Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is that where we're going?

In today's world of social media, where many can simultaneously have their 15 minutes of fame extended exponentially and become global sensation in the time it would take to brew a cup of tea, I wonder whether one has to be deliberately transparent in order to become a hit.

What with Facebook and Twitter statuses giving sometimes mundane, and at other times intimate details our lives to 'friends','friends of friends' and 'followers' (I'm not crazy about that term, but that's a topic for another day) I wonder if we're becoming desensitised to true intimacy and privacy.

Ok, rant over. What led me down this road of was a series of rambling thoughts on what to post on this blog. I've not been hesitant to express my feelings of inadequacy when faced with the prospect of writing on a blog that published and accomplished writers - people I admire and respect post to. Many times I've asked myself, what could I possibly say to these people?... So I thought about blog post I've read, about columns and opinion pieces I'd read and I realised that people tend to, in some way or another, write about themselves, about the things that make them tick, make them angry, make them question. In other words, things that they are passionate about. This then made me ask myself what I was passionate about and why I was struggling so much to think of a topic to write about.

As sometimes occurs, I happened upon 2 disparate memories. The first from my teenage years, and one from as recently as a few years ago. Both events showed me profound facets of myself that I was unaware of, but that we're obvious to others.
I spent my teenage years in Benin City, the capital of the then Bendel State in Midwestern Nigeria. One afternoon I went with a friend of mine, Cynthia, to visit her grandmother. When we got there her grandmother referred to me as 'dark'. The truth is I am dark (not broody, but complexioned) but I didn't realise it until this woman said it. It was like an awakening for me. It didn't instil any particularly strong emotion, but rather I was somewhat amused. Like 'oh I'm dark. Hmm..never knew that.'

The other memory, which has been very foremost in my mind as I form relationships with people and as I try to think about something to post, is that I can be quite closed or private. My friends and family tend to tell me about their issues and come to me for encouragement. I am so privileged for the confidences they share and the trust they have.. I truly am. In most of our relationships I know the names of people they work with, the issues those people face, etc. As soon as I answer the phone, without thinking too much about it I ask the probing questions and I genuinely listen but I don't feel I have anything of myself to share. Even as I type this I'm feeling rather uncomfortable and am wondering whether I should really be thinking of posting this, but I think I will. But this takes me back to my question, do I need to be transparent in order to post? How much of myself can I hold back? I'd really love to know what you think.

Ufuoma Daniella Ojo is a Senior Technical Author and Software Trainer. She lives in Potters Bar just outside London. She is working on some new stories about relationships and is trusting God for connections leading to publication.


  1. Thanks for the thought provoking post, Daniela. You have certainly touched on a subject I sometimes wonder about. We are living in crazy, unprecedented times with social media. I think it has gone to our heads sometimes. We have to weigh transparency versus too much info, and it's a big responsibility to leave this decision to the individuals.

  2. Daniela, God has made you a unique person. Only YOU can deliver the message God gives to you, whether that message is encouragement to a friend on the phone or to readers on a blog. I'm sure friends turn to you because of that unique person God has made you. How much of yourself you share depends on what is needed to effectively communicate that message. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable today.

  3. I blame it on Hollywood. ;-) Our society, especially the younger members of it, seem to think lives should be lived on screen with everything from dating to death held up for public scrutiny and possibly made into a game and making them famous. Odd, how the truly famous, like Queen Elizabeth, go to great lengths to preserve their privacy, while wannabes work so hard to be public. I'd take a friend with depth and integrity and compassion over a famous one any day of the week, Daniela. TMI is a disease of our age but we don't have to catch it.