Today’s topic is less about me and more about some of the blogs that I’ve been fortunate to see, read and enjoy. Blogs from people who are more or less, my people. My kin. Both in skin colour and in virtue.
As such, this is going to be a relatively short post.
I have known the author of this blog for a long, long time and while the aim of the blog does not particularly apply to me, I believe it would have some application to anyone who is interested in learning, understanding and maintaining their natural hair.
Those are the two I have off the top of my head. As I haven’t been blogging and reading blogs as I used to years ago, I have fallen off in keeping up to date with bloggers in general, especially bloggers from my country.
However, that can easily change now, I believe. If you’re Nigerian and you’re a blogger, share your link in the comments. I would LOVE to take a look at your blog and follow you.
Better yet though, if you blog either consistently or every now and then, please do the same. It’s always an informative exercise to be able to see and experience things from other people’s viewpoint 🙂
Today’s post is late, mostly because I’ve spent the better half of it being busy with my other projects up to the point that I almost forgot I was due for another post.
“What other projects?” You ask with a coy smile.
Well, I have a few things that I have on my plate that I’m simultaneously working on. That is, at the moment; – I’m working on a few stories (which I release as a serial on Reddit). I want to get my current ones done so that I can work on my book’s sequel. – I repurposed my YouTube channel for gaming and game related stuff, along with Twitch. – I’m doing some game development work with a few friends.
“Isn’t that kind of a lot?”
Why, yes. Yes, it is. But I find that being busy helps my creativity in writing and with the lock-down keeping me largely at home and largely aimless (after 9-5 work), I decided to prioritise some projects.
But enough about that. Let’s talk about today’s topic!!!
Four Things I’ve Learnt on Social Media
Oh boy. Social media is something unique. Unlike anything that has come before it. Honestly, I still think back to the days before we even had the mental concepts for smartphones. And the difference between life before and life after smartphones is something unheard of. And it brings me to my first point;
1) Nobody knows how to use it.
Which closely translates to, ‘nobody truly understands what it is supposed to be for’. I mean, think about it. What is Social Media for?
Is it to keep up with friends? We’ve got their numbers for that. Is it to keep up with the news? We’ve got the TV for that. Celebrities? Celebrity magazines have dedicated stalkers for information.
So, what is its purpose?
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tiktok and the likes will give you vague explanations to their uses but at the end of the day, we all use them the same way.
As an outlet to our lives. Which brings me to my next point.
2) Everyone shares too much.
You probably understand what I mean by this. The common example would be the people who so happen to share a lot about their relationships on twitter or facebook, listing out details that should be private or rather, dealt with in private.
You have some people completely detail the faults of their parents or partners or friends for some support in their decision to cut them off. Don’t get me wrong. If your family, friends or loved ones are (a) abusive, (b) racists or (c) on the narcissistic end of things, it’s perfectly understandable to cut them off. I just don’t think it necessarily has to be public unless the situations demand it be so.
Quick PSA: If you’re in an abusive relationship, please leave. Don’t wait until they become better. Just go.
All in all, in this area of oversharing, once you dig deeper you eventually figure out that for most of the people over-sharing, they are doing it for lesson number three.
This is something I personally detest. When people start sharing their stories not because it is particularly important but because they want some ‘likes’ or ‘retweets’. It trivialises important issues into a game of internet points which I find to extremely wrong.
And clout chasing takes so many forms.
You have the people who share fake stories. You have the people who bully others. You have the ones who post ‘thirst traps’ but pretend like that wasn’t what the picture was for. You get those who expose their DMs every single time they get a private message because of the picture they want to paint. You have people who are always contrarian. You have people who will always agree.
You have stans.
You have fancams.
You have meme accounts who only exist to take a shot at anything and everything that breathes on social media.
You have accounts who pretend to be racist just because it’s the ‘cool thing to be edgy’ on the internet, only to then turn around and ‘apologise’ when they get exposed.
Most of the lives on social net want to achieve some sort of fame that they’ve attached to follower count, likes and retweets. And I can’t say I fully blame them. After all, the advent of social media opened the doors to celebrity status via the route of ‘Influencer’. Suddenly, the pedestal that we place a lot of our ‘hollywood’ heroes are now within reach.
