Subliminal messages also called Subs is the latest trend on the Nigerian Social Media; from screenshots of direct message (DM) to slut shaming between the two parties. It has been an avenue to boost the number of followers/friends, ego and to gain popularity. It is similar to a Nigerian polygamous home, here is how.
- GLAMOURING FOR ATTENTION: You know the typical Nigerian polygamous home; where the man has four wives who glamour for his attention. The attention comes in different shades meant to glorify one wife over the other and boost favoritism. Well, subs are like that. The first ‘subber’ begins to seek for attention through controversial posts. He finds a topic that will place him at a high rank and boost his ego. He goes further to gain popularity through an increase in his followers and friends. Ag! It works, he is now the most tagged human; friends tag him to get more likes and comments on their posts. And boom what he seeks happens-mission accomplished. Like the attention seeking wife who smiles secretly in triumph, He is happy on his achievement that His name is now a mantra on the lips of his followers.
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- COOKING THE MAN’S FAVORITE DISH: After all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. That’s the woman’s next step after turning every odd to her favor. She finds out her husband’s favorite dish and takes great pains in cooking it to a yummy taste. The first ‘subber’ behaves this way. He finds out what the majority of his followers love to hear and what will push them into instant action via sharing, liking and commenting. He does this randomly and regularly, in this way he has won their hearts. Shoot!!!!….Operation begins.
- TAUNTING AND JIBBING SONG: The woman begins to find ways where Her co-wife is disadvantaged. She pulls the strings to find loop holes in her victim and uses the faults on her. She will sing jibbing taunting songs and remarks meant to ridicule the victim. She does this with mischievous sneers and chuckles directed at the victim. The songs don’t include the victim’s name but have contents of her character or features. The victim actually knows she is the one and retaliates by doing same. The retaliation is in an answering pattern where trouble finding wife taunts and she replies same; giving her answer to flaw the former’s remarks. The first ‘subber’ is similar to this. He finds an adversary, someone who opposes him constantly and who always seems to disagree on everything he posts. Angered by this he makes an indirect post in an insulting manner. He doesn’t mention name but makes sure he has portrayed the entire characteristics of the person. He puts the person on the limelight by making sure he/she is well described for identification. He makes provocative statements and derogatory remarks about the person. Subsequently, the ‘subber’s followers are curious to know who the offender is and after much pressure ‘subber’ mentions offender’s name, his username on the social media and tags him to the post. The ‘subbee’ knows he is the one and reacts in the same manner; indirect posts targeted at ‘subber’. He defends his position and makes jibbing statements to buttress his facts. There is a comparison; the former seeks attention while the later seeks sympathy.
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- A FULL BLOWN FIGHT : The wives do the taunting in a to and fro manner. Consequentially, one party can no more bear it and the bubble bursts. The wife who can no longer bear it, is hell bent on teaching the other ‘the lesson of her life.’ Here there is always a last straw that breaks the camel’s back; the climax. There is a full blown fight, a free for all fight where there are supporters and mediators. The fight is on the lips of everyone and serves as the topic for discussion in days to come. Like all fights there is always a loser and a winner, even on the cyberspace. The ‘subber’ and ‘subbee’ all come out to fight in the full glare of the virtual public. There are screen shots of inbox messages/chats, pictures, memes and uploading of videos. These are posted on their walls with accompanying words to explain it. The sub gets interesting and the virtual public gets involved. Their supporters begin to make posts and comments in order to place one over the other, It becomes the latest topic and hash tags are given to it, including the general theme of the fight. E.g. #baekeepthechange.
Like all fights a winner always emerges and with subs-the winner is the one who could keep up intelligently; the one who has the greatest defense which invariably shuts up everyone.
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- RETURN TO NORMALCY: All trends have their dearth, a point where they are no longer interesting, a point where it becomes stale. Subs gradually wear off and fades the way it came. The two parties involved returns to their normal lives before the fight began. They might have achieved what they desired and life continues. The winner basks in his victory and the loser quietly licks his wounds. The supporters and spectators begin to go quietly as they came. The posts about the subs reduces gradually and finally goes with the wind. The number of participants (people who cared to talk about it on their timeline) dwindles. Like the wives in polygamy, the fighting is over and everyone is forced to go continue with what they were doing before the fight happened. This culminates into other activities like peace talks, mediation and reconciliation. There is a face value peace but in the minds of the wives, there are various thoughts going on, the thoughts could be the proactive or reactive things they should have done. Life gradually returns to normal for the fighters and supporters. The sub(fight) dies and is no longer talked about.
Anyone who knows how a typical Nigerian polygamous family is can relate to this. The Nigerian social media scene is like this, and like a time when polygamy was the vogue in Nigerian homes; Social media Sub is the new trend.