One thing I feel we Nigerians (lagosians) excel at is making our lives look more glamorous and sensational than they really are. It’s something we learned from our parents and grandparents but with the help of social media it’s been amplified. Now if you are not a Lagosian and you are on the outside looking in, you will be led to assume that the grass is way greener on this side.
If you fall under this category you are experiencing what I like to call #LagosFOMO
I didn’t think Lagos FOMO was a thing until I met with this amazing young lady who had a fantastic job in London but was contemplating moving back because “You guys just make Lagos look DOPE on social media, the events, the fashion, the vibe just seems so good here”. I thought she was alone in this but she went on to tell me about ALL HER FRIENDS who seemed to be falling for the wash, then I realized, #LagosFOMO can actually mislead lives!
Don’t get me wrong, Lagos is amazing, and these days what I love the most about Lagos is the underground bubbling of authentic people, inspired entirely by this city and are working overtime to really bring the awesomeness of Lagos to light. HOWEVER…is Lagos for everybody? No! If I knew then (Graduation year 2013) what I know now, would I have moved back? Absolutely not!
What we (yes I take full responsibility in my share of creating #LagosFomo) are trying to do which I believe this in itself is the core concept of social media, is document our highlight reel – case(s) and point:
- So yes I wore that dope outfit to this seemingly dope party but what you don’t know is that I borrowed this outfit from my designer-friend because I can’t afford it on my measly salary and the event was so dead, I left after an hour.
- Yes Lekki-Ikoyi bridge looks dope on snapchat but you didn’t see my 30mins to 1 hour ordeal with LASTMA for using my phone while I was driving, which in turn made me late for a super important meeting and made me look stupid in front of a client.
- Yes I have drinks with the girls every weekend but you didn’t see that the 10 min journey took me 2 hours because #LagosTraffic.
- Yes I’m working with this dope brand and I am serving you #GirlBossRealness, I might even appear on a panel or 2 during social media week but you won’t see that the brand is paying me 1/10th of my what I asked for and I could barely afford a new outfit for my appearances.
I am not saying all of this to discourage anyone, but I really just want to give you something to consider so you are making a well-informed decision. The key to surviving in Lagos is the determination to succeed NO MATTER WHAT. Have a plan and stick to it, give that plan a back up plan and a back up back up plan. Bounce ideas off people and advice from people who know how Lagos works. Don’t come to lagos durning christmas – when it’s at the peak of it’s littness and think you can move back. Come check us out in March or May – random times of the year and really see how we live.
Know your strengths and weaknesses and ask for help where you need it. Develop HEALTHY coping mechanisms like becoming a worker in church or joining a gym (and actually going). Don’t focus on other people’s lives! PLEASE DON’T DO IT! It is the number 1 way to lose focus and you need a lot of focus here. Don’t fall victim to the FOMO, everybody is just trying to make it too. Be your own #1 Fan because Lagosians are fluent in cynicism but don’t hold it against us, we can’t help it.
So to our friends suffering from #LagosFOMO, the grass is not greener, our instagrams be poppin’ that’s all!