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, content creator, Miss Ima, talks to us about how she uses Obasanjo’s Internet.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?’
Honestly, I don’t want to be one of those people that lie and be like “oh I say my prayers” and stuff. I actually check my phone. In fact, I sleep with it in my hand. Once I wake up I just turn and I’m just like, “oh, ok, what’s going on?”
How do you use the internet for work or pleasure?
I think for both. There’s really nothing you can’t find on the internet. So for me, information access just helps with my work as well as research for content and how to execute some ideas I have. In terms of pleasure, I’m a big fan of personal entertainment. Like, I would go to any lengths to entertain myself. So the internet is the perfect playground for me because you can find anything. Personally, I love TikTok because it’s just a crazy app full of crazy people and I believe that’s my bubble. You just find people who also understand you. I think that’s what helps the play as well, like it’s a mix of “OK, you’re going there to entertain yourself”, but there are so many like-minded people there. It gives the experience more “oomf”.
What moment or episode in your life would you say captured the essence of the internet?
I had a best friend in primary school, and out of nowhere, she upped and moved to South Africa with her family. So like my life was in shambles, I didn’t really know what happened. I remember searching for her frantically on the internet but I never found her.
So one day, she came across a picture of me and it wasn’t even a picture someone had taken with my permission. I think I was in the background of someone else’s picture and she saw me. She went through those people’s following and all that until she was eventually able to find me. I would say this was like a good 10 years later and it was just because of that random photo she came across that led her into spiraling, checking people’s followers and whatever. It was one of the turning points for me because of the access to people and the ability to reconnect. If it was a couple of decades before now, that would have been the end of it.
Your favorite social media platform and why?
I think I already said it. I love TikTok. I like good YouTube too, so I’ll put both of them on the same level. But if I was to pick one, I love TikTok because I feel like there was a lot of demystifying social media. A lot of letting down guards and letting down societal standards.
When a lot of people talk about social media, they talk about how people live fake lives and the people who are not living a fake life are under pressure to fit in. It became a whole facade of a life you have to create online and as a result of that, it became quite toxic as well.
What I love the most about TikTok is that people just started showing themselves authentically and you know those moments where you thought you were the only one that did something bat shit crazy and then you see someone post about it and they’re like, “oh my God, do you know I do this?” and you’re like “wait, we’re all mad?” Yeah, it’s a moment I feel that other social media platform gives me.
YouTube is the same. It’s just that obviously, YouTube is more long-form content. So it takes a lot more to digest. But obviously, in an instant on TikTok, there’s so much connection, there’s so much interpersonal connection with people you have no business with like in freaking … Australia.
What was the last meme you saved?
Do you remember the first time something you posted went viral? What was it? How did it make you feel?
I told a story about when I was in London and went on dating apps because everybody is on dating apps. I was single, in London, and just wanted to see what people were doing there. I always open the apps in very specific areas and on this day, I swiped with this Italian guy. On the first date, we went to a museum and did a lot of things. Anyway, I was talking about this experience and I was just talking about how you need to broaden your horizons. So many people always date within their circle, date within what they know, what they’re comfortable with. I think many people resonated with that experience because it’s something they would like to try, or they were curious about, or it’s something that they’ve never heard of before.
The point is, it grabbed a lot of people’s attention because the date was a very shocking experience. I ended up on a bike at like 2 a.m. trying to break into a zoo in London. Yeah, that’s how the date ended.
What’s the most outrage you have ever generated over something you posted? How did you react to it?
I was oblivious to certain nuances within a community. I have always made my page open for everyone and wanted people to feel comfortable being themselves. A video I posted came off as insensitive but I had no intention to offend and was in fact narrating someone else’s experience. It was a learning experience for me about the community and how to interact as someone who is not part of the community. It also taught me that there’s a lot of faux outrage and bandwagon behavior on the internet as well as people who have been waiting to capitalize on a moment if failure. Overall it was a Learning experience and I spoke to many of my followers who took their time to explain certain things to me and I have taken their correction!
What rules do you live by on the internet?
I have a couple of these. Number one, I’m personal, but I don’t get too personal. Whatever it is you post on the internet is never gonna disappear. So you want to be yourself but you don’t want to do things that you can’t take back. So I like being personal but there’s a lot of personal information about my life I will never divulge on the internet.