All in all, all of this brings me to the last thing I have learnt on social media.
4) It is having a bad effect on some people
In this point, I will leave the following so that you can read it up at your own leisure but the main crux is this. Social media is having a negative effect on some people’s mental states because we are being inundated with snippets of very different lifestyles.
And while it doesn’t sound like this should be a problem, some people can’t help but constantly compare themselves with those they believe to be successful. So, consciously and sometimes subconsciously, they start to change how they look, act, talk and behave in order to paint a picture that has no truth to who they really are.
Social media has made a lot of people live false online lives. And that’s a problem.
So, I know it was obvious that nothing was written yesterday. To everyone here, new and old, I apologise. I wasn’t in the best head-space yesterday and the thought of crafting a biographical piece on me didn’t get me out of it. I had a title and everything but yeah… Thursday was a miss.
Nonetheless, I made a pledge for relative consistency and I’m going to continue my best at keeping to it. That said, I believe my actions yesterday lead relatively well into the topic for today.
Welcome to “How To Take Breaks”. I’ll be your professor but call me Doc.
“How to take breaks? We all know how to do that!”
Take this as a reminder then. Taking breaks is something that everyone knows how to do and yet, still fail to do properly. If anything, there’s a slight negative connotation when you tell some people that you’re taking a break from something, either it be work, family or relationships.
Taking a break is not bad. I repeat, taking a break is NOT BAD. Sometimes, it is even crucial!
There’s a phrase I used to hear in Nigeria and still here from time to time. It’s relatively simple, spoken in pidgin (broken English) but it solidifies the point I’m trying to make quite well. And it’s this;
“Body no be firewood.”
In other words, there’s only so much you can take, physically, mentally, emotionally, figuratively, etc, before your body calls it quits and starts to shut down. And when your body starts to react to external and internal circumstances, you start to feel that.
For example, Stress.
Work stress sounds like something that should be encouraged: ergo, giving your continuous 100% at work, 9am-5pm, every single working day but it will eventually get to a point where your body will tell you to cut it out. And it will tell you fast.
There is no justification to let the above happen just because you want to impress your boss, or your family or your partner. There is none.
YOUR HEALTH MATTERS – Physically, Mentally and Emotionally.
And, to be quite honest with you, you cannot give anyone the best of yourself if you’re not in the best place for yourself. Let me turn that into a quote for you to share around.
“You cannot give your best if you’re not at your best.” – I. Ogunbase.
That is where having breaks come in. You can either have it as long breaks (a la Holidays or Sabbaticals) or short breaks, such as days off (even if its a half day). This is the physical aspects of it, the one that applies to work. The moment you start feeling the pressure on your mind and body and YOU KNOW that it’s putting you in a bad place, take a break.
The other ways of taking breaks are usually known; – Watching a movie – Playing a game – Going out with friends – etc etc
All the above help. I must stress, however, that taking breaks does not mean abusing it or becoming lazy as a result. Because that stops being a break and starts being an actual escape from responsibilities. This is a different topic but yeah. Don’t mistake taking breaks for being lazy. Don’t be lazy.
Breaks in relationships are more complicated and rightly so. Because taking a break means something in the relationship is not quite fitting properly. Now, in this day and age, when someone says they are taking a break, it automatically means they are breaking up with you.
When in truth, it should really mean ‘taking a break’. The break itself is supposed to a self-reflection of where the person is at with their partner, where they are planning to get to and the steps that they need to take.
And yes, it can lead to an actual break-up BUT it can also lead to a stronger reconciliation that helps both parties to grow and excel together. Both results are important in regards to your emotional state. Sometimes in life, self-introspection is needed and shouldn’t be missed.
All in all, try to take breaks whenever you feel like things are getting ‘too much’. If not for your sake, do it for your future. Do it for the best version of you.
Hope you’re all having a nice wonderful afternoon amidst the fires of rebellion going on around the world. Touchy subject, I know… But I plan to touch on it eventually. Today, however, we will be addressing my favourite food of all time. One that makes my stomach happy and in return, makes me happy.
