Jimmy Cliff’s pop hit, ‘Synthetic World’ has been ringing in my ears the whole of the week. The lyrics are making sense to me against the backdrop of the fake pregnancy and kidnapping story over a week ago.
These days, almost everything that exists, in reality, has its fake version. There is fake news all around us. People are using fake certificates for educational purposes or for employment.
Name it and as long as the original exists, expect its clone, faked too close to reality, sometimes bordering on criminality. Today, every profession seems to have its synthetic version.
We have fake medical doctors, fake lawyers, faked journalists and accountants. There are reportedly synthetic eggs, rice, meat and fake drugs all manufactured by humans and selling for fellow human consumption.
So Jimmy Cliff was right. It is a synthetic world we are living in for how on earth can anybody fake pregnancy for 9 months with a protruding stomach that hoodwinked close family members.
As if that was not enough, a faked kidnapping had to be added to make it complete. And so a whole country was taken on a roller-coaster ride, eliciting fear and panic because an innocent 28-year-old married woman, heavily pregnant, had been kidnapped by unknown persons.
To heighten the fake news, the scene of the act was set in no other place than the Western Regional capital, Takoradi. Who does not remember the “Bring back our girls” agitation some three years ago when some young women were reported kidnapped in that city?
When the news dropped of the kidnapping of a heavily pregnant woman, the media as usual ran with it. Almost thereafter, the lady was found in Axim, nearly 60 kilometres away. She was sent to the hospital for examination. Never been pregnant, was never kidnapped, her own confession.
What? What is the world coming to? Alarming story bordering on safety and national security and yet fake? What was her motive? What at all could be the motivation for persons who generally put negative fake stories together and proceed to make them public, sometimes causing fear and panic?
It was the renowned German Mathematician and Physicist, Albert Einstein who said that
“The world is dangerous to live in, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who watch and let it happen.”
We have watched on aloof allowing unacceptable acts and behaviours in this society to fester. And no wonder others with varied intents and impunities are taking communities for a ride. People are getting away with murder, especially on social media and we are looking on.
Some self-made stories posted on social media in particular are too difficult to accept or defend. And so readily circulating them only help such stories gain currency and poison the environment and innocent minds.
If we were to examine and think through forwarded stories that one receives and delete to truncate circulation, maybe some fake news on social media may not travel far. Thus, they would not serve any purpose for those who put them out there.
However, because one readily accepts anything that comes up by keeping mute, we are indirectly contributing to poisoning our world with fake stuff. Just as well the Takoradi faked pregnancy and kidnapping story did not travel too far with demands on the family or the holding of anyone to ransom before authorities on all fronts intervened.
The story however puts into sharp focus some undesirable concoctions one sees out there, especially on social media.
People are imagining wild stories or videoing everything they come across including distressing pictures at accident scenes and posting the same on social media with no sensitivity. Undesired behaviours and practices are posted on social media, sometimes with visible faces behind them, yet they escape to do more harm.
Did anyone see on social media this week, the Offinso video where young men of the town, not in any gainful employment, were reported to be parading expensive unregistered vehicles allegedly acquired through “sakawa” means against the backdrop of missing children in the community.
In one of the videos, a young man is seen boasting, “If you are not ready to drink blood you cannot join us”, thus lending credence to the get-rich-quick mentality through rituals. The video may not be a fabrication but is it needful?
Our society surely could be rid of unsavoury acts and behaviours that border on national security. It gets even worrying when the acts and behaviours are imaginary.
Faking mentality could be a waste of valuable time and resources and a cause of unnecessary fear and panic. There must be a way out.
The writer can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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