You might have come across issues where many Nigerians do condemn their friends who relocated abroad for giving them less attention, and mostly targeting drastic reduction in their online presence. Some people have concluded their minds labeling their friends living abroad with bad characters as arrogant and ingrates. They attribute the shift in the characters of their friends living abroad to a change in location and status, not putting into consideration, glaring facts that the shift in the character might even have been forced on them.
Although human beings are very difficult to defend, character-wise, in this article, we will look at the realities that limit the online presence of the majority of Nigerians living abroad, so their friends living back in the country can have a better perception of what might be responsible for the limited time their friends now share with them.
Time is Money
Unfortunately, before most of the Nigerians living abroad left the country if you had told them the reality, they would not have listened or agreed with you. However, there is a popular says in the country, mostly in the western part of Nigeria that “there is no time to play in Moscow”.
The say is not limited to Moscow alone, it tells the understanding of living anywhere off the African continent, in its reality. There is no time to play in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Europe, Asia, America, Australia, and most foreign nations.
Nigerians living abroad have a primary purpose of relocation, and it is nothing different from amassing wealth. They all want to return to the country and enjoy their life, even if they condemn living in the country before the relocation.
And besides, you may have to kindly understand a fact with your friends living abroad; They are in their respective countries with time-bound visas. So, they have to combine two to three activities to ensure they amass enough money before the expiration of their stay.
Based on this, the majority of Nigerians living abroad combine study and work; and those that are in the country for work, not excluding the students and their dependants have to combine work or even work overtime. Simply, they are pretty much occupied in the course of achieving their aims before returning to the country.
How do you want someone who spends his 18 hours, daily switching between workplaces and boarding vehicles to still spend part of his remaining six hours or less on social media? Won’t they rest, sleep, and attend to their immediate need and that of their close relatives? They may need to be understood better.
In Nigeria, you can say anything online to bring down a wall without getting prosecuted for inaction. This is not usual in most of the foreign countries. Your social media post can get you into a historic moment of trouble in foreign countries, and if they say prevention is better than cure, the ball remains in your court.
It is America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, or any of the most-visited countries by Nigerians that are not under serious social censorship. If the President of a country, [Donald Trump of the United States] could be censored, who are your friends that would not care to mind their business in the foreign land? So, most of your friends living abroad do not have a clear understanding of the law of the land, and they have to avoid going against the law. Hence, they opt for posting less and with utmost carefulness on their social media spaces. It is a self-caution, not arrogance.
Cost of Living
Again, it is relevant to repeat the statement that if you have told your friends living abroad that it is not as comfortably early presumed, they would have argued it out with anything they know and unknown.
The cost of living in a foreign country is extremely high, and the only difference between there and here is the job availability which keeps them sustainable, regardless of the cost of living. At least, they survive!
You may want to argue it, but they already know the reality; whenever a Nigerian living abroad wants to buy anything be it in the U.S. dollar, Canadian Dollar, British Pounds or the currency of their country of residence, the first thing that comes to the head is the Naira equivalent of the price of the item they want to purchase. If an item costs $10, they quickly convert it to Naira and question themselves, “Ha! About N11,000 on this item?” So, this often sends a sense of limitation to what service they subscribe to and how frequently.
This affects the rate of their data subscription and their online presence, even though a majority of Nigerians believe accessing the internet is as free as natural air once you step out of the country.
The United Kingdom spends around 30 pounds sterling (N45,050) on data subscriptions, monthly; about 200 Canadian dollars (N180,000) in Canada; about $120 (N135,600) in California.
Knowing fully well that the above data may generate varied conceptions, let us go by the cost of 1GB of mobile data in some countries in 2022.
United Kingdom $0.79 (N892.70); Germany $2.67 (N3,017.10); Japan $3.85 (N4,350.50); United States $5.62 (N5,650); Switzerland $7.37 (N8,326.10); South Korea $12.55 (N14,181.50); Saint Helena $41.06 (N46,397.80); North America $4.98 (N5.627.40).
The above is the amount spent to purchase 1GB (One Gigabyte) of mobile data in the listed countries in 2022. Mostly, the variety in the prices of items is slight in most of the mentioned countries due to their economic stability. Now, if the cost of data remains the same or slightly hiked in the respective countries, convert the cost against the current dollar-to-naira exchange rate of N1,130 to $1, and the amount of gigabytes of data they will use monthly.
Billing from Home
Having said all the above, it would be an injustice if the billing side of it is under-looked. The majority of Nigerians believe that once you travel abroad, you are automatically rich, and except you are stingy and wicked, settling bills of your relatives from home should not be a big deal, at all.
This is practically incorrect, and a misconception of the reality of living abroad. They work for their money, and they have a lot of expensive bills to settle.
Noticeably, the majority of Nigerians living abroad know that it is expensive for some of their relatives living back in the country to reach out to them through mobile phone calls, and when they access them through the social media platform, they are not reluctant to bill them. Do they have such money to throw around, settling such bill requests? Left to them, but practically they can’t. Hence, they continue to avoid anyone who will bring up the bills.
Above all, it should be recalled that at the beginning of the article, a quote was stated “Time is money”. This greatly influences the online presence of your friends living abroad. Considerably, they got paid per hour in their places of work; Now, who will pay them if they sit before the screen of their phones catching cruise on social media platforms? A simple question that redefines their orientation once they step out of the country.
Tag: Any Nigerians living abroad absent from social media
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 11/27/2023 3:02:15 PM