The Stage is Yours

So kagabi, mga kafreshness, I asked you guys on Facebook and Twitter if you ever felt tempted to quit Social Media and a whopping 92% of the respondents said they did. (Oo kaya nagcompute ako! Wag kayong ano)

And it’s not surprising. In fact nagsurvey kyeme lang ako to verify what I already believe is true. Medyo toxic na ho kasi talaga ang social media these days.

And I asked around, bakit ayaw na magsocial media ng mga tao and here are some reasons:

1. Maraming Judgemental – have you ever paused for a few seconds before posting a picture of yourself for fear na may magjajudge sa iyo? Or baka naman, pag nagpost na si friend ng medyo juicy na status ay gumagawa ka na agad ng kwento sa ulo mo? Maganda ang exercise friend pero wag ka masyado magjump into conclusions.

2. Too Crowded – Well, eto particularly sa Facebook, which is why a lot of my friends have been more active sa Twitter lately. This is what happened to Friendster, too, you know. Nang sumikip ang Friendster, nagsilipat sa Facebook, at ngayon nagsisilipat na sa Twitter. It’s only a matter of time before we all move on to the next social network. Tsss, humans,sadyang ayaw ng masikip, ang hilig sa space.

3. Puro Negativity – Everyone has something bad to say about another person. No one is allowed to have an opinion unless maraming nag-aagree. There is this one particular page in Facebook I used to follow pero I clicked unlike, kasi puro panlalait lang at panlalamang ang pinopost nila. They are propagating a culture of sarcasm and hate speech, and mga koya, hindi excuse ang bansag mo na real talk yan kasi hindi mo kailangang manlait ng ibang tao. Hindi real talk yan. Pambubully iyan.

And many other reasons. Kahit ako I was planning to deactivate my Facebook a few weeks ago, kasi tama na, sobra na, ayaw ko na. Charot. If I know, the reason na hindi natin madeactivate ang Facebook is because of all the group chats and assignments at ano pa.

But lately I realized something, too.

As some of you know, ako ay nag-aaral ng MassComm ngayon. I have been learning about Mass Media for 3 years now and this is clear: Social Media is powerful. A decade or so ago, ang biggest at most influential form of media ay television. Now, Social Media. Ang difference nilang dalawa? In Social Media, you get to contribute. Hindi ka lang user, you are also a stakeholder. (To my teachers reading this, I hope you are proud na may natutunan ako. Hahaha)

So there. Social Media is a powerful, powerful tool. A few weeks ago I realized that it is a platform.

Think of it as a stage, with a podium and a microphone. You are given the opportunity to say something. Someone is always listening. Go ahead and check your feeds and timelines. Anu-ano ang mga pinagsasabi mo lately?

Your feed says a lot about you, you know.

It saddens me, now that I realize it, that a lot of us have been given this voice but our words have been nothing short of hurtful. Ang hilig natin magparinig. Ang hilig natin magpoint out ng flaws ng iba. Ang hilig natin mangwenta. Ang dami nating reklamo. When someone hurts us, we lash out on Social Media. Hindi mo nga pinost ang pangalan niya, but you just called her a bunch of names and ewan ko lang ah, but don’t you think na wala kang pinagkaiba sa kanya? (Reality Check: I have been very guilty of this. Huhu. Hindi ho ako role model talaga)

Think of the stage again. You have been given the chance to say something, at anong sinasabi natin? Pang-awards night ba? Kagalanggalang ba?

Wala akong power or influence masyado, but friends, come on. I hope you hear me out. We are so much better than this.

I’d like to propose the root cause of this problem – the me mentality. Gawa gawa ko lang yung tawag. Haha. But we think about ourselves too much. Para bang, kung ayaw ko iyan, at kung hindi ako makakabenefit diyan, wala akong pakialam. Kapag kinalaban niyan ang pinaniniwalaan ko or gusto ko, aawayin ko iyan (ehem, ehem, Kathniel vs. Jadine, presidentiables, sports fans, etc.)

A few of my classmates volunteered for the International Eucharistic Congress recently. One of them realized na Pinoys have this mentality. Whether lining up for food or bus rides or what, wala silang pakialam sa iba, basta sila, komportable sila. Bahala na na wala kang makain, basta ako at yung buong barangay namin meron. Bahala na na wala kang maupuan basta ba etong bag ko nasa upuan. Ganyan sa Facebook. Bahala na kung masasaktan ka dyan o maiinsulto o maiinggit basta ako, nakapagexpress ako.

Come on, mga kafreshness, we are so much better than that.

So, may I propose something? Maybe it’s time to drop that me mentality and start talking about things that bring joy, life, happiness, good vibes? Instead of posting about that frenemy, why don’t you be grateful of the friends that are true and are there? Instead of complaining about the traffic, why don’t you say something that will help lighten the mood of someone else who is also stuck in traffic. We don’t like the negativity, diba? Wag na dagdagan gurl.

I can’t count na kung gaano karaming beses na my day has been made dahil someone posted a really nice message. Or when someone has been really grateful lately. And you can even take the extra mile and intentionally make someone’s day better.

Sabi nga sa Proverbs 16:24, Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. You can heal, you can inspire, you can lift someone up. Tama na ang me myself and I, friend. We are so much better than this.

A few months ago, I was neck-deep in depression and I stayed away from Facebook as much as possible. Wala kasing magandang sinasabi ang mga tao dun, at that time. I was on twitter a lot, though, and they have been very supportive and sympathetic. Maaappreciate mo ang mga taong walang me mentality, kasi those who do will say, “real talk: ang mga taong ‘depressed’ daw ay nagpapapansin lang, pa emo emo lang”. That is a real statement I read on facebook. Ewan ko sa iyo koya, kasi real talk, iyang real talk mo is bogus and hurtful. There is a world of difference between those real talk people and real, genuine people.

Friend, you have a stage, a podium, a microphone. The whole world is paying attention. Anong sasabihin mo? 🙂

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