The Observer (Kampala)

19 February 2013

Uganda: Diary of a Ugandan Facebook Junkie

His last web address has always been Facebook Zero or m.facebook.com. Even in the night, he occasionally wakes up to post some bu-things on his page before going back to sleep. Being a Facebook junkie needs no special integrity.

It is just one who checks his Facebook page using his phone about four or more times a day, visits his page to comment on other people's updates...

For a Ugandan addict, it is a matter of coming up with some cheesy statements that are not really meant to expose your credible side ( the saying goes that the more stupid an update is, the more it is fancied by people). You are free to post completely irrelevant and stupid updates because that's what Facebook citizens love; irrelevance.

Statements like "umm, now I am good" or " I smell chicken fries, do you?" get over seventy people commenting and you a Facebooker who at least still stands for integrity and all his friends will be left puzzled.

They will amuse you even more just by the way they understand some statements. Call me backward, but the queen's language needs some respect even when it has been posted on your page.

'Like', according to Oxford Learners dictionary, means something you find pleasant. When a Facebooker updates his status thus; "I am terribly sick" or "my dad died", it's obvious he/she is looking for a dose of sympathy, but then, a Ugandan addict will go to your status and click "LIKE".

Then you will have your page read: "so and so likes this" but for God's sake, what's there to like about death or sickness?

Then there are those ones dangerously in love with poking everyone they can. Do they even know what poke means? They poke charity organisations, church ministries, and links. In fact the last time I checked, someone was poking Mara and Clara on Bukedde TV; seriously?

In the beginning, Facebook was for trendy youths like me, but then everyone realized how easy it was to use the site. Homies in Owino and ewa-Kisekka joined the fray. Now Miles Rwamiti and Straka Mwezi's fans can also meet them on fesibuuku.

For Facebook addicts, friends mean numbers; they are just any other accessory you talk about and show off even when you have no plans of posting anything on their walls. Well, if you're a celebrity, friends are those things you will talk about on Bush Baby's Jump Off like; "I have 1,000 friends on Facebook" to make the other celebrity feel inferior.

Addicts comment on only close friend's statuses. All the other Facebook friends are meant to accumulate numbers and whatever they write no matter how sensible it may be, dude, it is rubbish. Ignore it because you must assume that he/she too has close friends to comment on that.

Also, majority of your posts are lies. Many, especially junkies, will do anything to get a good post. Someone watches the latest on Zone Reality; E!, or MTV and they will use those catchy lines as their own to trigger massive reactions.

Internet has never been an issue of addiction in Uganda since, much as it is cheap nowadays, still very few can afford personal connections, thus many of our junkies are mobile users.

This, however, doesn't exclude those chaps in their offices with a minimized Facebook page on their monitors.

But, the worrying victims are the middle-aged humans who found the World Wide Web so exciting just recently. A few years back they thought Facebook conversations were for show-offs, but today they talk like they can't live without it.

Love them, hate them, social Facebook addicts are fun to look at. By the way, I too am a Facebook junkie.

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