Social media, a ‘vawulence’ brewery, by Janefrances Chinwe Iwuchukwu

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Janefrances Chinwe Iwuchukwu
Janefrances Chinwe Iwuchukwu

Has it become normal to adopt the budding toxicity on social media as a culture? Until this aberration crept in, the platform was ideally designed for people to catch up, connect and do business. Friends, families, and classmates who are separated by distance get to know the latest in one another’s lives by sharing pictures and life moments and chatting on messenger.

However, the anomaly has reared its ugly head and is gradually ripping many of the ecstasies the platform offers. As the saying goes, when the purpose of something is not known, abuse is inevitable. Certain persons have begun using the space as a trolling ground, typing venomous words and expletives in majority of the comment sections. This growing populace has now adopted a name for their brand – ‘‘vawulence’’ ( A blighted way of spelling violence). From their activities, one can deduce that regard and respect for everyone including the elderly have become obsolete. To them, everyone is equal on social media. Like cage birds let loose, they prowl from one comment section to the other, chirping streams of invectives.

Facebook, aware of this, has tried censoring insulting and uncouth words through its policy but the perpetrators have a smart way of wriggling out. These persons would go to any length to hurl insults and be sure to achieve the intended result. More often than not, they discharge their duties through the use of punctuation and symbols in between English words. Non-English words/phrases are also introduced making it difficult for Facebook management to restrict those caustic words or flag down inappropriate posts and comments. 

Some time ago, a celebrity tweeted “I hate this life.” That was a rustic tweet that ought to rouse concern. But surprisingly, majority of the reactions were negative. Ostensibly, some people have resolved that everything about social media should be violently done. What about those who body shame others until no sense of self-worth is left in them? 

The fact that in this part of the world, minds are gradually adjusting to ‘‘vawulence’’ and the use of venomous words should beg for concern. If care is not taken, it will become a norm.

Obviously, some ‘‘cybercritics’’ always look forward to them. When they come on social media, they sometimes consider comments boring if vile expressions were absent. Over time, they have proven that the zeal to malign is still blazing. And by doing that, great satisfaction is derived.

Humanity has been tampered with. This could be the reason some persons stay off social media so they would not lose their sanity. Some level of restraint is employed when people want to air their views to avoid vicious clap backs. When people commit suicide, netizens blame them for not being too strong and for bottling up their grief. Meanwhile, some of these netizens under the aegis of ‘vawulence’ have blemished their victims with unprintable words. They have forgotten that behind the pages and timelines of social media, are human beings with emotions. And that not everyone is psychologically strong to withstand crude words. 

Criticism is very important but the way to do it matters the most. It is inhuman to derive pleasure from what drains life out of another. Therefore, in having fun, social media users are admonished to tone down the ‘‘vawulence’’ and use kind words. Life is tough on so many people, many are trying so hard to navigate through the tempest. It is malicious to add salt to their injuries. Cybercitizens should not become sociopaths. They should, as a contribution to humanity, be benign and their words, grace seasoned with salt. 

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