Skip to main content

(30): Facebook Friendship: Factual or Fictitious?

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim
Bayero University, Kano

A few other selected students in my college and I were, for the first time, introduced to the Internet as a reward for acing exams of the previous term in 2003. It was a thrilling experience for all of us. I joined Facebook 2 or 3 years after in 2005/2006 when it was still in its childhood. I had just started tertiary studies then. That was a particular point in my life; I longed so much for education, to learn the English language and to interact with intellectuals. The few popular social networking webs then were Yahoo! Messenger, Meebo, and hi5. The latter was more a hit, so I patronised it above the rest. Not long after, the star of Facebook shined up, and many people migrated to the latest vogue. I followed the bandwagon.

However, I deactivated my Facebook account after a while for mainly two reasons. First, it was steadily withering my commitment to my favourite sites, which I faithfully fancied and frequented. Those sites are KanoOnline Online Forum, Online Literature Network and Nairaland. I once got awarded as The Islam for Muslims Section Poster of the Year in the latter. There I believed I learn and interact more with far more serious-minded folks that include professors, doctors, lawyers, high-profile politicians, etc. from around the world. Second, was the way I saw anti-Islamic postings being condoned without any moderation, unlike what was obtained on the sites mentioned earlier. I quickly quit, avoiding being an ‘accomplice’.

Some reasons, however, brought me back to Facebook much later in 2009. I have been very active since then. But Facebook, in general, is grossly lacking substance on an almost daily basis. This is happening due, chiefly, to how numerous people misuse the core essence of its raison d'être: Friendship. Is this friendship real, fake or a joke? Well, it depends. 

Man is a complicated creature which only the Creator knows its ins and outs. Today, scholars of non-fiction writings have discovered that social networking websites are miniatures of life writings such as diary, memoir, travelogue, etc. We consciously or otherwise chronicle our daily activities by broadcasting events like meeting a girlfriend/boyfriend, getting engaged, married and kids; travelling, sitting for exams, deaths, and so much more. The point here—don’t miss it—is to establish the fact that our attitudes, religious and political views, perceptions, tastes, likes and dislikes, and so on are so much manifested in what we do there. This I observed and subtracted the empirical data for my conclusion that Facebook friendship is more unreal than real. 

For instance, it’s only a Facebook friend that can pass by you more than 10 times a day without saying a simple “hello” or “Salaam” to each other. It’s only a Facebook friend that will ignore your invite to your marriage on Facebook and later complain that you don’t value him for not inviting him. It’s only a Facebook friend that will always count how many “likes” and “comments” your updates get and feel unhappy when you got so many, or more than his. It’s only a Facebook friend that will never like or comment on your updates, no matter how meaningful and topical they are. Why? It’s you—his friend—who posted them. It’s him who will continuously visit your profile and stalk! Etc.

The above portrays, among other things, how egotistic, duplicitous, farcical and feigning humans’ characteristic is. I mentioned egotistic because some of those ‘friends’ always expect you to respond to their updates, for they think they are more important. I swear some even beg for undeserved attention and send you a message, asking you to like their page, comment on their updates or the like. But why do we remain friends? No doubt as fingers are not equal, our social values and statuses are not either. Everyone knows their class, but apparently, not all know their worth. While this remains a fact, it’s utterly absurd and, psychologically, narcissistic to befriend me from the beginning and then expect me to contribute to your postings. You also don't care to just “like” anything I share. I earnestly don’t count on that, and God knows. Nonetheless, this absence of reciprocity, pragmatically speaking, makes the friendship more ludicrous than substantial.

Others are masters of pretence, for you are never friends from the first place but being on each other’s friend’s lists on Facebook, they pose as such. You might be rivals, or worse, in the real world. Facebook friendship doesn’t, and perhaps never can change a thing. You had better, realistically speaking, remain apart even there, I believe.

That said, friends are really, though rarely, made through Facebook. I have made several; some of whom have now become among my bests. We also get an extraordinary opportunity of meeting and contacting some heavyweights in various walks of life there. Hitherto, we could only see them afar or watch them on the television or read them (or about them) on newspapers and books. And they are now our ‘friends’! So, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. But no thanks to those fake friends.


Popular posts from this blog

(113): Kwana Casa’in: A Short Review

Kwana Casa’in : A Short Review If posh locations, number of cast and crew members, sophisticated camera, etc. are enough indicators for the budget size of a production, then Kwana Casa’in [90 Days], produced by Arewa 24 channel, is doubtlessly an expensive soap opera. Directed by Salisu T. Balarabe, the drama is arguably the best of its kind in the Hausa language. Being funded by foreign, non-profit, non-political bodies, including the MacArthur Foundation, Kwana Casa’in stands out as a socio-political critique of our people and governments. It unmistakably aims to provoke reflection and introspection and to spark conversation and action within and outside the corridors of power. Is it able to achieve that? Set in a fictional town called Alfawa, the drama begins at the peak of governorship electioneering. The current governor, Bawa Maikada (acted by Sani Mu’azu), is highly corrupt and desperate to win re-election in spite of doing very little for the people. The health sec

(168): Top 7 Kannywood series of 2023

By  Muhsin Ibrahim & Habibu Ma’aruf As 2023 draws to a close, the closure of Kano Filmhouse Cinema is one of Kannywood’s most regrettable events in the outgoing year. Consequently, there was a significant decline in the number of cinematic releases. Nevertheless, amid this setback, a silver lining emerged as it spurred a notable shift towards series films, with prominent producers and directors venturing into the evolving market. From  Labarina ,  Alaqa , and  Manyan Mata  to  Fatake ,  Amaryar Tiktok  and  Gidan Sarauta , Kannywood’s audience has been captivated by numerous enthralling TV and web series. While the series market faces criticism for potentially fostering second-rate productions, the following list highlights the best seven series films aired in the year. Please note that the numbering is not hierarchical.  1. Labarina Labarina  stands out as a household name among Hausa film enthusiasts. Despite premiering in 2020, this show’s latest seasons con

(123): Kannywood Movie Review: Mati a Zazzau

Director :         Yaseen Auwal Producer :       Rahama Sadau & Sadiq Sani Sadiq Language :      Hausa Year :               2020 Company :      Sadau Pictures and Asmasan Pictures Cast:             Sadiq Sani Sadiq, Tahir I. Tahir, Rabi’u Rikadawa, Adam A. Zango, Rahama Sadau, Hadiza Blell, Umar Gombe, etc. So far, only very few successful titles in Kannywood have become a franchise. Besides Adam A. Zango’s Basaja , I can only mention Yaseen Auwal’s Mati character. While the former deals with financial rickety in an urban, techno-scientific setting, the latter is a social drama in a rural setting in the past. The chronicle of Mati began with Wani Gari , then Mati da Lado and now Mati a Zazzau . Had the filmmaker foreseen where the film could go, I guess the first of the series would have “Mati” in its title. The character has become a commodity as he acts in short films, and others imitate him elsewhere. At the risk of jumping the gun, I can confirm that Mati a