I received a text message a few weeks ago warning people not to use their photo or that of their family members for social medial profile because there are messengers of devil lurking around determined to take children of God away.
This message came to me from a friend that I respect, we’ve known each other for a long time, so I replied asking her to think about that message for a second in relation to the present situation in her family, town, state and Nigeria and to see if there was any sense in it.
It is interesting the number of messages people forward without reading or believing it.
Why is it so hard to give common sense advice without making everything about religion, devil, or God? Wouldn’t it be enough to get people to understand the need for a bit of privacy while on social media without scaremongering people with nonsensical tales?
Thankfully, I no longer receive chain messages that only serve to propagate myths or scare the daylights out of people. However, occasionally, I receive ‘gems’ from new friend/acquaintance, such is the case the other day when someone in a group that I belong sent a ‘warning’ text.
The text was long, but the gist of the story was that we should not pick a call from a number with country code +263. Two different numbers were provided. The reason for the warning was that the person on the other end is a ‘devil’, he has managed to kill 11 people via calling them on the phone. There is something about blood sucking devil in the text.
This message was not directed at me, if I was not part of this group, the sender would not have included me, here I can’t really be bothered.
Out of curiosity I checked to see where the ‘blood sucking devil’ is calling Nigerians from, it turns out to be Zimbabwe.
Why would someone in Zimbabwe want to suck Nigerians blood, don’t they have their own people or do Nigerians have special sweet blood?
The +263 warning text is a bit easy to crack, I sense some Televangelists competing for the same audience, my people are one step ahead making sure they scare folks from listening to morning devotion from rivals – Oh well, I know this message will go round the world and come back before people realise the motives behind the texts.
Let’s assume that it is true that there are some agent of darkness somewhere who really wanted to kill people through WhatsApp calls, why would anyone target Nigerians when there are plenty options of people using VOIP around the world?
Whenever texts such as these are sent to people, there is always a sense of urgency to act, ‘send this message to all your friends and family members’ even if forwarding such a message makes one look like a douchebag, deed is done before they had a chance to ask simple question such as:
Why is it always us spreading rumours that make no sense?
People are facing enormous challenges with skyrocket inflation, kidnap for ransom and on top of it, an absentee President – do people need more miserable tales to scare them of one more thing they need to do or not do so as not to die?
Do people actually still believe this? It seems so. If they don’t we would not have more churches than schools today. I have seen a building with three different churches – everyone competing for a share of the market.
“In the west of our dear land…” is the first line of my secondary school anthem, the line came to me today while I was thinking about how much some people rather than using technology to inform and educate, they insist on using it as a tool to further instil fear into the people.
Many people genuinely do need help, may their eyes be opened in good time.