...its never that serious its just facebook...really???
I was very excited when I first learnt about face book and wanted to learn how to use it as fast as I could, initially it was about identity: I found myself in an environment where sense of belonging seemed to be a priority and I didn’t want to be left out of conversations especially when “everyone seemed to be moving with the world (very fast)”. I registered on the site with help from the cyber attendant and began to explore the options all by myself. I felt satisfied somehow that I finally belonged to the face book family but I knew I had a long way to go as a far as understanding the network was concerned. When I later became familiar with face book with the help of the cyber attendant and by my own personal effort, I spent my face book hours commenting on posts, uploading photos, sending and accepting friend request, posting, sharing and checking what my friends have been up to. At some point I felt like I was addicted because each time I had a few idle hours, I would rush to the cyber and spend the little coins I had probably saved to buy hours and begin the routine.
Most Cameroonian girls will identify with my story. For the first few weeks face book seems to be like the sun the moon and the stars all wrapped up in one package and first; they want to belong, then they want to spend hours on the forum; commenting on posts, uploading photos, sending and accepting friend request, posting, sharing and checking what their friends have been up to. Yesterday my 11 year old sister was so excited to create a facebook account, she had to lie about her age just to be on facebook and when she succeeded to register, she was all smiles,it was same with my older sister and I and sadly when we get registered nothing seems to be more interseting than the long hours we spend on trhe forum doing less than we should really be doing.
A few days ago I put the question to some 19 friends of mine on face book “what do Cameroonian girls do on face book?”, and I was not very surprised with the responses I got but I was disappointed. Some girls were proud to say that they come to check the comments their boyfriends have been putting on face book, while others said they were simply fulfilling their civic duty. (https://www.facebook.com/ngobesing.neh/posts/688841454495358?comment_id=...)
Cameroonian girls fail to understand that they have a huge potential to make a far greater contribution to the advancement of women just by using social network as a tool for advocacy. I personally created SHE Platform facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/SHE-Platform/275277135957729) to sensitize people on the negative effects of violence against women but surprisingly the women who are supposed to be protecting their rights would hardly comment on this page perhaps because they find it too serious to be on facebook. Sometimes when I try to analyze a post or picture that projects a negative image of the woman folk I am told its never that serious and its just facebook. But is it just facebook? Is it never that serious? It is even sadder when the women themselves are the ones projecting these images and making the negative comments about their fellow woman.
One of the greatest tools which Cameroonian girls can use to empower themselves is Facebook but to most its never that serious.Maybe the girls who are really facing problems and want to talk about it don't have the opportunity to and those who have the opportunity don't have challenges let’s see how it goes…let me explore, I’d be back.