicide note. The magnitude of being blackmailed by someone she thought she knew all too well, someone who flew to the country just to meet her, led her to her grave.
You see, the problem with social media is that it is nothing but a dizzying cacophony of vanity, conceit, and peacocking at its best. Nothing you see on Instagram or Twitter is anywhere near the gospel truth. People make up profiles all the time; that charming mzungu rapscallion might easily turn out to be a perverted sexual offender.
Strangers, especially on the Internet, are best avoided. Do not send them pictures of yourself as this will only lead to a nasty denouement. More importantly, listen to your gut feeling. The hot potato that looks delicious will almost certainly burn your mouth.