Columnists Features

Chilling in the woods

Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
THERE is no doubt that we’re besieged by a selfie-mania. It seems everyone is sucked into self-portrait photographs, which they post on the internet on a daily basis.
If you look beneath the surface, you would find that most people are living their lives inside mobile phone camera lenses – from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night – from having breakfast to having supper.
With the way things are going, some selfie addicts would soon start posting pictures of themselves evacuating their bowels behind mukula trees during their visits to rural outposts.
Yes, just like selfies, mukula trees have become popular, of course for the wrong reasons. Who would not want to be part of the notoriety associated with the lucrative trees among illegal loggers?
Obviously, this picture, despite it being embarrassing to others, would be accompanied by a description on Facebook saying, “Chilling in the woods” or “having a bowel movement”.
Some would be overly descriptive about their postings of such nature saying “Setting myself free under a mukula tree in my hometown”.
With such creative anecdotes complementing the selfie, one would expect numerous “LOLs” and many likes, including hehehehehes and kikikikikis from one’s loved ones.
Isn’t this whole act ridiculous? Who would want to look at 100 pictures of someone dwarfed behind a tree in a rural outpost ejecting human waste?
You might say this is crazy, but one thing is for sure, many selfie fanatics are more than willing to give it a whirl.
If you know what it feels like to step into a small town without public toilets but bursting with forests, then you would know why one would feel good to take a selfie while evacuating one’s bowels under a mukula tree.
Call it adventure seeking or sheer stupidity, selfies can be taken anywhere these days – even during body viewing at graveyards, not to talk of mortuaries.
If people can post pictures of their dead relatives and friends on Facebook without taking into consideration moral principles, what can stop them from taking selfies in front of their relatives’ coffins during body viewing?
Then their friends would respond to such distasteful postings saying “nice one my guy – you look nice in front of that coffin – expensive one for that matter. My condolences anyway”.
Others would add more vim and vigour to such postings on Facebook with colloquial expressions like “Me, myself and I during body viewing at my cousin’s burial”.
Of course, the cyberspace brotherhood and sisterhood depend on who one strings along with or follow on Facebook and Instagram.
On Facebook one can receive many responses in form of likes even when one posts a picture of one’s dead mother, not to talk of one having a roll in the hay with a girlfriend.
If one foolishly forgot to write some words informing friends that one’s mother in the picture is actually dead, some would mistake the dead woman to be alive having a nap and ask “How is she?
Imagine one, as a mourner, clinging to one’s laptop or tablet at a mourners’ house just to follow the comments on Facebook about the death of one’s mother.
Why do some people do this on Facebook? In the past, people couldn’t imagine themselves posting pictures of dead bodies, let alone selfies from graveyards.
This is why in the hood the only selfies you would see are about men and women imbibing at watering holes as if seeking approval from society to keep on quaffing till death.
Inspired by the spirit of cyber brotherhood and sisterhood, they would exchange solidarity comments on Facebook saying “Twanwa again” meaning “Let’s drink some more”.
Who said mobile phones get lost in bars and taverns? If selfies of people capturing their moments of enjoyment in watering holes are anything to go by, we might stop believing those who say they lose their phones in these places.
But prize it or ignore it, selfies are here to stay, what with the ever changing technology.
The allure of selfies has made some girls indiscriminately post pictures of themselves in the bathroom naked for all men to stare at them in a lustful manner.
Although it seems weird for most girls to post naked photos of themselves, they feel it is their right to show their bums on Facebook.
To be honest, many girls nowadays do not care who is talking, maybe the only consolation to moralists in Zambia is that the number of selfies posted on Facebook has dwindled in the past few months.
I hear girls never get to fully charge their mobile phones to take selfies in the hood because of load shedding in most parts of Zambia.
But the truth is: selfies of all kinds still find themselves on Facebook regardless of load shedding.

Facebook Feed