Stella Dimoko Weekend Arena - Online Friendship Does Not Imply Invasion Of Privacy


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Friday, July 31, 2020

Weekend Arena - Online Friendship Does Not Imply Invasion Of Privacy

Ngozi the man with a woman's hips has landed with his well of wisdom!!!

The cyberspace has united humanity across creed and colour. Every distance, every person is just a click away, like tech geeks posit. The ease with which this is done has however left the privacy of everyone susceptible. That is why in the digital world of today, privacy is one of the biggest issues. It is so paramount to tech creators that they made provisions to seek our consent to perform whatever task on our computers or mobile devices. The word, ‘Allow’ and ‘Deny’ are recurring whenever we are online performing any task. This confirms how much they value everyone’s privacy.

While this subsists, many people do not realise, or are simply indifferent to the fact that there should be limits to our level of interactions online. This has become pertinent, following a viral online story earlier in the week, about a newly married woman, being stalked by admirers, not just on her social media timeline but in her inbox…with video calls! Unsolicited video calls. The lady was recently in the arms of her husband one late evening when suddenly a video call came in via Messenger. Her husband did not mind those flirtatious comments on her posts, but could not help wondering what a stranger could be doing in his wife’s inbox via video calls.

Putting aside the ideals that should follow when anyone is contacting someone’s spouse, there should be ethics, unwritten codes embedded in our skulls about how to communicate with one another, especially when we hardly know them apart from the fact that we are ‘friends’ online. We can loosely call this the ‘digital space etiquettes’. It should be imbibed by all of us the same way a child learns not to talk while eating… the same way the typical Nigerian politician understands not to talk when he is ‘on the dining table’.

It is absolutely wrong to place a video call across to a stranger without seeking his or her consent. Although video calls are designed to make interactions more humanly, they are suitable for arranged and intimate discussions. That someone has become your friend on a social media platform does not qualify you as ‘intimate’, unless there are some other connections linking both of you prior to the online friendship. Inboxes are designed as private sites and should be kept so. So many new contacts online are fond of sliding into one’s inbox to chat with such frivolous lines as ‘how was your night?’, forgetting that inboxes are like bedrooms and sliding into them, is comparable to a stranger, veering off the road, into not just a house, but one’s bedroom. This habit should be avoided like a plague.

Some people may be enjoying it, but it is unethical, beyond every stretch of imagination to share porn videos or images (of yourself or whoever) on timelines or inboxes of people you scarcely know online. If porn is your forte, you can enjoy it the way you like privately, but do not tag other people when you decide to share them. This action is not different from playing a Naira Marley’s ‘Soapy’, in a bus filled with congregants going for Shiloh. It is unruly that people go out of their ways to deposit such clips in other people’s inboxes. These days, the habit cuts across the sexes. Men and women are involved in the act of taking photos of their privates and sharing them with acquaintances online to stress their sensuality. Aside the risk of being the bait for blackmailers in future, it is obscene and presents an ignoble outlook.

For many individuals, the only way they have to reinforce the fact that they actually called one is to do so severally. This leaves, sometimes, 20 missed calls on phones, when there is no visible emergency. That is unpardonable as a simple text message could convey that message. After two missed calls, the ideal thing to do (when it is not an emergency) is to write a text message and expect the person to get back when he or she is free. A lot of people in this habit are also fond of making midnight calls to strangers. If is it not an emergency or unsolicited, it is ill-mannered to put a call across to someone at 1am. Such exigencies could be initiated with a text message and when the person feels moved by the situation, he would do the needful.

Most people love music. Shakespeare called it the food of the soul. But tastes in music vary according to experiences and moods. That is perhaps why the designers of mobile devices created them to be used with an earpiece, so everyone can listen to what suits him or her. But some people get into public spaces, like a bus, a lift or waiting lobby to blast their downloaded songs or radio. What happens if everyone waiting in that lobby decides to pull out his or her phone to play whatever?

Ngozi you just hit the nail on the head....people keep calling me on video calls or on whatsapp and some even at midnight oh and they are not even saved on my phone and when i tell them it is wrong,they act surprised....Thank you for this piece!!!


  1. 80% of my Facebook contacts are people I know very well, the other 20% are mostly people I add due to their position in society, political analysts and people who write uplifting posts on their walls.
    Imagine how surprised I was when a well respected person around here accepted my request and I wake up in the morning to see that he had dropped an opening message--- are you sleeping well babe?...bla bla bla.
    Who does that? Like are we close already?
    I haven't replied him till date. I was disappointed.

  2. The video calls without asking for ones permission annoy the hell out of me.Someone will just add you on wasap,the ist thing is video call.

    Thanks for the writeup, some people needs to read and assimiliate these ethics well.

    1. Very annoying thing to do. I don't pick video calls, except from family members.

  3. I trust myself to simply ignore anyone who tries to call me at night, not to talk of video calls.

    I am one of the few people who dislike calls,I prefer chatting and text messages.

    1. I follow for the people abeg. I get tired easily talking to someone on voice/video calls but chatting I can go to any length and I as well express myself easily with chatting. Me that find voice note as work sef

    2. I have never sent a voice note to anyone cos I dislike it. You will be chatting with someone,the next thing you will see is voice note In place of message. For what now? Is it laziness to continue typing cos I don't even understand sometimes.

  4. Ngo you are doing well

  5. My mum can call early in the morning. She called today by 7 am, on a public holiday! To her, it's even an upgrade because she used to call after 5 am. Such calls jolt me, thinking there's emergency. Why can't the calls come later if it's not emergency? I have talked and talked.

    A sister in-law called 3am one day to ask "how are you?" I was livid.

  6. What if those that call by 2 or 4 am to conduct business nko?? 😣😣😌

  7. Thanks Mr. Ngozi. Spot on. I needed an issue sorted out last week. A friend gave me her friends number that will be of help. Boom!! l added her on WhatsApp. Introduced myself and asked she help me sort the issue. The bebe ignored me for hours. Replied the next day to say she was angry l sent her a WhatsApp instead of calling. That she feels WhatsApp is not for official things. In her words. *you will have called or sent text instead of calling. I am replying you because l respect you. If its another person. I will ignore and block the person. Oh. I felt so ashamed of myself and asked her to forgive me. Wish l read this last week. Lesson Leant. SDK blog saving lives since 1820.

  8. Nice piece Mr Ngozi,keep the fire burning!

  9. As always,on point! nicely written Mr. Ngozi.

    People should Know their place.

  10. Always on point as usual,Ngozi. I wear some people don't use the brains that God gave them. Imagine someone disturbing me with video calls just because I accepted your friend request on Facebook. I have had to lecture some people about etiquette on Facebook and personally. Don't call me 10 times just to say how are you? During work hours at that!
    Or you call around 8 or 9pm just cos I am your lawyer when it is not an emergency. Haba,people should learn to do better please.

  11. That music own ehn, I met one in a bank one day. He had his ear piece on and was singing along so loudly that an elderly man standing near us told him "Mr. Man please keep quiet and enjoy your music, we are not interested". We that are around that were already giving him Stella's kind of side eye burst into laugh. He felt so ashamed.

    Why have earpiece and still be making noise??

  12. ORIENTATION 101..

    If not that common sense isn't common, this isn't even an issue one is supposed to be discussing.. just like the strangers that'll just chat you on whatsapp and ask for your photo without introducing him or herself..

    We need to stop encouraging senseless habits and behaviors..


  13. The culture of noise making in Nigeria actually gave birth to the part where people listen to songs without a headset.
    Thankfully, we can't easily carry arms in Nigeria else, a lot of people would have died by this alone!


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