In December 2016, I was one of The Platform (Nigeria)’s Young Professional Bootcamp (YBP) cohorts. During one of our sessions, a Human Resource expert said something that I held with me until date. He stated that it is unnecessary to add our families as connections on social media platforms. He went further to note that his wife was not a connection on Facebook. According to him, when we add our families as links on social media platforms, we create an opportunity for people to track us. My perception of this man’s words was that of skepticism and doubt. This was because I could not see a reason for not adding my family members on social media.
Would you as a woman change your name on social media platforms when you are married? Would you as a man make it mandatory for your wife to change her name on social media platforms? I know many of us would hold different opinions on this. I have also seen young couples argue on this issue. But is it really necessary? Should this constitute a marital problem? After all, it is on legal marriage and workplace documents. Though in the years before the colonization of African countries, there was nothing like a woman taking a man’s last name. This was a French tradition that was passed on to the British, which through colonialism was passed on to African nations. Today, we still have matriarchal communities in Ghana, India, Kenya, and many other countries. This is just to tell you that patriarchy is a European heritage (a story for another day though) and taking the last name of man stem from this tradition.
Some weeks ago, I had a random Q&A on my Whatsapp. I asked the same question as stated above (“would you as a woman change your name on social media platforms when you are married? Would you as a man make it mandatory for your wife to change her name on social media platforms?). Out of about one hundred (100) Whatsapp contacts, six people responded. A male responder wrote, “There is no problem if my wife doesn’t change her name to mine on social media, it is her choice to make.” A lady noted she would not change her name on social media. Another lady noted that it is a choice, but that the husband should have prior knowledge. As such, all six held divergent opinions.
Back to my introductory story, the moral of the story is the need to keep one’s private life private and ensure one’s security. We could easily poke into others affair because they give us update through their social media platforms. If for security reasons, I strongly support that social media should be social media and not be about my private life. Today, most celebrities become victims of bloggers and many other “tatafos” because of the information they share on their social networks.
If I am to answer the question, “would you as a woman change your name on social media platforms when you are married?” My answer is “NO.” Really what difference does it make? Changing my last name or having a compound name on social media does not change anything about my personality, it does not make me less of the “Fisayo Ogundoro” that I am known as. It also does not change my status from being married. And if I was a bad girl before, having my husband’s last name on my social media does not stop me from being bad; if I was a good girl before marriage it does not still change anything about me (this is for some people that believe some women want to be promiscuous, and as such do not change their name or have a compound name on social media). Before the emergence of social media, weren’t people getting married?
I am Fisayo before I married and I still must be Fisayo after I wed. In my opinion, private life is private life, social life should be social life. Moreover, when I married or how I wed should not be the business of social media.
As for me, I am not changing my maiden name on social media platforms. This does not make me less of a woman or wife.
Meaning of Familiar Word
Tatafos (Nigerian Pidgin English) – Gossippers
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