And yes, as a Nigerian, that sorta defaults to Jollof Rice.
Now, I’m not going to go into the age-old battle of whose Jollof Rice is the best between Ghana and Nigeria (it is the latter) as I don’t think it’s useful to the conversation at the moment. As long as it is made well, I’m a sold customer.
Especially when it’s garnished with; – Roasted Chicken – Fried Plantain – Salad or Coleslaw
I’m a sucker for the right combination. That said, I don’t believe I would be revealing the best combination on here. That information stays with my fiancee and my mother. Everyone else will have to do.
“What about this dish do you love?”
Honestly? Not sure. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to try out different dishes over my life so far and while they are all excellent, something about Jollof Rice reminds me of home. In the metaphorical sense.
I would call it the ideal comfort food and I believe you all understand what I mean. The one dish in the world that no matter what mood you’re in, it puts you in the state that makes you feel like everything, every issue, every worry, every single thing you’re expressing would be alright.
Yesterday’s post garnered more support than I usually get and I’m touched by the motivation to push ahead with this task ahead of me. Thank you for liking it and for the push to continue the path.
So. Today’s topic.
“What’s the main goal of my site?”
This is fairly simple and at the same time, not so simple. The very simple answer being that I wanted a space where I could direct readers to be able to see my body of work and subscribe / buy my books. Very simple answers.
The ‘Not so simple’ answer points to marketing / visibility. Let me explain.
The blog was created sometime in 2012 when I was studying engineering in some university down south. Like outside London, UK. I was going through some issues in my life (mentally, emotionally and physically) and I needed a space to unleash my thoughts. Heck, you can even check out my first post here.
Over the months and years, I’d fill the blog with my thoughts, poetry, prose and some short stories. It was like a diary that wasn’t quite private and wasn’t quite public either. It was just a space where I could unburden my mind, if only to be able to function in society.
But as the years would go on, I would also change and writing began to become important. And as with all important things, they eventually yield fruit. I began writing stories properly and eventually finished a short novel. A novella, if you will. Counting The Seconds.
It was still the beginning but I had taken a step into a different realm, one that operated with different sets of rules that I was unprepared for. I’d continue writing and by the 23rd of March 2020, I’d have three books published.
Which meant, I had and have to be relatively professional about the art if I wanted to succeed in it. So, it took some working around but the blog turned into an official website. A place where any who stumble upon it would know me, the writer. And the books that I’ve released into the world.
“This is all interesting. But…”
I know. I haven’t answered the question yet. Not really. So, let me do that officially.
The purpose of my website is for me to be able to market myself as an author to all who might be interested in my body of work. My homepage is such as to show you what I have released, the reviews I’ve gotten, my biography and how to subscribe to not miss updates.
However, the purpose of my blog is still the same. As professional as the website might be, the blog side of it remains so that I might unburden my thoughts and free my mind of the things that shouldn’t be on it anymore.
I walk two paths here. And I plan to walk them to the best of my ability.
Hope you’re all holding it together during this season of multiple pandemics. It’s obvious that the year has a lot it wants to detox itself off this year. Still, if you’re reading this, I’m glad you are safe and healthy. That’s a commodity, these days.
I have been advised and roped into something that I have been taking a look at for the last week. A chance at doing something a bit more consistent over the course of the month, both for the website’s sake and I guess, some personal growth. You can get the hint in the hashtag I put in the title.
#WinterABC2020, hosted by the wonderful @Afrobloggers, is a chance for African bloggers to stand out and express themselves fully and truly. I am African (Nigerian by birth) and I blog. I guess, in however small a way, this applies to me to.
So, for the next 22 days, I’m going to attempt to perform some written magic, delving a bit more into who I am, what I do and the way I experience the world, based on a few choice topics chosen by the hosts of this current event.
So, without further ado and in line with topic 1-of-22 simply titled ”, here goes;
I am three times self-published author, going under the pen-name of I. Ogunbase. Which is formed really by the initials of my first name and my last name. It took a while for me to decide on it because of marketability but I eventually came to the conclusion that my identity is tied to my name and I don’t want to hide behind a false one just so that my books will be more appealing.
