LOUD WHISPERS: The Death of Shame and Compassion

Recently, after the death of a good friend of mine had been announced, my attention was drawn to comments on one of the popular websites. Whilst there was some outpouring of sympathy, I was appalled at the remarks of people speculating on how my friend died, what/who could have been ‘responsible’ and so on.  My friend fought a long battle with breast cancer, and even though many around her knew, she was not one to put her business out there on social media. Every day there is something written about the pitfalls of using social media and its negative impact on societal values. This is a conversation taking place globally and is not unique to our own context.  Social media has spawned a lust for fame and glory that is frightening. People have been turned into either rabid vultures feasting on the misfortunes of others or reckless hedonists who missed out on doses of restraint on their way to earth.

There is a plane crash or road accident. A crowd of volunteers rush in to help, but a good percentage of them are recording the tragedy for circulation online. Their goal is not to record and hand over to authorities to assist with their investigation, they just want people to know they were there.  A group of schoolgirls are attacked by a bunch of boys. What do the onlookers do? Instead of chasing the wicked boys away they whip out their phones to record the molestation of the poor girls. Women are gang-raped and it is recorded for circulation. The list goes on and on. We used to take pride in our culture of community, sharing and compassion as Africans. I am not sure about this anymore.

When my husband and I were living in London, there was an elderly couple, Bill and Dolly, who lived in the flat below ours. We spoke to them every now and then, and even though Dolly did not like us much because we had too many visitors (our pro-democracy comrades) and made too much noise for their liking, we would knock on their door to check on them. One day we looked out of the window and saw a lot of cars parked in front of our building, including a black hearse. It turned out that Bill had passed away two days before and he was being buried that morning. We had not been informed. That was the day we took a firm decision that our days in the UK had to be numbered. This was alien to all we knew and held dear. It was unthinkable to us as Nigerians that someone who lived in the flat downstairs could have been ill in the hospital for a week, pass away, and was being buried and we had no idea.

Full story in “Loud Whispers”

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Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com



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15 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: The Death of Shame and Compassion

  1. Gloria Ogunbadejo September 25, 2017 at 11:58 am

    My sister…speak! you tell it like it is. You Rock all day!!
    We have to have the courage to call this thing out where ever and whenever we see it. It is a cancer in itself. There are so many words to describe what we are talking about. Lies, fake news (although some who scream fake news are the biggest liars themselves eg Trump!), lack of moral compass, lack of empathy, lack of humanity, etc. The point is that much as we have the benefit and blessings of the greatness of the internet and the amazing wonder it can have bringing people together; sadly it does have an evil and dark side that too many are being drawn to. No one person can end this malaise that is spreading, however, we can all play whatever part we can in screaming against it with our Loud Whispers, Making it better in any way we can.

  2. Femi Diipo September 25, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    This is exactly in lieu with my thoughts lately. People seems to be so desperate for attention these days that they’ll post anything on social media, regardless of how private or sensitive it is, and the comments too are endless. I think sanity in this age and time should involve knowing what and how to post and comment on these platforms before we lose all our values to modernity

  3. Olaniyi Desmond September 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    My wife must see this. This is bespoke! I read it and sighed deeply. May God help us in this social media age of ours where everything and anything is online.

  4. Dom Dom September 25, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you for bringing this up ma’am. It is always good to realize that despite all the allure of civilization, there are some African values that’ll always remain golden. Of course self expression is good but there should be a line, a consciousness between what is shameful and what is noble. I hope eventually people will learn, because even anonymity of social media is not always guaranteed.

  5. Faith Okojie September 25, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    It is pathetic. Even when people are eating they post it so you can know what they eating and how well God has blessed them. The one I detest most is showing off a new baby on social media. It’s annoying. I am happy to see that I am not alone in this privacy life of mine. You owe noone anything so get keep yourself

  6. Perpetua Dandeson September 25, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Hmphhh. Thank you for being a voice ma’am. The “ridonculousness” of our time has beat my expectation by far. People now seek approval on social media, live fake lives, destroy themselves..all in a bid to do what? I don’t understand. Thank you, once again, Ma

  7. Amarachi Isiguzo September 25, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Reminds of a poem by Yeats, “The Second Coming.”
    It is apalling that even the “mature” ones, or those we expect to act differently, do the same thing. Indeed, age is not the equivalent of wisdom.

  8. DSEED September 26, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I don’t think I have any comment on these than to use the same social platform to show people these writeup so that they can know where they are missing it. For some people that itiju is far from them. Let me say some don’t know the consequence of what they do by posting their lives on social medial. They also need this piece.

  9. Olakunle Olajide September 28, 2017 at 11:29 am

    One thing i can gladly applaud Abovewhispers for is the content of the articles. It just keeps you coming back because it shows great positives of social media. I, personally don’t pay attention to stories i don’t benefit from and unhealthy pictures and videos circulating on social medias. Some broadcasts are simply annoying, some posts are irritating and uncalled for. Like you rightly said, no shame (itiju) whatsoever. I wonder where the world is going to.
    This has been my silent rant for a long time.

  10. Samuel September 28, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Rightly said ma’am, even the older ones are culprits. No shame, no morals and no compassion. The essence of life i think is diminishing.

  11. Akpes September 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Social media has really jeopardized alot of relationships, in that people no longer seek advice from those who are supposed to be their confidant, they prefer talking to the whole world. What an ituju!

  12. Princess September 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    This write up is very insightful I must confess, Weldon ma’am.The issue of adults behaving like bairns is the most sardonic one, some old men have to be tammed because they don’t respect their old age. Why would an old man old enough to be my father’s mate send me his naked pics? That is perversiveness I must confess. Social media is not meant for all those, rather it’s supposed to provide us with good info that is geared towards making everyone in the nation a better person.

  13. Ebonychyqui2 September 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I saw a video of a man who mistakingly fell into a tiger’s den some few months back and I wept. If I had what it takes to put the management of that zoo behind bars I would have gladly done that.The man was there for more than 15mins before the tiger started devouring him like an animal, some wicked people were there snapping and recording the whole bunkum. What a wicked world we live in?

  14. Oluwatosino September 28, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Hmmmmm…. After readinng this post, all I just did is to sigh deeply… Social media has done more harm than good lately. Even children of 7,8 years now make use of social media and the rate of immorality has increased, thanks to social media.
    Ma, I totally agree with all you said in this post. But I pray God help us to make use of what we have the right way…..

  15. Eric Onuoha September 29, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    I wonder why some people bring their private lives into social media. For example, a guy or girl who is single changes his or her relationship status once they get a partner. It is unfortunate that social media has been abused.
    In everything we do, we need to apply wisdom and I strongly agree that age has absolutely nothing to do with age. A preacher said, “The age of Methuselah has nothing to do with the wisdom of Solomon.”


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