By Branton Matondo
Social media, the way to go in this fast 20th century. It boasts of a plethora of platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat the list is endless.
What does it really offer to the public (especially youths)? Ethnographic study of the now Facebook owned WhatsApp has given me a broad and dynamic piece of knowledge that has kicked the zest in me to scribe about it.
The virtuality and anonymity presented by the most accessed social media platform in Zimbabwe presents a so called “gift”, or rather a ” treat” that has seen its user database spike.
Relentless use of pseudo names, like your ” @Daughter of God, @Takeoff, @Silver Lady, @Immortal” to mention but a few, has conceived this anonymous domain that has enlarged into one big virtual community.
People now feel much more relaxed when associating with other WhatsApp participants. There is an element of freedom of will, the will to express ones true character because one is convinced that the whole thing is a believed simulation, instantaneous and unnoticed.
WhatsApp has done what other phenomena in the past has failed to do. Assessment of the whole deal alludes to the fact that those that feel lonely, ousted in the physical world, they tend to find solace, happiness and smiles from WhatsApp.
Most daughters and sons of the soil have put imagination to reality, having elevated the virtuality of WhatsApp to a possible reality, one which you feel gratifies your feelings when chatting to others, one which you feel humbled when greeting others, sharing ideas and suggestions and sharing naughty, explicit content.
What is it really that people are willing to pursue on the simulated reality? Have you ever come across statements like “Send me your best pic, I really enjoy chatting with you, Where do you stay?, I like you”, these are some of statements that might be termed mere by many but there is a bigger chance that they are actually legit and true.
WhatsApp has created a scenario where people can interact and share feelings. Distance has proved to be nothing but just an imaginary barrier. To some, the physical world has become too sour and people sought to escape the sorrowful and cumbersome mood by joining the band wagon of WhatsApp.
Unstable marriages, unstable relationships, tainted personalities and lonely profaned souls have all turned their focus to WhatsApp, in a bid to find solace and escapism.
Breaking of boundaries by the social networking stronghold allows people of such stature to intermingle and share their sad experiences.
Creation of WhatsApp groups like your ” Single and Searching, HIV positive singles, Chakafukidza dzimba matenga (What covers the house is the roof), Harare Hookups, Sugar Mummy chat groups) is not a waste of time. Its an unquestioned stunt that has been awarded a lot of time and attention.
What one needs to understand is that the world has become so complex, people being mobile creatures that have become host of ungoverned troubling thoughts and zealous desires.
People have developed a shy tendency when it comes to letting out their personal discrepancies. In as much as some might try to do it, they end up with a certain mentality ” What are people going yo say?”, (a cause influenced by peoples reaction).
So as a path to try and eradicate that, they resort to WhatsApp, where no one questions most of ones judgements, where people are liberal in their respective levels of reception, very familiar right.