I’m Nigerian (birthed and lived in for 14 years) and British (for the later half of my current life). I love writing, I love gaming. I love God. And it is my hope that I can be consistent in the next 22 days.
That’s my pledge, really.
Some topics might be tweaked to better fit the site but I’ll talk more about that in tomorrows hashtag post ;). Until then, have a great day.
You know… It has been a while since my last blog post and honestly, I shouldn’t be writing in the mood that I’m in. But, writing in an emotional state tends to be the best state in which I can make words make sense.
I need words to make sense.
2020 was and is supposed to be a different year. A different way of thinking, new moves, new life and the promise of something completely out of this world. Something I’ve been chasing since she said yes to me over the phone when I told her I’d like to date her.
The dream of a new house and a new car. A few books out under my name and some upwards movement with my life and that of those around me. Colleagues had plans in place, I had weddings to attend and one to plan even. There was a positive trend to the year.
And then. Covid-19.
Covid. Flipping. 19.
And all the heavy lifting that had been put in place from the months before… All the sweat and tears and frustration and stress of trying to pull everything together into a cohesive picture suddenly goes out of the window. The monsters and the burden that had been discarded down were suddenly back up as the scramble re-began and trying to pull it all together.
I mean, it’s not everyday that one sits to fight and survive a pandemic, even if the death stat is about 5% of total cases. 5.3% to be pedantic, really.
Still, the wedding is most likely going to be postponed. The vendors are back into negotiating stages. The house process is postponed. Stress levels are rising. Everyone is working from home and all of this…
All of this = Little Picture.
It’s the extent of the things that I can control, even if the control itself is nothing more than an illusion. A brilliant and sweet illusion but the faux control is still enough to give off the right amount of dopamine that is just grand.
And then, there’s the big picture.
A global pandemic.
Who knew all the years of watching disaster movies would end in us experiencing one? Real-life imitating fiction and we’re living in it in real-time. Right to the tip-top second.
The coronavirus, Covid-19, is spreading like a bad rash on a hot day and we’re barely keeping it back. The hospitals are overflowing with patients, everyone and their moms are getting sick and the unfortunate souls with outstanding health conditions are being forced to come to terms with what it means to contract the virus.
Countries are struggling to contain the spread, entire cities are trying to survive. Face masks are low in supply, the economy is having one heck of a wild ride and the sneaking suspicion that things will be a lot different when the virus has completed its cycle assuming, of course, that it completes its cycle.
Conspiracy theorists are filling the airwaves with half-truths and misinformation, looking for something or someone to blame. 5G is the current culprit as people attribute the technology to being capable of causing difficulty in breathing. I mean, I’m a tech guy but for all my research, I haven’t seen anything to attribute it to such.
Still, the false belief that it was 5G that kickstarted the virus has made its way on WhatsApp and Facebook and you know what happens after that.
Italy and Spain are battling the worst of it. USA is barely doing appropriate testing, along with their cousin, UK. The middle east is doing their best to sort out lock-downs while Africa (as a whole continent) is trucking on because (a) there’s a false belief that we’re immune and (b) we don’t have the testing facilities to prove otherwise.*
*Well as far as I know…
Nonetheless, I guess one of the best things to come out of this is the awareness of just how much the nurses and doctors all work to keep everyone else safe and sane. When this tale is over, I hope people remember them to forever be the heroes that they’ve shown themselves to be. More importantly, I pray that they will be able to be whole again when it’s all done.
All in all. Covid-19 has us by the privates and it’s squeezing tight.
The Big Picture.
So, here I am… angry and frustrated at how my plans for the year have more or less been tanked. And feeling guilty because in the face of the problems I’m looking at, I’m intentionally ignoring the bigger issue of what the world is experiencing.
And even with the knowledge… Even with the realisation that nothing matters until Covid-19 is sorted out and a vaccine is found, I still can’t help but feel like the year has robbed me of what I had been looking forward to for years now.