Obasanjo’s Internet – Funmto Ogunbanwo

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Did you know that there are approximately 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide? Can you imagine all the different ways in which we all use the internet? Obasanjo’s Internet is our interview series where we speak to some of our internet favorites on how they relate to the internet and what it means to them and their work. This week, Funmto Ogunbanwo, Therapist and Founder of mental health practice, Ibi Ayo, talks to us about how she uses Obasanjo’s Internet

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I’m trying to change this habit just like almost everybody, but the first thing I do when I wake is check my phone. My ideal, what I’m working towards, and sometimes I’m able to attain, is to have some form of quiet time. So engaging in a spiritual practice like praying. Sometimes I do that but yeah, I check my phone.

How do you use the internet for work or pleasure?

Both. Heavily for both.

What moment or episode in your life would you say captured the essence of the internet?

I would say the first moment that comes to mind is when I lived outside Nigeria. So I left Nigeria when I was 17 and the internet was the only way I was able to stay in contact with my parents and my siblings. So my siblings and I have been scattered for a long time, it’s only just now that we are in one location. The internet is really how we were able to remain in contact with each other. And of course, my parents and my friends as well.

I would say another moment is just when I have those random moments where I fall into like the wormhole on Wikipedia because I have a very curious mind. I might be watching or listening to something and something piques my interest, then I look it up and fall into a rabbit hole. Before you know it, I’ve opened like ten tabs over information that isn’t very relevant to me but I’m just curious about it.

Your favorite social media platform and why?

I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I guess I’ll go with it based on usage. My most used social media platform is Instagram.
Why is it my most used? I don’t know. I want to change it, but I enjoy the variety of content that exists – being able to see what people are up to and of course, the memes and stuff, that’s always a plus. I don’t know that this is a social media platform but I really enjoy youtube. I’m the type of person that would much rather watch a YouTube video than maybe a series or anything. I just have really fond memories of watching OG YouTube beauty creators like Jackie Aina before she became the Jackie we know now. And you know, even just random people that most people might not know about like Evelyn from the internets – I really enjoyed her content from youtube.

What was the last meme you saved?

I don’t usually save memes, but the last one I saved was a GIF and it was of a grumpy cat. I saved it because my sister had sent it to me and I wanted to update her image on my phone to the grumpy cat. 

Do you remember the first time something you posted went viral? What was it? How did it make you feel?

It definitely wasn’t on my personal page because my personal page for so long had remained private. It’s only just recently that I made it public, but I would say it was probably something to do with my work page Ibi Ayo. I don’t know if this is the first thing that went viral, but I remember when I joined TikTok, one of the videos that I did got a lot of views. I think it got like 5k view in 24 hours or something. That might not be a lot to somebody but I was just like “oh my gosh, wow, lots of views!”  And then the second TikTok video that I posted, somebody had asked the question like, “Do you have therapists in Nigeria” and I was just like responding to that. 

How did it make me feel? It was just like, “wow, a little exposed” and the second one where I was responding to a comment about therapists in Nigeria just opened a portal of silly unsolicited comments. Somebody was like “oh let me come and put my head on your lap so you’ll rub my head.” I’m just like, it’s not that kind of therapy. So yeah, it just made me feel like people on TikTok are actually unhinged. I stated my personal Instagram page had been private for so long. When I made it public, I felt exposed again. So it was like, ok, now I have a little less control but I’m still in control in the sense that I choose what I post, right? But it’s now like  anybody can come on my profile.

What’s the most outrage you have ever generated over something you posted? How did you react to it?

So far, thankfully, I haven’t really generated any outrage. What I do recall was – and this wasn’t even something that I posted. So I was a guest on a podcast, Tea With Tay and I just spoke about mental health and stuff like that and there was a comment that was basically just speaking to the fact that my definition – I think I had defined the things that need to be in place in order for something to be a diagnosed a mental health issue – and the person was basically like stating that I was invalidating people’s experiences and that, it’s dangerous for like a therapist to be talking like this. I was just like, “huh, you clearly didn’t listen to the whole podcast.” I had fully turned into a keyboard warrior, I had typed out something then just decided that it was not worth my energy. So I just kind of left it. Like I said, I haven’t really gotten much outrage but that’s like those are the first thing that came to mind.

