A letter to my Social Media Friend

Hey buddy,
I hope you are online. I thought I should check out on you.
I’m told you were mad because I didn’t respond instantly to the whatsapp message you left me. And my messenger, has of recent, struggled to receive my attention. Of the dms, those are quite a number. I rarely check. But I am okay.
Instant messages were building a mall in my head and the weight was so unbearable. And when I thought of the recent developments of people throwing each other bullets over a car scratch, I thought I deserved a break from this vibe of trends. But I am fine.
I just learnt to turn off all my notifications to get some breathing space. I was getting asthmatic just grappling with breath.
As you know our online world, it gets super crazy at times. When you find yourself a member of over five whatsapp groups where people work in turns, as one team leaves the chat room another enters. You find the notification thread bleeding with a lot of sweat.  And yet notifications have this sympathy look over the screen of one’s phone that they always invite you into swiping to attend to them only to find that all someone wants of you is to type Amen and forward the message to 12 other people in a record three minutes.
So I have decided to none all of that. To work and be able to respond to the life offline, it’s mine too.
Remember how we cried over the cost of being online. We have since walked closer to uncrying the lament but the hook still hooks deeper.
And in the midst of mine own struggles come the thought of those like me and more so the little ones. Those who still have an excitement of being online.
Them, to whom an internet bundle of UGX 300 still means a life and more.
Boys of Nyaka School reading excitedly from their newly acquired kindle tablet
I thought of them who look forward to fetching all those likes, comments and perhaps shares of their posts online. Or of them who have to respond to every comment as and when it comes through.
I thought of my friends who struggle while at work to put down their own phones as they cannot use company internet for social media. And yet they have to be online.
The thread only gets longer. But that should not be reason for concern.
We have the power to control social media. We can choose not to be slaves to it. Even when we’ve been driven to becoming victims, there is a place to approach it.
We individually ought to have a social media policy so that we are not pushed to the walls of what others want of us. One’s social media space is one where one should have the liberty and freedom to be them.  Others can always find a place of consolation. Church and cinema halls have a lot of space for that.
Find a way to breathe again.

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