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Opinions of Friday, 16 February 2018

Columnist: Kobina Ansah

The whitewashed tomb called social media

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Of a truth, social media is great. It’s one great platform for establishing new connections and reestablishing lost ones. Thanks to social media.

Today, many personalities who we could only dream of ever meeting have been brought closer? only a click away. The merits of this virtual world are undoubtedly overwhelming.

Social media has brought the private lives of others even closer. Their weddings, achievements and possessions are always in our face. They flood our timelines with their seemingly rosy lifestyles and tours around the world. They seem not to only have our dream jobs. They literally seem to be living our dreams!

We go through their photos and wish they were ours. We want to have just a part of what they have and be in their somewhat heavenly shoes for just a moment. We sometimes wish we had a great marriage or relationship like they did. The same social media that brings us great connections can sometimes also bring us great depression.

We can sometimes despise our image if we perceive social media as our only mirror. We may always seem ungrateful to God if we keep paying attention to all the flamboyance on the walls of others. Mind you, the lives of others are filtered? they only show you what you desire to see!

Anytime social media comes to mind, remember whitewashed tombs. They look so glittery on the outside but deep inside, they contain corpses. Some marriages may only look blossomy in your eyes because you have a faint idea of the rot within. Some lives may appear all perfect on social media because no one washes their dirty linen there!

No one posts a picture with their pimply face. They’d edit or filter it. No sane person will ever post their loan documents alongside their new car. Most of what glitters on social media may only be wood coated with fake gold! Be content with your “little” and keep working hard.

Your standard of achievement should be your own self, not others. The person you should want to be better than is not that image you see on your timeline but that which you see in your mirror? you. Who you want to be tomorrow should be challenged by who you are today, not what others are today.

Some graves look so embellished on the outside but deep inside, they contain decaying remains of people. Such is social media. Everyone paints a spotless picture of themselves on the outside. Like whitewashed tombs, they look so attractive outwardly... but inwardly, there's nothing desirable!

Some lives look so enticing on the outside; the seemingly perfect marriage and somewhat perfect job. Everything seems so rosy outwardly but envy none. Never wish to be like anyone except yourself. Some lives are like whitewashed tombs. When you envy them, you only envy the corpses within!

The lives of others are only a mirage. You draw near to see only a facade. It's only when you draw nearer that you see a seemingly amazing life running on the wheels of loans and debts to please men!

Don’t fall for the prank called social media. Some news are fake. Some lives are fake, too. Don’t kill yourself trying to live up to another’s unreal standard. Ingratitude is paying attention to what you are yet to have instead of what you actually have.

We may succumb to all the pressures that appear on the walls of others if we don’t put a wall between what we have and that which we wish to have. Be content with what you've, however little. The character you're envying may only be acting up to look good in the eyes of men. That "classy" wedding you're killing yourself to have... may not have ended "classily" as you thought. Cut your cake according to your bank account!

Be happy when others succeed. However, don’t kill yourself to have a piece of their success. Your hard work should be motivated by a passion to progress in life… not a passion to be at par with others. If we make others our yardsticks, we only limit how far we could ever have gone.

Contentment is great gain. We learn to appreciate much when we don’t despise the so-called little God gave us. Don’t despise what you have. Don’t despise the man or woman God has blessed you with by comparing them with another on social media who has undergone thorough makeup. Every relationship may have its ups and downs. Don’t ever think another’s elsewhere is all blossomy! Be content. Happiness is being content with what we have, regardless of how little. Social media can lie to us. However, all the glitz there must make us thankful for what we have been blessed with, not ungrateful for what others have posed with.

My resolution today is to be grateful with what I have... instead of being ungrateful for what I see others having. I promise myself not to envy anyone. I promise myself not to live my life in the name of putting another man to shame. I promise not to despise my “little” because another seemingly has much on social media. I promise to take advantage of social media… and not to allow social media take advantage of me.

I have only two people to please in life; God and myself. I'll only make the best out of what I have today. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Whether or not I’m able to have much tomorrow, I’ll still be a blessing unto others. If tomorrow never comes too, hallelujah!

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (, an Accra-based writing company which provides all writing services.