Of Social Media and real life
she had about 9000 friends on facebook” width=”800″ height=”398″ /> The late Carrie White Whitney (Not real names) who died recently, she had about 9000 friends on facebook
An intriguing question still lingers on the reality of social media sites especially Facebook and the real-life-goings on in the world.
Social media users are seemingly failing to understand the workings of social networking sites and very many believe that beside getting you real friends social media can also help you get your worldly problems sorted out.
Others think it is all about numbers, likes, comments, number of friends and inbox traffic but real life remains a big factor if I must say.
Where death and burials are concerned, it’s wrong to assume that by agreeing to a friend’s request on the Facebook site necessarily means that you are making a list of mourners for your funeral.
Social Media is just like any other Virtual platform with no need for a serious person to strongly rely on friends generated there from and throwing blame everywhere like: “She had 1000 friends on Facebook but only three turned up for her funeral, or her wedding.”
Recently, a girl called Carrie White Whitney (not her real names) died (R.I.P). Word has it that she had about 9000 friends on Facebook, but that at her funeral none of these Facebook friends turned up. It is disappointing that many took their ranting to Facebook castigating those who had been her friends for not turning up for her burial.
But think about it and ask yourself, whether it would be prudent for you to go and burry this friend who you had only known in the Virtual world – this friend who you think you knew was not actually the same friend who died – the one you knew was called Carrie White Whitney – the one who actually died was called Nampijja, the names are as different as they come.
Carrie White Whitney was a happy-go-round girl but Nampijja is as dead as can be and she is therefore not your Carrie.
For some of the friends who had met Carrie while she was still alive, they can be able to connect the two individuals Carrie and Nampijja but for those who only knew Carrie on Facebook it’s not very easy to relate the lifeless Carrie to the bubbly pictures that she used to post on face book.
It’s imperative to note that when you meet the actual person in real life there develops some kind of attachment, but other than that, its almost impossible to have any serious attachment to somebody you only know in the virtual world.
If you meet in real life, you are exposed to the true self of this hitherto abstract friend – your weaknesses, the occasional pain in the eyes, the sadness, the fears and your vulnerability can indeed affect you. These are no longer from the virtual word, because they are now real and are your true friends.
However, are Facebook friends supposed to come and burry you when you die? The answer will be a resounding NO! if you asked me.
These are friends who live in a virtual world; they don’t actually know you because you are Virtual to them and all they know is what you portray to them.
If you come out and tell them that you are “King Kong” that’s what they know about you. If in your real world you are, Abbas or John and a weakling, they are not bothered, they just conjure your image into that of King Kong; and that is what you are to them – King Kong of the virtual world.
Truthfully, your Faceook friends don’t know your whining world or your sadness and they probably wouldn’t want to know.
If you die, the only thing that your Facebook friend can say to you is: “RIP”; for Christians, or: “Inalillah wainalillaihi Rajouna”, if you happen to be a Muslim – and this is also not an obligation. If one writes out this message, then that would indeed be a friend of the diseased and that is their way of commiserating with the deceased and the family.
As for the physical burial, many would ask themselves the reason they would go to burry a friend who they actually don’t know. To tell you the truth: no one would like to meet a friend they have never met before when that friend is dead. First and foremost this friend would not even have seen you.
The Virtual world is full of fun and when somebody dies it ceases to be fun so death marks the end of any kind of ties that have been existing between Facebook friends.
But supposing, your Facebook friend comes out of this cocoon called the Virtual world? Indeed when you unmask yourself from the other side into the reality world, your Facebook friend can get to actually know who you really are, and may be if you happen to become real friends, then the friend has an obligation towards you.
I personally, found clan-mates in the Virtual world of Facebook – The Lugavenians. One day a Wattsap group was formed and we started chatting on Wattsap; then we planned a meeting, and eventually met. We became real to each other as members of the same clan and now that’s where we are – in the real world.
Now, an occasional call from a member, chatting with each other occasionally in our group and attending birthday parties of members, we are now related by belonging to the clan – that’s where we are planning projects to take ourselves to the next level.