Preconceived Notions – The Media and Its Camouflage

Image by © Steve Prezant/Corbis

Image by © Steve Prezant/Corbis

So, I see all these pictures and videos everyday on these social networks, pictures of those whom I know as well as those whose existence I had no foreknowledge of. I see the self-ies and together-fies, and sometimes I wonder, what’s this one’s story? What is the essence of this person’s character in front of the transparent camouflage of the camera lens?

Okay, this lady is looking so pretty with her light skin and diamond engagement ring to match, and yet you feel the tight grip of jealousy, but you’re totally unaware of what she went through to get here.  How she might have struggled through life, maybe she was even abused sexually when she was younger by a relative, and now she’s covering it all up with a smile on an uploaded Facebook picture, and you are just there in your corner with your i-phone, looking at the picture and feeling jealous, wishing her all the negative things in the world. And you forget that one day, you will also get married.

Or maybe you strife with the celebrity who flaunts his cash and sports cars on his IG account to whet the appetite of his fans who can only imagine what it will be like being in his shoes. What most of these fans forget is that it’s their money this guy is showing off to them o. But most importantly, you’re unaware of all the hard work, sleepless nights and years of perseverance he did in the background to get to where he is now.

Or maybe the couple, who after 18 years of marriage, upload a picture on FB of their firstborn baby girl. Then somebody now has the audacity and impetus to comment, “why wasn’t it a boy?” And we ignore the comment because, well, it’s Africa and male children are more privileged. Such a person should be tortured till he has sense.

We all have our separate lives. Everybody’s own can’t be the same. Our lives are like a movie scripts before the creator. We all can’t have the same roles. There’s no use envying or being jealous of your secondary school classmate who is getting married this weekend, while you haven’t even found bae. Like my brother Akpororo says, everybody get their own time.

There is a particular saying, ”opportunity comes but once”. Inasmuch as I’d like to agree, this statement isn’t found in all the logos (written word of God). What happens to opportunities when we miss them? Very simple. Don’t bother crying over spilt milk. Brace yourself and prepare. In life, there are cycles. So you just have to learn from your mistakes and prepare for the next cycle. I remember somewhere in the holy book, it says though a righteous man falls seven times, yet again shall he rise.

Mind your own business. There’s a lot for you to do with your life than bothering yourself with what’s going on in other people’s lives. A particular basketball player almost lost his life recently, and it’s for one simple reason-he just couldn’t keep up with the Kardashians. Selah. Be happy for people. Rejoice with them when they succeed. The fact that someone is succeeding doesn’t necessarily imply that you’re failing, except maybe in academics. If everybody in class had an average score of 13/15 in a test, and you had 3/15, my brother na fail be that oo???.

For those of you who want to start a romantic relationship long distance, I advise against that, being a victim of it myself. You realize that Skype and BBM hides a lot of flaws. Then when you now meet the person whom you fell in love with over the phone, your prince charming will immediately transform to Shrek. You realize that things are different when you meet the person face- to- face. Now don’t get me wrong, social media is good in its proper place, but I’m saying only use it to aid your relationships but not to begin them. If you want to be involved emotionally with someone, wait till you meet in person. You will save yourself a lot of heart ache by doing that. Don’t use what you see on the media- whether good or bad, as a basis to judge the entirety of a man’s character. The authenticity and totality of a man’s character cannot be fully and thoroughly discerned from the media, just the same way a man’s intelligence cannot be fully discerned by his grades in college.

The authenticity and totality of a man’s character cannot be fully and thoroughly discerned from the media Click To Tweet

Now there’s a balance to this. If the person is constantly in the club, smoking and doing drugs, make no mistake, that person is in hell, so if you know the person, drag his soul from the pit. Sometimes we are tempted to barricade ourselves behind pre-conceived notions, and live with false assumptions. My point is, get close to the person in front of the lens, and you may just be surprised at what you find out.

And to the bae-less, let me add this- sometimes you may ask, “where is God in my singleness?” But you must learn this lesson – sometimes the Lord will keep you single for a long time, so that when He finally brings some-one your way, you will remember how long you were single and place utmost value on the person.

I know of a lady whose husband is a pilot with a very respectable company. Even if the company isn’t respectable, the fact that the man is a pilot sef is enough. Outside they seem happy, because she drives a fancy car, live in a house at an area reserved for the elite, etc. But I know what the woman goes through on a daily basis in-house. The torture, maltreatment, etc. But when she posts a picture on her FB, I just smile and say “it is well”. Because underneath the pomp and pageantry, the gold and diamond apparel, are nothing else but scars.

Don’t envy anybody. Sometimes in life, when you think you have problems, look at the problems of another person and you will thank God for the ones you have. You don’t have money to buy fuel for your car, somebody doesn’t even have the legs to drive a car. I realized that no matter the position you are in life, somebody somewhere is praying to be in that your position. So shut-up, count your blessings and mind your own business. It will indeed surprise you what the Lord has done.



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Samuel AbuaSamuel Abua is an energetic and outspoken young man. His humor is second to none. He is a lover of the word of God and a propagator of accurate exegesis. He plays soccer and basketball and is a fan of Real Madrid. Samuel Abua on Facebook: Samuel Abua

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Tolulope Oludapo is a young Christian who lends his voice through the media by sharing practical wisdom for everyday living in the most experiential and simplified fashion. This has fetched him the direct followership of over 30,000 users on his blog, A blog he founded. He loves to write on varying subjects that affect life, faith, relationship...everyday living.
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