Number two, I try to be as authentic as possible because if you are putting yourself out there, keeping up an act is going to drive you crazy. If you start in some way, people don’t know how to cope if they see it change. It’s very important to always show up as your authentic self. If you’re messy, be messy If you have an insecurity, and you don’t really care about it, show it so that nobody will come tomorrow and be like, “Oh, her leg is bending”. You’ll be like, “Well, I showed you guys my leg was bending. So what do you want to say?”
Lastly, with the internet, everything doesn’t deserve a reaction. I’ve been learning that slowly. If it reads rude, I block. I delete and block for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because there are literally over a billion people on earth. I can still get to my goal of having however many million followers I have without you. So I’m going to block you.
What is your guiltiest online pleasure?
Someday I would like to be Mark Weins. He’s a Thai creator, I think he’s also American. He travels around the world and he eats food from everywhere. Honestly, I can spend like six hours a day if I had the time, watching him go around to different locations in the world, eating food. Yeah, that’s my guilty pleasure. I can watch that for hours and hours and save the location like “oh, next year I’m gonna go” even though I might not.
Would you say you have an online persona?
I think it’s impossible to say you don’t have an online persona because no matter how much of an authentic person you are online, there is a camera, right? And there is something you’re trying to do. Once you’re online, you’re trying to either tell a story or sell yourself.
Whatever the point is, you’re trying to be seen. So, I have an online persona to the extent that I understand as well that it has now become a business and I need to keep my engagement. But at the same time, if you meet me in person I would say I’m times three of whatever you see on the internet. I like to keep the full experience of me to people who actually know me because, number one, it’s just too much for strangers. And number two, I also feel like not everyone deserves to experience all of you. Not everyone deserves that level of access as well. So online persona, to the extent that yeah, it is a business and you have a brand that you’re keeping consistent. But aside from that I would say no, I think I show up as myself.
What’s your favourite emoji and why?
Actually, I don’t have one. It’s a war between the biting lip emoji. I love that emoji so much because it can fit into any scenario. Like, ouu spicy or sexy or like hmmm. The crazy emoji with the tongue out because I will be crazy a lot of the time. So it’s always there. And then the moon face, those are my three favorite emojis.
Are you particular about your feed?
Not necessarily. In terms of aesthetics, no. Funny enough in real life I am concerned about aesthetics but on my feed, I feel like unless you want to become a creator who people come to just to see how their feed looks, why would you be so concerned about that? Obviously, you want your feed to be nice to look at but people these days are looking for more authentic experiences. People are looking to connect with you. They’re not looking for how pretty your feed looks. I don’t care about how my feed looks that much because I don’t want to put so much effort into it. I don’t want to keep up with that. I just want to show up when I want to show up and how I want to show up.
YouTube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?
Girl don’t put me in this one. I have a very soft spot for YouTube because that’s how I started my content. I told you about Mark Weins. He used to be on YouTube before he moved to TikTok and I’d watch hour-long or like 40-minute-long videos of him going to eat. It was the first platform where we actually had real personal connection with people because you get to spend time with them and they gradually just show more of their personality. I would say I have a soft spot for YouTube if it comes down to it, but TikTok though! So let’s just say it’s a tie. TikTok has me by the leash.
Which Nigerian creator do you think the world needs to see and hear more of?
Tosin Victoria. During the COVID lockdown, she was the girl who with her male friends, kept the whole of Nigeria entertained. They did these videos where they were all in different places and they made commentary on things and it would be so hilarious. She was innovative in making that happen and she kept many people entertained during that time. That was a moment in Nigeria’s content creation scene. She’s also very down to earth. It feels like you’re talking to your sister, your girl, your boys, type of vibes. People need to know more about her.
Who is the coolest person you follow and the coolest person who follows you?
I’m very awkward. Like I don’t really follow cool people.
What is your favourite Nigerian podcast?
Now, I don’t really listen to podcasts that much. I want to start listening more, but I watch I Said What I Said on YouTube if that counts.
Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online?
Oh hell no. Hell no. The battalion of demons they are fighting and generational curses? You don’t know that. Plus we’re all purely virgins. Even after marriage.
5 people you’d love to see answer these questions ?
Bsy, Tosin Victoria, Enigivensunday.
Read previous Obasanjo’s Internet entries here.