Dear Tita Pacita: On Politics And Social Media
To be honest I find the discussion of politics on social media to be very, very toxic, it’s almost unbearable, and lately I’ve resorted to just watching TV, which I haven’t really done in like, ages, and tuning in on TvN *cue TvN idols’ hand gesture* instead of scrolling my feed for updates. If you make the mistake of scrolling through the comments section, or stumbling upon bots-infested posts and such, I truly understand. You may feel like shutting the world off for good. I am a firm believer in consuming only healthy things, so as to not poison your mind and conscience. Now when the going gets tough, I advise a very careful and low-key method of dealing with the noise.
DO NOT ADD TO THE NOISE.
It’s already there, the trolls are earning and doing their jobs well, the clueless are latching on to whatever article or photo (real or not) that serves their beliefs, and there will be media outlets, however legit, that may or will make mistakes, out of sheer oversight or perhaps the greed to hoard the most views and shares. So, unless you have the power to shut them down and wipe out all the bots, then just ignore them and bask in your peace and quiet. If it needs as drastic an action as uninstalling social media apps on your phone, then I'm all for it.
VERIFY YOUR SOURCE.
Do not share what you haven’t really read through carefully. I know it’s tempting to be the first one to share breaking news or be the source of a current hot topic. The same goes with feeling extreme fear or excitement online, as it is the most immediate ways to express it. While it is a common behavior that preys on even the best of us, please think through your every post first, especially if it is based on extreme emotion. Again, think. Through. It. First.
REMEMBER THE HISTORIC, PRE-FREE DATA DAYS.
Let’s take a moment to recall the early days of Facebook. Wasn’t it all about seeing what your friends and family were up to, connecting with relatives overseas, and virtually poking each other even if we didn't fully understand why that was so satisfying? Now if you were born with Facebook already alive and omnipresent, well, I'd like you to know that the social media platform's first few days were pretty simple and… quiet. It was used primarily to get updated and connect with friends, perhaps abroad, or elsewhere.
If you’re the type who can’t sit still and have really, really strong feelings about a political issue and would like to use your social media account to share your thoughts, then my advice is to let your emotions subside first and then post if you really feel compelled to do so.
We can all learn from senior tita Charo Santos-Concio on millennials being woke. I had the chance to interview her before (there used to be a video of it online but it's under repair huhu) and what she advised me was, before reacting online, the ultimate question to should ask yourself is: "What do you really want to get out of that political post or comment?"