Electricity ruined our relationships, not technology. Electricity was the bane of all technological reasoning’s going on at the time it was first discovered by Lewis Latimer.
I grew up in Festac (est. 1977), and it was a community like it is on social media. Kids in the neighbourhood (boys and girls), visited and played with one another every day and the whole neighbourhood were in conversation. The plays were crude and they needed human involvement one way or the other for us to enjoy ourselves but things began to change when the action CD loaders came, Sega Mega Drive II and Dreamcast consoles were released. The boys, I for one stopped playing with the girls or wanting any form of involvement with them that wasn’t kissing or touching their rounded chests because of the movies I was watching and the games I was playing. And then I started leaving home to go two-three blocks away to play video games with my friends, playing with my lunch and pocket money and then after I ran out of money I sat on the floor and begged for turns. My parents, my mother especially didn’t like such behaviour and so she gave me several beatings. Those beatings never did anything to kerb my video game addiction or the need to hang at the arena and so she bought me my own consoles. When video games were introduced to us friendships became monetary, so to speak, because if you didn’t have money to play you are better off staying at home and that means no friends, and so most of us drifted apart and had little in common (Video Cds, stages passed, favourite characters).
There is a Naija rock song titled “Nepa bring the light” I watched mostly on Saturday mornings on Kaakaki television as a child in the late nineties. Despite my young age I had an opinion about that song which simply was that if it were not for electricity I will not be inside the house in the first place to turn on the television or even bother watching a musical video about Nepa not giving that particular man electricity that he was so moved to sing about it. The fact that I was inside and not outside learning and bonding with my peers is the reason for this electrical random thought.
Personally, I have realised how much I am able to do when there is no electricity. I feel no shame in saying what I read more when there is no electricity. I notice an extra pep in my step when there is an outage and even though my desire to be rich is hinged with the fact that I will like to solve my Jean washing problem by buying more jeans, I don’t mind jean laundry when the lights are out, and that is because the boredom becomes too loud to ignore. Everything is online or on a gadget powered by electricity. At the time I wrote this, it was handwritten in my journal because my laptop was dead.
Electricity is why I procrastinate, I am on my phone all day waiting for my battery to go down to 1% so I can charge it but I am also unconscious to the fact that time is going. Electricity is why I’m anxious, I never want to miss out on anything going on in the world, without electricity it feels like the world has moved past me and as a Nigerian that feeling can crush. After a while electricity begins to feel like sin because without you can’t connect to the internet to stream porn or send and receive nudes. I know I sound Amish but think about it, or not, but I have to go now because Nepa just brought the light.