/Bae/: Slang/Abbrev. Before All Else; an endearing term used to refer to a female loved one, female partner or a female object of love interest.
/Boo/: Before Other Ones; the masculine of the word ‘bae’ usually used to refer to a male loved one, friend or partner. Both can be used interchangeably.
You have had your share of heartbreaks and stories that touch. Doggedly, you still trudged on the path of love unashamed by the past, and despite your scars, you opened yourself even wider to the chance to feel once again. And you did. The whole nine yards of it – butterflies in the tummy, increased heartbeats, a sense of safety, the feeling of walking on clouds, you name it. It’s exhilarating, like you are quite tipsy on some chocolatey vodka and you love every minute of it. One day, to answer the rhetoric; “how is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women?” (SOS 5:9) and because Punch wouldn’t advertise your exhilaration on the pages of their newspaper without some cash deposit at least, you decide to turn to the free platform that better still, thrives on community, to provide these unsolicited answers. You don’t want to do too much. After all, strange Facebook friends should hardly be let into the titbits of your life.
So today, it’s one picture of him with a long epistle eulogising his presence in your life and what he means to you.
“My lover is radiant and ruddy; outstanding among ten thousand.”(SOS 5:10)
And then another day, it’s a picture of her with a poetic verse that will put the 4th verse of the 6th chapter of the Songs of Solomon to shame (no blasphemy intended please) and of course, the awwnss and love struck emojis fuel you more. You did indeed find something immeasurable. So you put up more, and write more epistles; a mind-blowing date at one of those overpriced restaurants on the ‘Island of Lagos’, your 50 thousand naira version of human hair freely dancing to the quiet breeze on a private beach again on the Island of Lagos, a front row ticket to one of the many headline events that happen in Lagos every other weekend, a fight in between but this time with a more subtle epistle, not directly hinting at trouble in paradise but enough to let everyone know there is trouble in paradise. There’s a follow up – mended fences, again very subtle, hinting at the real thing in figurative expressions. Maybe even a trip off to the sunset in Abu Dhabi.
Then like an a three stranded rope with an unravelled tip, the strands start to come undone and so one day, you are here with a lengthy post about how the skies have become bluer and the next, every trace that such emotions had ever existed, every image that had captured moments that words couldn’t express, and words that every emotion and feeling rode on, is obliterated. All gone with the click of a button and as easily as they were shared. Of course, the worst hit are the celebrities so that for every love struck emoji they had earlier received, there are ten hateful and spiteful taunting and spiteful comments about why they had been up in our faces with their relationships.
And so, we concluded that social media was jinxing love, tearing it down even before it got a chance to be. It seemed that by putting love on display, it was already doomed to failing.
I like to consider myself a very private person. I don’t like to have my business all up in people’s faces. A few years ago, if you were like me, it was very easy to be private about your life. And then boom! Facebook came and Instagram followed, Snapchat and suddenly, birthdays weren’t birthdays if there was no long celebratory post on social media about the awesomeness that is the celebrant. Then proposals became a public affair and pre-wedding shoots were all over the place, new cars, new jobs, foreign trips, everything was up in our faces with one upload and a click, a case of everyone shoving their happiness and fairy tales down our throats.
I have made references to the Songs of Solomon in this article for various reasons. One of the most important being that we see the Shulamite woman and her King, unashamed to declare their affections and how smitten they are by each other publicly to a group of people my version refers to simply as “Friends”. So you see the woman declaring how wonderful her lover is to this group and you hear them replying her with more questions about her lover that leads her to speak more of him.
I have asked a group of friends why people love to share every bit of their lives on social media and most of the opinion I received was that it was a way of keeping in touch with friends and family who have been dispersed all over the world by life’s pursuits. But then, do you personally know 50% of your contact list on Facebook? Exactly, I didn’t think so.
There is also the school of thought that if your highly publicised relationship does not end in marriage then what’s the point? What wasted data and likes and comments! Something we tell women all the time.
For me there are two sides to this issue and you know which side I’m on – it’s always best to keep the details to yourself because yes, the Facebook and Instagram posts will end up jinxing your love. The idea that your date nights will be spent trying to get the perfect photo and angle for your page is nauseating. The fact that anytime you are together with a loved one is automatically a photo session is laughable. The fact that an electronic friend can follow the everyday occurrences in your personal space when you are not a lifestyle blogger is creepy. An article on Psychology Today suggests that relationships that are younger than 36 months and involving a partner who is overtly addicted to social media is doomed to fail as a result of what is termed Facebook-related conflict. I do not doubt that.
But then again, isn’t it only fair that since I have found the love of my life, I should be able to shout it out on the rooftops? I think it is a beautiful thing to do – to the right audience. That’s what I see with the Shulamite woman in the Songs. Not everyone is entitled to details of your relationship and frankly, not everyone is interested. In this time and age of cyber rage and bullying and a lot of bottled up anger looking to find expression, it is always best to take your shouting to the right roof top.
After all, you do not want to cast pearls before pigs, do you?
To love, life and happy endings,
The Quiet One