There is a certain allure that mystery brings to an object, lifting it and enhancing its illusory. To be demystified is a not a very friendly affair. It does not encourage awe. That is why there is no much excitement in a 10 year old marriage. That is why your siblings are never great in your sight no matter how celebrated they are to the rest of the world. That is why lovers, spouses and children should be changed frequently. Where there is no mystery, there is little to excite and there is little to appreciate.
This is why your internet friendships should remain virtual.
The virtual world is a grand kingdom of possibilities and grandeur, a world of imaginations, freedom and garnishing of profiles, a glossy world without zoom capabilities; a world of mystery.
Leave it that way, if you please.
It is very dicey to bring your internet relationships from that world of vagueness and glory to this one of scrutiny and glare. If your virtual life is zoomed and viewed under a magnifying lens, all those likes would be turned to dislikes and instant unfollowings. Your online persona will do well if it is left vague and shrouded.
What started on twitter should blossom and flourish on twitter. Do not bring it to earth. To the dubious, and foolish, if you meet someone awesome on the internet, quick, consummate the thing. Do not wait. I repeat, do not wait to meet face to face. Consummate on facebook; sign that deal before you meet. And the Lord be with you.
Let me bring this nonsense down and close-up with some particulars.
You know that girl driving you crazy? Yeah, the one you tweet goodmorning to even before your wife? That beautiful lady that replies and retweets all your tweets and likes all your comments; leave her in your dreams. In real life, her face is not that Photo Shoppy; the acnes will terrify you, and she is much smarter online.
I think it would be better if I address my own virtual friends directly. If you don’t like me after this, well, what can you do, aside from unfollow? My heart can no longer condone the frequent bashings, disappointments and disorientation your online impersonation has brought upon my imaginations of you, all because we decided to meet in person.
To you, sir, you that write like you know everything; guy, that conversation we had face to face in the cinema… the typos that dropped from your mouth will kill a publisher. Can’t you talk like you write? And you, occupation: Editor, Farafina. Why didn’t you say it was only your dream Job, something you are hoping to achieve by the grace of God and by much faith?
And you, your profile picture had “you” in a plane holding an Ipad, but you came to the Book Reading on okada, holding your two Nokia torchlight phones like weapons. What further convinced me of your online impersonation was your dressing: green long sleeves on green trousers! Haba, that was not healthy. I had wonderful imaginations of you.
You, Miss high and mighty; you write for this paper, you write for that journal and that magazine. I have seen those magazines, they are terrible. You will not be forgiven for painting them up as the wonders they will never be.
You, my friend, you forgot that your ex girlfriend is on twitter, and that you had left her heart in an angry state, and that she knows things. She knows, for example, that the Jeep you owned in that your wonderful story that got 2600 views was actually for your boss and you are his driver and that driving is your day Job. It is a crime to be a driver, but it is not too terrible. One day, Oga, monkey go go market….
As for you that has your location stating London; they said they saw you o, and that they know where you live in Ikeja. And then you that tagged Madison Square garden as location for that picture… there was a BRT bus far behind. Zoom and you will see. If you must lie, write fiction.
Most of you didn’t exactly lie o, I agree, but guy, haba! That car you wrote you had an accident in, I sympathize o, but that thing no be car na. It was a wreck even before the small accident you garnished for us on your blog, and you made like the car was one of these expensive hybrids. You are not alone in this world. Some people know people who know people that know you.
And you, Mr Man, so that Free Lance Writer you have on your profile actually meant you have no Job and willing to take any offer? You could have been explicit; you don’t know where help will come from.
You took pictures in an eatery, to give the impression that you go there daily for lunch. Your outfit gave you away. Or do you have only those set of clothes in your wardrobe? You that keep giving advice and sounding like you are one old sage; so you are just 17, about to write your first Jamb? Weren’t you the one giving that woman marriage counsel the other day? Satan has seen you!
Where is that one that said he has multiple degrees in this and in that? I first suspected because in your DP you looked very young. I gave you the benefit of doubt, until you sent me your CV mistakenly. I didn’t say a word, but I read it wella. HND and OND are not multiple degrees. Computer center degree is also not among. NIM and that other course you took courtesy of NYSC freebie do not constitute multiple degrees. My brother, No dey lie!
I will not write your name or say your twitter handle, but guy, a mutual friend said you were in same hostel with him in Unizik. But the school on your profile is not even in Africa. Why do you people hate this Africa so much?
But, some of these bad things you do to me are not deliberate. Like you that actually put your true and reasonable picture without Photo shop and without sitting in the Hummer your cousin borrowed for her Just Wedded picture, and you with a DP you took on your doorstep and not in one foreign looking eatery, you both didn’t tell me you were so photogenic. Give a guy clue next time. When one looks before he leaps and still ends up breaking limbs, who should be blamed?
And you, well it is not your fault actually. Perhaps you write better than you speak or look. You are a terror on line but see how meek and frail you look. So na small geh you be seff?
All those people you talk to any how because you have online freedom and liberty, many are older than your father. All those people you give advice and criticize mercilessly, if you meet them their achievements would humiliate you, and some of them you can never stop referring to as Sirs and Ma’s.
All these people that I have mentioned without citation and proper referencing have one thing in common: they failed to sustain their mystery; they broke my heart. I advise that if you must meet on ground, then get your dual personalities in order. Because if these symptoms persist, you will search for me and I won’t come up. I will unfollow and block you. And I will cease to believe any of that your foolish Musings of this and Ramblings of that.
Now these are my recommendations to those of you that have any sense. The first is that you should never take your friends (ones you met there) out of twitter and facebook. Leave them there. Do not for any reason arrange to meet them in any stupid beach or boring Book reading or Cinema. They might be disappointments, or you might be the disappointment. I have warned you. If you want to keep being friends with these people then get closer to them online, only online. Being physically absent and unavailable is better for a body’s mysterious level, because absence allows the imaginations to garnish your persona.
But if you can manage to create more mystery around you by meeting your virtual friends, then by any means, do so. It is going to be a hard enterprise, because you cannot always maintain the swagger you have online on ground, especially in Naija. Your car might break down a day to that meet. The friend you bribed to pose as your driver might get a running stomach on the day. These things happen.
On a candid note, put up behaviours that are in sync with your facebook and twittter comments. Your social media profile is your CV, employers and prospective in-laws are watching. Even though we know you have to look good, and though we know it’s all about packaging, still, let your virtual presence have a little resemblance to your real self. Package your online profile well, in a way that will enhance your mysteriousness. Do not make your self too large and overly distant from your actual reality so that if you ever meet any of your online friends, or if your online persona is compared to the real you, there wont be much shock.
This is the safest path to tread. But I prefer to remain virtual.
I will not be demystified.