The Zuck­erville con­gres­sional show

Sunday Trust - - VIEW POINT - Tun­deasaju@ya­ with Tunde Asaju

We are all cit­i­zens and we love it. Our pass­ports are con­stantly up­dated pic­tures, videos, live cov­er­age of our hum­drum lives. We chat on it; we de­pend on it to re­con­nect with friends and class­mates we haven’t heard of since grad­u­a­tion, we spy on fren­e­mies just to know what they’re up to and when they’re likely to at­tack. Wives are on it to check what hus­bands are do­ing, gauge whether or not they have for­got­ten their mar­i­tal vows or co­hab­i­ta­tion rules. Jeal­ous hus­bands mon­i­tor their wives’ friends at least to pre­vent hit­ting close to home. Par­ents use it as pass­ports to curb the ex­cesses of their teenagers.

Of course you know what I’m talk­ing about be­cause you are one of 100 mil­lion Zuck­ervillers out there. You might have voted Trump, Magu­fuli or Buhari at the last elec­tion, but your real loy­alty is to Mark Zucker­berg, the mav­er­ick drop out who has given us an ad­dic­tion worse than co­caine, heroine and all hal­lu­cino­gens put to­gether. It’s called Face­book. Of late you have ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment.

Dis­ap­pointed in what and over what, if I may ask you? Mark Zucker­berg did not in­vite you, you begged him to sign you on. You pasted all your de­tails there and the mo­ment you put your first post; made your first like and/or made the first friend; I put it to you that you knew what you were up to. You knew that your so-called pri­vacy is com­pro­mised.

It’s been com­pro­mised be­fore you met Zucker­berg. When you opened the first e-mail ad­dress, those stuff in fine print you signed with­out read­ing be­cause you were too ea­ger to get on the in­for­ma­tion su­per­high­way, they gave you out. And I have news for you - ig­no­ran­tia ju­ris non ex­cusat! Yes, that’s Latin and it means - ig­no­rance of the law is not an ex­cuse so please just give me a break about de­ac­ti­vat­ing your Face­book ac­count. If you lived any­where you’ll need Mes­sen­ger for that free chat with your rel­a­tive in the habroad, and you need What­sapp too to keep in touch with those com­mu­nity as­so­ci­a­tion and alumni mem­bers - so stop the pos­tur­ing.

If you de­ac­ti­vate your pre­cious Face­book pro­file be­cause it was com­pro­mised or har­vested by Cam­bridgeA­n­a­lyt­ica and sold to sa­tan and the an­gels, you’re still not free! They knew where you went yes­ter­day, and the day be­fore, and the day be­fore that. Yes, they’ve been watch­ing you from the day you ea­gerly reg­is­tered your SIM card and went home with the lat­est hand­set. If need be, they’ll plot your graph since then and be very afraid what it’ll re­veal - to your snoopy spouse or your over­bear­ing boss. Here is the good news - that in­for­ma­tion is safe. They won’t be re­vealed to your part­ner to speed up that di­vorce pro­ceed­ing, or likely given to your em­ployer to speed up your ter­mi­na­tion. So, just re­lax, re­ac­ti­vate your Face­book and keep bathing in the sea of nar­cis­sism.

Of course you know your silent protest is mere pos­tur­ing. You know you’d like every­one you’ve ever con­tacted to know that your son or daugh­ter has grad­u­ated or gained ad­mis­sion into a school. You know you count the num­ber of likes when you nod your head like the agama lizard at the num­ber of likes to your birth­day even though you were born at mid­night. Your wed­ding an­niver­sary is round the cor­ner and you’re not buy­ing a sec­ond hon­ey­moon ticket to Dubai or Cuba, so you’ll make your spouse’s head swell with the num­ber of likes to the pic­ture of the an­niver­sary cake you ate alone with your bet­ter half. You want as many of those like but­tons as Sai Baba would need Kano votes, so please stop pre­tend­ing. Ad­dicts that we are-all hooked and lov­ing it.

We know there’s an­other world, un­touched by our nar­cis­sism, one where par­ents don’t ad­ver­tise the larger-than-life im­age they want us to have of them­selves and the qual­i­fied and un­qual­i­fied priv­i­leges of their im­me­di­ate fam­ily mem­bers. That world is the real jun­gle, not the con­crete ones we live in. It is made of mud and thatched roof or makeshift tents that could be dis­man­tled in a heart­beat. There are no traf­fic jams ex­cept of black ants in their file, you are free from racist po­lice and the over­bear­ing uni­formed per­son. The only things you need to keep eyes out for are the few re­main­ing wild an­i­mals and poi­sonous snakes, spi­ders and other ru­mi­nants. But if you found it, you’re likely to stay away from it.

In the jun­gle, you tend to breathe bet­ter be­cause by the time the smoke from the oc­ca­sional plane touches down, its poi­son has been teth­ered. How­ever such des­ti­na­tions are be­com­ing leg­endary. If you find one, you’re pretty likely to snap pic­tures of it and post it - yes - on Face­book. Your en­vi­ous friends are likely to take up the chal­lenge, find it, and in­vite them­selves and their friends to fol­low your foot­steps. Sub­se­quently, one Amer­i­can busi­ness mogul is likely to find a fig­ure­head gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial and soon there’ll be bull­doz­ers, cranes and pay­load­ers chop­ping down the trees, ex­ter­mi­nat­ing the in­sects and tro­phy-hunt­ing the wild cats in the name of tourism. Even your Eden could not sur­vive the Zucker­berg ef­fect.

At last week’s Con­gres­sional hear­ing, Mark was de­scribed as an icon of Amer­i­can busi­ness suc­cess. Re­mem­ber­ing that the State Depart­ment ca­su­ally said a few weeks back it would ask for ac­cess to so­cial me­dia con­tent of visa ap­pli­cants; lis­ten­ing to the pa­tro­n­is­ing ques­tions from a usu­ally ro­bust congress mem­bers; it is ob­vi­ous that the big­gest mole on planet earth and be­yond wants co­op­er­a­tion and not con­dem­na­tion. It may re­tort, like Trump if it doesn’t have its way, but Zucker­berg and Zuck­erville are a great source of priv­i­leged in­for­ma­tion use­ful to big brother and its al­lies. Your Face­book con­tent is yours, but not the page. So, you’re in deeper than you think. Yes, Big Brother knows what you did last sum­mer; it knows where you went last night and where you are right now and you can do noth­ing about it, so em­brace it!

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