Hello, lovelies! It’s been such a long time since I last wrote to you guys and a lot has changed during this not-so-short period. For starters; Medivoice has gotten more amazing, with an abundance of brilliant and creative minds who gladden my heart; the whole world is recovering from a pandemic and I’ve gone through different phases of part four and a Writers-rot. But be rest assured that this wave of change hasn’t hit Nigeria—it is still pretty much adept at retrogression.
The focus of this column is on opinions and my sweethearts –Teniola and Oluwagunwa—already did a fantastic job establishing the possible etiologies of our individual opinions and the validity of a middle ground; the grey, in between the unyielding whites and blacks of our world.
I think bringing all these discussions to the fore is very timely because we live in an era where ‘hot takes’ are constantly being served from all the crevices of the internet. A time laden with diverse opinions on things we all need to unlearn, relearn, and even cancel. A time where beautifully crafted grammar (disguising an okoto) can easily be misperceived for a voice of reason and a good number of people will justify anything once it translates to more retweets or followers.
Don’t get me wrong, people having diverse views isn’t so bad in itself. After all, how are we supposed to grow as a society/individuals, if we don’t exchange ideas, evolve, and correct wrong social norms? However, the beauty lies in being able to discern what goes against one’s values and principles and which one of these values is to be modified or cancelled. The essence also lies in realising that two truths can coexist and that one’s experience doesn’t invalidate someone else’s.
Easy peezy right? Well, maybe for those who can be insightful and who are open to learning.
Here is the real question; what happens to the large percentage of the very young population who are still very much impressionable and in the formative years of their ideology? What happens when they blindly follow the cancel-culture and whatnot, without an in-depth understanding of the impact or what this means? How do we help them sort through this never-ending chaos?
Lots of similar questions have been tugging at the back of my mind lately.
In my opinion, there is a need to build a bridge between the freedom of speech we all enjoy and being careful about what we put out there. Before we rush to push certain agenda, invalidate experiences, or societal norms, we should try and access the situation from every possible angle. Adults, especially the so-called online influencers should be ready to take responsibility for their content. Yes, we are free to tweet and share our opinions, but that shouldn’t stop us from acknowledging the fact that someone, somewhere looks up to us and we owe it to him/her to do better or at least try.
Most importantly, we need to admit when we’re wrong or set things straight in the light of new information. After all, we are human and not infallible.
Do you agree with these measures or do you have other opinions on how to help impressionable minds sort through this online chaos? I would love to hear all of your opinions or responses in the comment box.
Till next time,