Advertisement The fact that some people feel obliged to share some of the most private aspects of their lives with the world via social media

Religious Showmanship on Twitter, Facebook, BBM and other Social Media

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The fact that some people feel obliged to share some of the most private aspects of their lives with the world via social media is a growing issue. The religious angle is one of the aspects involved. The following tweet highlights this issue:



You can add to that people who use Facebook and BBM status updates the same way.


I don’t know about people from other faiths, but for the Christian, here are the immortal words of Jesus Christ on private prayer:

Matthew 6:6
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Praying on Twitter, Facebook, BBM and other social media platforms doesn’t qualify as praying in secret. It qualifies, as a friend of mine put it, as having a form of religion, but denying the power thereof. It is showmanship. You see, praying in private isn’t half as exciting as picking up our smartphones first thing in the morning to tweet a couple of prayers to Jesus.


I remember back as a University student, none of my room mates knew when I was praying. Seven years on campus (no; that wasn’t from carry-overs; I studied Architecture) and almost none of my room mates ever knew when I did my praying. Some even had to ask, and my response was that they had no need to know. It was none of their business. It was a private matter between myself and the Lord.


Now, Go Pray

I can tell you upfront that someone is likely to show up here and ask, “Are you now asking us not to pray again?” I have had to deal with people whose minds just shut down when their religious piety is threatened. No; I haven’t asked anyone not to pray. You need to pray? We know that you love the Lord, but please kindly pray in private. No-one else needs to know when you pray. No-one.

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  1. Religion is a publicly private and privately public matter. Therefore, how anybody / People choose to practice, or not practice it, US not really any other person’s business.

    As long as it does not disturb other people. I have absolutely no objection, showmanship, or not.

    If all a guy posts on his social media status is prayers, and that offends my religious sensitivity, it’s a simple matter to unfriend/ Block / in follow.

    Ki ni big deal o? .

    I would also hesitate to use one religious yardstick as a benchmark to instruct other religious practitioners.

    There are Oriental religions that believe in the power of positive confession, which is linked to posting prayers on one’s timeline. Iyen nko ?

    You see it constantly, you believe it, it happens, in that order.

    Those religions also don’t see prayer as a solitary, private thing. They believe Prayer is more effective, rightly or wrongly, when done collaboratively.


    Having said all these, it is indeed hypocritical that our religious grandstanding is often at variance with our conduct in day2day situations…..

  2. To be honest, I don’t take people’s religious blah blah’s too seriously on social networks unless it impinges on my own personal freedom of expression. Just as I don’t allow other people’s pervy posts to distract me. If it gets too much, I can’ always “mute” or “hide”.

    What I do have a problem with is those churches that think they are mosques, with the exception that they insist on 3am ear bleeding “die die die” prayers. Not on a few occasions have I considered dressing like a ninja and sabotaging them.

    Is there any ease from a cacophony of noise in Nigeria apart from the village?

  3. // Not on a few occasions have I considered dressing like a
    ninja and sabotaging


  4. There is a certain part of religion that allows for expression because what is religion when you cannot express it in daily life. However, the lines are blurred when it pertains to viewing christainity as a religion or a way of life. That is another matter entirely sha.

    The key here is while you express yourself, do we appear offensive to others whether they are of the same religion or not? Do we express with the express intent to irk? Everything we do, the Holy book (Bible and Quoran) says, should be done in moderation.

    Showmanship mostly rears its ugly head when moderation is cast to the winds.

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