There is a saying in the Nigerian social media space that our mothers do not like to vent to their peers. Well, mothers of the millennials: the ones who were born in the sixties and seventies. There is a kind of competition to outdo the other on whose home is better, whose husband spoils and whose husband spends more money on. Some other people say it is the fear of confiding in the wrong people, because one is unsure of how far the news of a family’s challenge can go.
These women do not also believe in therapy; the culture to sit, talk to someone and then pay them money for just listening to you. There is also the fear of confiding in one’s parent. The conversation is always tilted towards the demand for the woman to make her marriage work. Sometimes, she is not really listened to, or believed.
Then Facebook came and became a venting platform. It became a safe haven. A place where women can say their minds without being judged. The beauty of this, is that women can use fake names on their face book account, when it is time to say how they feel. Or they can simply send a message to the admin of the groups and say something like: “keep me anonymous”
The beauty of these women Facebook groups is that it helps these women feel connected to each other, without actually knowing themselves. The idea that you are sharing what you feel, how you feel and the challenges you face with women who are in the same shoes as you, is very comforting. These groups are many, and are named according to the interest that this women have. “Single Women Praying” “Always a Mom” “Moms on their Knees” “Women Be Inspired” “Female Entrepreneurs In Nigeria” the list is endless, as more groups are springing up.
However, what worries me about these groups is the kind of advice that is being given to someone with a challenge that really needs help. There are no limits to what can be discussed in these groups. They range from sex, side chics, menstruation, fetish, cheating husbands, weird nannies and everything in between. Although there are rules that are strictly adhered to by members, there are really no restrictions to the kind of advice dished out.
The women who come on these groups to vent, really rely on the advice that is being given by their fellow women. Some of these advice are bother line insane. The funny thing about this is that the craziest and weirdest advice are the ones with a lot of of reactions. This reactions does not necessarily mean that the things said are sensible, but people tend to bend towards an advice that most people agree with.
Perhaps the high rate of divorce and squabbles that is experienced in modern marriages, is because when couples have disagreements, which is part of a healthy marriage, women bring it to these groups and without hearing the other side of the story, other women will begin to advice her to leave.
Support groups are good no doubt, but one should be able to decipher what kind of advice to swallow, because if not, the purpose of being in a group in the first place is defeated.