What rules do you live by on the internet?

Ok, because I use the internet for both work and personal work, it’s making sure that I’m putting forward accurate information, right? Especially being a mental health practitioner wanting to make sure that I’m not just making stuff up. I’m putting out information that is compassionate, understanding, just information that speaks to the branding of Ibi Ayo and what we want to uphold. 

In terms of personal, I think it’s just being mindful of what I share, right? I can be a shy and reserved person. People who are closest to me will say it is not true, but it’s true, please. So I would say on my own personal Instagram, I don’t really be posting unhinged stuff because that’s not who I am. I’m a little more reserved when it comes to posting on my personal Instagram . Where I’m more free is on my close friends and stuff like that where I can just be expressive. So I guess in summary there and that is just from a professional standpoint to be accurate, to become passionate and understanding from a personal standpoint is, be mindful.

What is your guiltiest online pleasure?

I don’t think I have any. I mean, if anything it is just watching random YouTube videos. I can watch YouTube Shorts for days and I can be watching like the most random things. I watched YouTube Shorts about pet grooming – like dog grooming. Do I have a pet? No, I don’t. It’s just interesting. And then there was another one that I watched, it was a – I don’t even know what I would call it – but it was basically rehabilitating a cow’s hoof. I think that’s my guilty pleasure, watching random YouTube videos. 

Would you say you have an online persona?

Not one that has been intentionally thought about. Like I shared, I recently just made my Instagram public. So as I think about how I want to present to the world, from a social media standpoint, that’s something that I’m thinking about. But right now I don’t think I have any existing persona.

What’s your favourite emoji and why?

I have emojis that I quite enjoy. So I like the teary eye one, the one that’s kind of smiley. I think it kind of encompases the “oh my gosh, that’s cute.” I also like the kissy emoji. I recently just started liking it cause I think it’s very cheeky, like muah!  

Are you particular about your feed?

Yes, I am. I don’t like to see rubbish. Actually that’s one of the reasons why I don’t even use Twitter any longer. First of all, I think Twitter is a very toxic and combative place. I feel like you have less control over your feed on Twitter because people are reposting, liking stuff and it just brings it to your feed. So yeah, I try to keep my feed as wholesome as possible. Definitely don’t wanna see any overly explicit content. And yeah, I think my feed just represents who I am and things that I want to engage with. 

YouTube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?

Ouuu. You don’t understand, I love YouTube. I really, really enjoy YouTube. I only just joined TikTok recently and I joined with a work perspective. I don’t like how addictive Tik Tok can be. For youtube, it just has a fond place in my heart. Engaging with different creators, YouTube bloggers, and then now YouTube Shorts. I enjoy that very much.

Which Nigerian creator do you think the world needs to see and hear more of?

Maybe myself? I dont know if I can call myself a creator but I guess I might be stepping into that element. So me and my friend, Deji Osikoya. 

Who is the coolest person you follow and the coolest person who follows you?

Okay this is random, I don’t know if this is the coolest person I follow right now, but at the time that it happened it was. When Uber launched in Lagos, I had an internship at a PR firm that basically handled that. And yeah, the Uber Nigeria account and the person that was in charge of the launch followed me on Twitter. I thought it was so cool. It’s just like, “wow, little old me? You’re following me on Twitter?” In terms of who’s the coolest person I follow? I don’t know that I can identify one person as the coolest, but there are definitely people that I like and really enjoy their content. 

What is your favourite Nigerian podcast?

I have to confess, I’m not really in my podcast listening bag but I guess I can plug my friends that have podcasts. I enjoy You Can Rest Here by Mazino Malaka. I also enjoy Clay Stories by Ebunife Botu and With An S. 

Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online?

No, that has never happened to me and I don’t think it will happen. 

5 people you’d love to see answer these questions 

Layi Wasabi, Lakin Ogunbanwo, Evelyn From the Internets, John Mark Comer, Pastor Flourish Peters. 

Read previous Obasanjo’s Internet entries here.