Social Media: The modern day fairy godmother

​I may not know your social media story but, the world knows that FacebookTwitterInstagramWhatsApp and others have greatly impacted relationships especially amongst youths who are anxious to make friends around the world and also among the aging who are in desperate search of life partners. In fact, many modern couple today started their relationships on Twitter and Facebook. We should therefore be grateful for social media because if it was not for Facebook, Twitter etc some of us would never have met. Imagine one of us living in Tabenken and the other living in Mexico. It sometimes start as a simple tweet, a fuuny or romantic Facebook update and later grow into phone calls and video chats and on to meeting in person and being together. Marriage is the end result of some cases.

Some of these social media dating stories have happy outcomes, but not everyone is so lucky. There are many personal horror stories of built-up expectations that are never realized. 

WHO’S YOUR GODMOTHER? 

WHO’S YOUR MOTHER IN-LAW?

WHO’S YOUR FATHER IN-LAW?

I hope it’s neither Facebook nor Twitter?

Here are seven truths I’ve learned about social media and relationships as well as from people who have found themselves in bad situations. Some of these truths are borrowed from the stories of others while some are self formulated. I hope these truths will help you avoid heartaches and create meaningful and positive relationships:

Truth 1: Social media sites are not dating sites.

Many people upon creating their social media accounts, turn to make more friends with people of the opposite sex. This is typical with Facebook where some men only send requests to the profiles of beautiful faces; some call you baby just because your profile picture is that of a beautiful girl without necessarily checking if you’re male or female. For example, on 14 February 2017, I took my pretty neighbour’s picture to Facebook and the reaction was very particular; 

knowing fully well that Serge is a male given name, some guys started booking me.hmmm. For proper online dating, we should therefore look for dating sites (though I don’t know any) to avoid unforeseen embarrassments.

Truth 2: Not everyone is truthful about who they say they are on social media.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing everything you see on social media. Don’t fall in love with people’s avatars and bios. People will often stretch the truth to hide their perceived flaws and build up their positives to get people to follow or friend them. The biggest letdown is if you get into an intimate relationship right away based only on what the other person says in their profile or an attractive profile photo. Before falling head over heels for someone, make sure you get to know the real person first. There is nothing wrong with asking questions and really getting to know who the person is in real life before committing to a more serious relationship.

Truth 3: People will and can hurt you.

Relationships on social media may be great in the beginning, but once you take the next step and meet in person you may be in for a surprise. People may take more liberties engaging on social media than in real life. The fact is some think they can stretch the truth online and hide behind the shield of anonymity. Be careful! Some guys can spell love but they cannot pronounce love!

Truth 4: The same process must be followed for both online and offline relationships.

Social media is a great tool to meet interesting people and create relationships, but you must be smart about it. Njobe Serge Ngala is hoping to meet his first ever girlfriend on Facebook. Yes, you heard me right. I believe that my soul mate is someone who should bring out the best in me; but we must meet in person. It is through experiencing the ups and downs of a relationship beyond the world of social media that you will find out if you’re meant to be together.

Truth 5: Follow your heart but take your brain with you too.

There will be people who will question your choices especially for those who meet online. No matter what people say, it is still your choice. Just make sure you use common sense and always be on the lookout for your safety. Sometimes we don’t see everything objectively when we are in love; my very good friend went to the Dschang food market and after buying njama njama, he surprisingly went further to buy eru even when it was not not on his agenda. We later discovered that the sudden decision was because the young eru vendor was attractive. We could not help but hold our friend to avoid waste. Be on the lookout for red flags when you are beginning your online relationship:They should be willing to talk with you on the phone and meet with you in person and in public.They should not ask you for money as a perquisite to meeting you. This is a big red flag!

They should be willing to back-up claims and statements they make publicly online and to you privately. Remember, anyone can say anything online. It doesn’t make it true!

Truth 6: Following your instincts is a must.

There are many awesome people in social media but there are still those who may take advantage of you and your vulnerability. Just because they are active and share a lot doesn’t mean they are particularly trustworthy. If your instincts tell you to stop, investigate further before continuing to interact. Matters of the heart are emotional experiences that should not be taken lightly especially if it turns ugly. Break-ups can take a nasty turn and become amplified on social media. It’s not because I don’t post about love stories that you should conclude that I’m unromantic. There is romance in football too.

Truth 7: Honesty is the best policy.

Be yourself! Whatever your reason for joining any social media network, it is always a good practice to be honest. It’s never been an issue for us meeting our online friends in person because we are no different offline than how we represent ourselves online. Some people find it hard to connect offline because they’re afraid of being exposed as not who they say they are.

Being honest is important if you want to build trust and authentic relationships with people beyond social media. If you see someone is falling in love with you and you do not feel the same way, be honest and firm. Tell them exactly how you feel. Never play with anyone’s feelings and never pretend to like someone. Remember those avatars represent real human beings who can get hurt.

After reading this article by 

Prophet Jero Serge Ngala, you can go on and  meet that person who has been asking you out on Facebook. Please I’m still single. God is still saying something! Amen!

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Author: Njobe Serge Ngala

A Masters 1 student, Université de Dschang. Blogger and radio anchor

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