Sunday Magazine

“Is Face Book a Necessary Evil?”

  • 11th Feb 12

I really do not know whether to categorise Face Book a.k.a. FB as an evil or a necessary evil.  Evil or no evil, FB is doing more harm than good to society.  It has become so addictive to the extent that, it greatly influences the lives of its users.  It is a form of electronic “narcotic” (ikiyobyabwenge)!  From primary school children to university students, from house girls to house wives, from boys to men, FB is the thing!  I have no quarrel with the ingenious guys that put together what we now know as FB but the people who have embraced it and are using it for their own ends!

Statistics show that, nearly thirty percent of the FB users get marital problems and break up because; FB takes centre stage in the homes. Husbands or wives tuck themselves in the virtual world of their computers and spend countless hours on FB instead of taking care of their family needs and as a result, friction develops in the home! On the other hand, men or women end up getting new and potential spouses on FB.  I would have had no quarrel with this too, only if the actual marriages or relationships remained actual and the FB ones remained virtual and nothing more but that is not the case!

FB is a very powerful tool in that, in a matter of minutes, one is exposed to so many people and these many people are not all genuine people.  I have met a number of people on FB, they claim to be in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, New York, etc and yet they are either in Nyamirambo or Remera (just within Kigali).  Some of these people indicate that, they are young women interested in men to marry them only to turn out to be very old women or even men!  What am I trying to say?
The point is that, not all that glitters on FB is Gold.  There are tons of conmen and trash on FB.  These people can rip you of anything just in a matter of a few clicks!

The other day, I met this young man I will call Tony; Tony had been flirting with a lady residing in London, he created the impression that, he was a son of a very rich Kigali business man. The lady got so impressed and a relationship began to grow to the extent that, they agreed to get married.  Tony confided in me and showed me a horde of FB messages he and his chick have been exchanging over several months; “honey, I love you so much, if we don’t get married, I will die”, one of the messages read!  This is virtual love, how can you base on text messages to get so intimate?  The two had never met before.  Now, the lady has promised to come to Kigali, here is Tony busy panicking.  The once son of a rich Kigali business man might get his pile of lies exposed and shoved down his own throat!

As is the case, Tony has no such rich guys in his whole family.  He is running scared because, if the girl comes over, he has nowhere decent to accommodate her because he lives in Bilyogo, a slum suburb of Nyamirambo Empire! So many people are in the act of trading lies for relationships via FB and when the truth eventually catches up with them, they cry foul!  Is this really the reason why FB was founded?  Is FB a necessary Evil after all?


Contact email: Mfashumwana[at]fastmail.fm

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