COLUMN: Staying true to myself by keeping the tick blue

2016-11-24 06:01
on the run lunga adam

on the run lunga adam

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“Yhu Lunga, kutheni ungaba blue ticki abantu ku WhatsApp wakho?”

A lady friend recently posed this question to me, and in case you are a trippin’, let me save you the embarrassment.

Well, you know how we Xhosa speaking folk always give a whole new spin to certain English words and phrases.

In reality, she was asking was why, after she had sent me a message on Whatsapp, there was no sign of the blue tick on her side to indicate that I had read it.

Instead, all she saw was a greyish tick that does little to inform her that the message had been read.

This has become a hot topic among the network users, with many saying those who hide their blue ticks are not to be trusted.

I can only speak for myself, though, in the hope of clarity, and no, I have no skeletons in my closet. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

So that if you don't see the blue tick, it means an exercise in privacy.

Even my ‘Last Seen’ does not reflect a true state of affairs on my part, for I have learnt that sharing with friends when you were last seen on WhatsApp tends to invite stalker tendencies among friends and conquests.

I should know better, for I have been subjected to inquiries thus: “You were last seen at 01:45 this morning, who were you chatting with?”

At a broad level, I just feel the need to tackle the issue of privacy.

For, it baffles the mind as to why people are not allowed to just be themselves, minus the prying eyes.

Where does this constant meddling into other’s affairs emanate from.

Suddenly, this inquisitiveness seems to run deep in the veins.

Even the little niknaks are taking to this habit like duck to water. What do their mothers reach them these days.

Some people seem to think they have a divine right to know what’s happening in the life of others.

You dump your girlfriend today or vice-versa, and voilà, before sunrise, everyone seems to have a whiff.

Some will approach you with all sorts of questions and theories about your private life, to boot.

Also the expectation is that you should post pictures of you and your better half all over social media, screaming sweet nothings about la dolce vita or Le Good Life, failing which, everything is amiss in your love life.

See, damned if you do, damned if you don’t, because the gossipmongery can be ubiquitous.

You buy a new car and, instead of receiving congratulatory messages by the dozen, people will have the guts to come up and ask: “So how much is the instalment for this one? Must be really expensive.”

And when you don’t provide that info, disappointment and confusion is pasted on their faces.

We have developed this thinking that everything we do must be shared with the world, to the extent that people take pictures of their meals and post them on Facebook.

You are going to get married or moving into a new abode next June, and already the whole community knows about it even before the t’s have been crossed and i’s dotted.

The freakiest part is when the embarrassment that comes with the failure of making it in life, people resort to blaming witchcraft for their woes. If your child receives an accolade for their efforts, keep tjoep still and rather encourage them to do more, for some things just aren’t meant for public consumption. Privacy is the game.

I apply the same strategy at my favourite drinking hole whenever a broke guzzler approaches me for a drink. I politely ask him to please give me some privacy, to leave me in peace.

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