My dear Arewa TikTok users

For more than a year now, two female TikTok influencers, Aisha Zaki and Suddenly, have been trading unprintable insults on each other in what appeared to be a natural feminine jealousy and struggle for supremacy. The event occured when a viral video showed some female assailants went to Suddenly’s room and beat her black and blue. Like it had been seen some females were beating their victim, while she was crying ‘mama’, pleading for any helper in sight.

It is said the initial trigger of the fight was a heated rivalry which degenerated into a ‘battle of supremacy’ as both Influencers are competing to show the other who holds sway as they have thousands of followers on TikTok, a video-sharing site. People who followed the incident said the precursor of the brawl is that Suddenly looked down on Aisha Zaki who works in Saudi Arabia.

Later, Aisha Zaki released a new video audaciously praising those that carried out the beatings, saying the humiliation which her rival was subjected to was ‘just the beginning, more humiliation awaits her in the days to come’. Though modernity and globalisation has permeated almost every household in the world, it is a wonder of all wonders because the duo hail from Kano, Northern Nigeria.

It is widely known that most Arewa female TikTok users engage in entertaining followers with erotic dances or selling ‘kayan mata’ products, which are contrary to their societal values. This news caused shocks as online platforms have been turned into physical assault and battery which appears to be sponsored by a northern Muslim Hausa lady against her rival friend.

In a similar incident, a young man posted a blunt criticism on his social media page, accusing one powerful politician for failing to pay for the repair of a transformer or use his influence to get a new one from the government. This young man complained bitterly that their neighbourhood spent four months in blackout, while the powerful politician enjoyed 24-hour electricity coupled with every luxury at the expense of the poor majority living in the same neighborhoods.

 By the time this young man’s comment went viral, which was regarded as an abuse of this political father figure, his supporters went on rampage brandishing machetes, clubs and knives wanting to punish the young man for abusing their benefactor. If not by begging and pleadings of the neighbours, some angry supporters even attempted to scale over the fence of the house in order to attack him.
It took great efforts by the young man’s family to give him cover from the assailants, while some elderly people intervened by pleading with the big politician to have mercy on him, saying he is “young and inexperienced”. In effect, bloodshed was averted by the divisional oolice officer who mediated by making the young man to sign an affidavit and the big politician refrained from taking legal or illegal action against the young man. 

This is a clear example of how technology affects our social life. When technology solves a problem it creates a new problem that needed to be solved by creating another technology; it is a cyclical process. For instance, ICT provides vital opportunities to receive and disseminate information easily and cheaply in a real time manner, but also creates a room to spread fake news, cyber bullying, hate speeches, cyber fraud, among other vices, which change our social life tremendously.. There is saying that “You are what you post”. It is reflection of your personality, attitudes the pattern of your thinking. It samples and sums up who you are and how you react to the events around you, even in the real world. Many people write inconsiderately on anything and about everything revealing their sub-conscious mind and their repressed feelings. That is why some firms in Europe and America evaluate who will be employed based on their activities on social media.

Many do not bother to engage in critical self-observation and self-evaluations to assess what they should share on social platforms and its possible repercussion. Some develop false conception of reality, as they show the life of affluence and become too self-obsessed of what they wear or how they look.

 For most females, they upload their beauties, which in reality convey what they do not have. “You would not look like the girl in the magazine, even the girl in the magazine does not look exactly like the girl in the magazine”. They are images made by the media glamorously through editing, make-up and photoshop effects which are at variance with real life.

Another important point is that the youth should learn to strike a balance between freedom of expression and libel and disinformation or misinformation. Media literacy is critical as an average person does not read news vertically which is to be able to know verifiable source and the bogus one. In this era, there are hundreds of beautifully designed news websites sponsored by particular interest groups launched with the intent of spreading fake news and misleading information.

Information is no longer a scarce commodity, there is even what is called “information overload”, where there is more than you can take, you could not exhaust all texts, images, videos in your entire life. No government can control influx of information even the mighty communist states of China and North Korea, Cuba failed to take down some websites that spread information against their system of government.

ICT as a vast issue today, people should learn how to use social media effectively, and make informed and responsible comments on things which affect their lives. The advent of easy access to information comes with fake news, misrepresentation, partially truth, omission and commission, cyber fraud, cyber attack, hate speech, cyber bullying and many vices which fan the embers of conflict. Social media takes too much of our time in what should be trivial and non-issue mostly by Arewa Female TikTok users.  

Adnan Abdullahi Adam,Ungogo local government area,Kano state[email protected]

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