Cyber bullying: This Toke Makinwa and Linda Ikeji Issue.
Let me start by saying, we sometimes avoid those touchy subjects because we wish to avoid “drama” but Cyber Bullying is one concept it seems we are yet to get a full grasp on its consequences. Currently, in America there is a full campaign launched against bullying in general, where different celebs have been actively campaigning to stop bullying. We have seen cases of young ones committing suicide because they couldn’t handle the bullying. I pray and hope things don’t get this far in my motherland, although I suspect it may have and we just don’t document it as much.
For the sake of time, I will try not to over talk but a lot has to be said to make my point very clear so kindly excuse the long read, (I tend to do that when im passionate about something). I know a lot keep quiet to avoid backlash but hey, it is what it is.
There is this “trend” of making vicious comments about others that has become popularized by certain blogs. Overtime, its now seeming like the norm, with more people appearing to see nothing wrong with it. We even have corporate brands willing to identify with such sites irrespective of the damage or harm they cause.
I have seen it happen to celebrities and non celebrities alike, some notable names being Tonto Dikeh, Dbanj, and most especially Karen Igho, just to name a few. Its like the general mentality has become, if you ever become the topic on certain blogs, get ready to either grow thick skin or have a mini heart attack. We are not all built the same so lets hope those who will still be victim, do the former.
This trend of Vicious, Nasty, Bitter comments can make your skin crawl. Yeah, nobody holy pass and I am certainly not an angel, we tease each other all the time, some of us even enjoy a bit of fashion police when we see things outright wrong but we should also know where to draw the line. I am sure we can all make our point without being outright wicked. I have seen some comments about an outfit I wore to a concert on Bella Naija that made me laugh, like, these people got jokes for days. They were not what I would have liked to hear but they were also not wicked or cruel. but I digress!
They say as a celeb you are meant to have thick skin, but in the same token, as a human being we must all set good examples for those who look up to us. Imagine having a generation of people who see nothing wrong with hurting each other all in the name of fun.
Anyways lets fast forward to why we are here. There is a blog very notable for nasty comments, in fact more people visit the blog because of its comments than its content. The blog is owned and run by a lady named Linda. Please keep in mind, I have nothing against her, she is a hard working lady who has made a name for herself, but I also wont for the sake of status not call a spade a spade. I am not singling her out just for the sake of it, but she just happens to be the 2nd party involved in the issue I want to discuss.
I will make my case based on my observations about her blog or her (it gets confusing seeing as she approves the comments that make public view so if she wasn’t ok with it, we probably wouldn’t see it). You are probably asking yourself, as long as its not me being targeted, why should I be concerned? guess what, it is all of our business because God forbid what is being seen as “ok” now, may affect you someday.
Aside from being a simple to read source for news, overtime, the blog has grown into some sort of “haven” for anonymous commenters who wish to pour out the darkness inside them all in the name of commenting about others. They have even taken it several notches up and attack each other. Today, I saw tweets to the effect that Toke Makinwa was being attacked on a certain blog. One of the retweets took me to the source and my heart was like, something has to be said. If it changes something, fine. If it doesn’t, that’s fine too.
What I noted was that the past few days has seen blogger Linda hammer on and on about Toke’s Relationship breaking up, or posting a reference to being engaged for too long, or posting pictures of the babe calling it “stunning” in her usual sarcastic style, and allowing her readers do the rest. When I mean “the rest” I am talking about the outright nasty, vicious, malicious comments posted about this lady from people who do not even know her. Lets not forget some past commenters who would even claim to know the subject personally and proceed to post “personal” information about the person.. if they are lies, we do not know, but we still get to watch the defamation go on and all these are approved by the blog owner.
Toke may not say anything because she wishes to appear strong and non chalant, but damn, she isn’t made of steel and has blood in her veins and emotions like we all do. Last time I checked, most people that have been a victim of cyber bullying such as this are human too. Also, there is no age restriction on these blogs so your kids are reading and learning. To those who make these comments its “fun”, but when does fun turn into torment and emotional abuse?
Toke and I are not close friends so I have nothing to gain from defending her except calling a spade a spade. Everything beyond and above this point is my opinion and analysis of the situation. If I am wrong, my apologies in advance but I seriously doubt ill be far from the truth.
In my opinion I feel she(Linda) put Toke under the “hate” radar simply because she(Toke) made a statement on her radio show that “Linda was not a role model”. Linda took it very personal because she took to her blog to post one long epistle about bla bla bla. After that, its been Toke this, Toke that, knowing full well the type of readers she has and the type of comments it will generate (its like the same ol thing, different person).. ahh ahhh. If Toke doesn’t see Linda as a role mode, She(Toke) is entitled to her opinion and as long as she was not abusive when she said it, I see no harm in that. So why take it so personal to the point of being vindictive?
You see, the irony in the comment Toke made is that, by constantly putting her under attack from her readers, she is indirectly proving Toke right. I sure as hell would not want my child seeing someone who promotes hate as a role model and I am sure neither would you. Like I said, this trend did not start today, its been ongoing and has easily become what her blog is known for. Lets not get into the “Failed Model” comment from Tonto Dike that got Tonto 1st place “lets verbally bash her” position. At least Tonto can rest small as it seems Toke is the hot new “lets verbally bash her” in town.
If someone is having personal issues, offer words of support and move on, if she likes going to parties, free her because she is using her legs and not yours. If she wants to vlog about her life, take what you can from it and keep it moving. Try and distinct constructive comments from vicious ones. Try to distinct funny from wicked.
From the little I know about her, Toke Makinwa is a sweet lady. She is friendly, funny and down to earth so it leaves me wondering, what all these people raining hurtful abuses about her stand to gain. Even if she is not all these things, if they don’t know her personally, what do they stand to gain? You want to know the answer? Absolutely NOTHING!. They comment, laugh, and move on. To them its entertainment but to the person who is being picked on, its not close to funny. When it becomes a family member, its not close to funny. If it is your child someday, it will not be close to funny.
With that said, I hope people search their conscience before they comment. If not, no problem. We can’t see you as anonymous but God knows how its going down. Please keep in mind, I know some will try to make a mountain out of a molehill about what I just wrote no be today una don dey do am, I will not engage you so don’t waste your time. ps:Its easy to say American blogs do it to, but I ask, why must we copy the negative
Lastly if Linda decides to post another one of her “epistles” simply because I have said something a lot of people who smile in her face and a lot of celebrities, say behind her back. Its all good, free world. I write not to offend anyone. I understand that the truth can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow. All the same, its all love.
I have had some deep discussions about this wieht a few big name celebrities and hopefully, as the years progress, something can be done to see a big reduction in cyber bullying. Lets aspire to love more and hate less.
sorry for the long post, if there are any typos or grammatical errors, sorry for that too. God Bless