A hug, not a tweet.

As I was thinking about what this article would be about, my brother Godwin had all focus on this cool app he had discovered on Google play store. Albert was busy tweeting and retweeting. Collins was definitely on Facebook and Ernest laughed in the space of every five minutes with his eyes stuck on his smartphone. Total silence there was, then Ernest laughs, then silence.

I realized how agonizingly and disappointingly socialization among humans has diminished. In 2006, it was impossible to find a minute of silence with myself and these characters put together in one room. There was always something to talk about. Collins would tell a movie with perfect accuracy in his narration that you would need not watch if you hadn’t. Albert’s ability to make you laugh again to jokes you’ve heard several times amazing. I do not miss these times and the things they said and did as much as I miss the fact that we were literally talking.

We live in a world today where the advancement of telecommunication technology has taken over our natural human social and interpersonal relationship and destroyed it to the core, making us robots programmed to communicate using devices therefore creating an artificial environment branded “social network”.

The thought of how we have fallen completely to it sickens me. We don’t just like it, we are addicted to it. We are at a point of life where our handsets matter more to us than the person next to us. We post and tweet everything to the point that it’s so meaningless to whoever is on the other end of the communication process. We don’t even care anymore about the communication process. We careless if there is a receiver reading, and making sense of what we post. We just post things because it’s cool to do so.

We pretend to be friends on the Social Network when in reality, we have nothing to say, nothing in common and sometimes, we don’t even exist. I once told a joke to a guy and he actually said ‘lol’ when he could have just laughed.

No wonder Passenger said in ‘Scare The Dark Away’ Well,  “we wish we were happier, thinner and fitter, we wish we weren’t losers and liars and quitters we want something more not just nasty and bitter we want something real not just hash tags and Twitter
It’s the meaning of life and it’s streamed live on YouTube but I bet Gangnam Style will still get more views We’re scared of drowning, flying and shooters But we’re all slowly dying in front of f**king computers”

Another irritating aspect of this Social Network hijack is the terrible effect it has had on our grammar, spelling and our English in general. We spell words in different kinds of wrong ways all in the name of shorthand. I tell you the truth, we do not write that way to save time and bytes but basically because we either can’t spell or feel our English words need more swag. I asked a lady what her name was on Whatsapp and her response still baffles me. She replied: ‘mhy naem iys Ehwurhamha Dhedhe Ahmhanhorki’. She actually meant Ewurama Dede Amanorki. Was she writing shorthand? No. None of the words she wrote was shorter than normal. Was she being stylish? I guess so. But with spelling? I wonder.
Thanks to the Social Network, though economical, one cannot remember the last time he received a phone call from a relative or a friend. We used to care that much till Android and his siblings came by.

I am never an anti-social network activist. No. But never let it affect your interpersonal real time relationship with others. It’s about time we had real conversations, Sing a song together, share a plate, and share a hug with our handsets switched off.

Music or Noise?

I murmured the lyrics as i sat in a bus to work on a typical Monday morning with my ear phones plugged in both ears. I wondered why James Blunt thinks losing his life wouldn’t be as bad as losing his lover. Sun on Sunday was was one of my favorites and listening to the moon landing album each morning felt like having breakfast in the presidential suite of a 5 star hotel.

It was the speed ramps that prompted me to sit up and made me realize that I was actually sitting in a bus in West Africa and not at a James Blunt concert in Las Vegas. It was then that I noticed that I had actually sung along loud and had embarrassed my self. My eyes tried to find out the size of the audience to my embarrassment but only to find this beautiful creature; a female human of course, sitting next to me.

I turned down the volume as if I had been asked to do so. Surprisingly, she was nodding to a rhythm. It wasn’t James Blunt, it was something extremely different. She was enjoying it as much as i enjoyed my playlist. I wondered what might be that cool. A typical Ghanaian hip life track it was.

The amateur sound effects did not put me off as much as the meaningless lyrics. It was clear the singer had nothing to say. He must sing something because there is a beat that follows the rhythm of the new dance in town playing. I wondered what the lady was nodding to. It was the beat of course, certainly not the lyrics. This puts me back into my worry chair. You listen to the likes of Coldplay, Taylor swift, Fun, and several other western musicians and you wonder how they are able to put the words together to form such wonderful lyrics. Lyrics that fit perfectly into your life that you feel the song was customized for your lifestyle. Metaphoric lyrics that will send you back to books. Poetic lyrics that can add value to your philosophical intelligence.

Listening to modern Ghanaian songs deprives you of very benefit of music: message. This is not down to culture; certainly not. It is simply the lack of professionalism in song writing these days.
Ghana has had legendary musicians who actually produced music. Osibisaa and the several legendary hi life singers of the 20th century are concrete proof that, our culture is indeed not allergic to good music; music that speaks. Our so called musicians these days have nothing to offer lyrics-wise. They can put up energetic tunes for us to dance to but nothing to listen to.

However, it is not entirely fair to blame this on our musicians, we the listeners listen for the same reason as they sing. we listen so we can dance. We do not even listen. We only dance. We do not care about what the song says. The message it carries. We careless about it. Well, maybe we are used to songs like these because the deprivation of good music has become nothing of a deprivation but a norm. But the question is; is the typical African song not supposed to be a song that has a message? Is that not the main reason why we sing as Africans? It is indeed true what they say, that our generation is a generation of dummies.

It’s about time we appreciate music for what it says not how well we can dance to it. We must resurrect the main idea behind music. We must understand music as an art of life and not just entertainment. We should appreciate music for what music stands for. Its all down to we the listeners. If we make good music the demand, our musicians will supply.