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I just rarely use Facebook during these days because I’ve thought that it’s just a waste of time. Yet, since it’s summer break, right now, when I log-in in my account, I just check the notifications, scan a little bit and read blogs from Missosology, Missosology Philippines, pageant groups, and other relevant information. Perhaps, post from friends and family. However, as I continued to scan for several posts in my news feed, I saw a shared post from my classmate which came from a Facebook page named Kupalism putapets. I don’t know the meaning of the page’s name, but seeing its posts, I can sense that the page’s admin is a young person, perhaps an adolescent. Back to the topic, in the post, a 4th grader or a ten-year old was posting about her forever. I don’t know what would I react if I were that kid’s parents. I clicked the original post and read the comments from the netizens. As I was reading the comments, I just deeply pondered on how our generation has quickly changed through time because of the World Wide Web and the social media and most importantly, how the Filipino youth has changed because of the influences and pressures and how we failed on valuing the things that truly matter most.
The young Filipino generation has greatly changed during the present times. It’s mostly true that the young people have changed because of the influence of social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram became a prominent part of our daily lives. Because of this, we forgot to value relationships in the real world and instead, we value more our Facebook friends. We are more concerned with these Facebook friends than with the people whom we interact everyday such as our supportive close friends and our loving family. While some value Facebook relationships and friends, some relationships ended because of social media which in fact happened to me. Two events. The first one happened last month and the other one last year. The first one, I have this very close friend of mine in college and eventually, our friendship went wrong because of my post in Facebook which she found to be offensive. Actually, I have not mentioned any name of specific persons about my post and it’s not actually offensive. However, this caused a misunderstanding between us. This began the rift of our friendship. At first, it was just a bout between us because I am the type of person who sincerely value relationships, especially friendships. Since she is included in our group of friends, my other friends tried to patch things out. However, there are already visible cracks in the friendship. Things before could never be the same again at present. On the other hand, the second one was my relationship with my boyfriend, now ex-boyfriend. We were already in our 6-month relationship. It was a long-distance relationship because he is a cadet from the Philippine National Police Academy. Honestly, I was already attached during our LDR because it’s painstakingly hard to have a relationship with someone who is miles away from you. You’ve been missing the person you love (That was before). With this, I have the tendency to constantly check his Facebook timeline on a daily basis to see his posts and updates. Eventually, I saw comments from this girl which is very unusual. I stalked this girl’s timeline and unfortunately, saw comments from my boyfriend that is not friendly. One could sense that there’s something wrong. One could also read between the lines and there’s no explanation needed. It’s self-explanatory. By the time he went home in our town for the sembreak, our relationship went colder. We eventually cooled off and broke up. What disheartened me most, which is also the worst thing you could see that a man’s love is really not genuine, is when after you broke up, a day or two, he is already in a relationship. You could really say, what the f*ck. From these things, I was deeply disheartened because of how social media could break relationships during these days.
Likewise, because of social media, at times we are misinformed on certain data and information. Instead of having profound research before considering its authenticity, we immediately conclude the fact that it’s true. We mostly rely on memes. This enables the spread of false rumors and information which might affect everyone. This is mostly relevant today as the Presidential elections in our country is fast approaching. A lot of Facebook pages who support a certain Presidential candidate would post a believable quote from this individual and then have his or her face at the side. Well, reader, you could have researched the information firstly. Hopefully, we would read more relevant data, research, and news instead of immediately believing in unsubstantiated memes.
The Filipino youth has also lost privacy because of extensive use of social media. I believe that it’s unnecessary to post what you’re doing, your selfie, or your face with that duck pout. I’ve been there and I’ve don that but I’ve learned. The bottom-line is – a lot of people don’t care. Yet, most of us are consumed with likes which is also a need for self-approval. Also, we are depressed on some aspects because we compare ourselves with others on Facebook. Well, let me just say that we should not be deceived by these things because reality is far different from social media. I’ve known people who are appears to be happy or living their life in social media but in real life, they are wretched. Moreover, there is a thing they say about digital footprint. Accordingly, the digital footprint is a permanent trail that users of social media and the internet leave the moment they sign into any online service. As a person who would soon venture the corporate world, as much as possible, I try to lessen my posts and at the same time, have already set my Facebook account into private as social media would also have an effect in the future, specifically in professional and personal areas.
Most importantly, as a person who has been addicted to Facebook, however, eventually had the discipline and self-regulation to go away from these things, I realized that social media is a waste of time. Instead of scanning on posts that are irrelevant, we could have done other productive things. I have experienced this especially when I was still a student (Huhu, it’s unusual for me to say that I’m not anymore a student). During school days, I usually slept late because of Facebook. I have also wasted time because of Facebook instead of doing my assignments, projects, research papers, and other academic matters. Sleeping late is very detrimental to our health most especially that it affects our brain. I have been there where I slept late because I don’t want to miss any updates. We are pressured on ourselves to always be available in social media which could result to anxiety if we could not respond to a message or a post. Indeed, we are so emotionally and mentally invested in social media. We wake up at night just to make sure that we don’t miss anything out.
From these things, I’m grateful that my cellphone is outdated. Even though it’s an android phone and can connect to a Wifi, I prefer not to install apps in my phone because I prefer not to be addicted with social media. However, whenever I post, there is a thing they say that just do it in moderation and in everything that we do, we should act responsibly on what we publish or post online.
So, what do social media do on how the Filipino youth is doing right now? First, we portray ourselves as someone that we are not. Second, we forgot the values that our ancestors had taught us. We have been badly influenced by modern lifestyles which is brought about by what we see from movies, television, and media. We don’t know what to stand on, resulting to a tendency for us to be easily swayed by temporal things. When rains and storms come in our lives, we aren’t like the bamboos who are firm and strong in our roots. Also, we valued virtual friends and relationships, than our true friends and family who have been there for us ever since. We are easily influenced which truthfully, most of us felt the need to change our physical appearances because we compare ourselves from other people. If we just learn how to find security in our own unique selves and be firm enough to stand on what is morally right, then we don’t have to change anything from our physical appearances. Lastly and most importantly, social media became our priority rather than valuing our education. We have wasted our time instead of studying. The reason that the Filipino generation is distracted at present is because of social media. It has been a powerful temptation for us because it’s addictive.
It’s sad that a certain person labeled our generation as the “Dumbest Generation” because of our heavy use in technology and social media. However, I still believe that there is a hope in our country because of us, the Filipino youth. As a Filipino youth, it is important that above all things, we should value education and be upright on our principles and values. A lot of young people would say that education is a waste of time. However, I would say that spending your time in education is worth-spending for. Being educated is the best gifts one could receive as you would be able to unlock several other precious gems such as knowledge, wisdom, competence, compassion, and a lot more. It’s true that studying is very exhausting. Yet, if we just think and change our views on education and be passionate enough for what we do, we would definitely contribute to the Philippines’ nation-building. As what our National Hero, Jose Rizal said, “Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan.” At times I think that when our country mostly needs us, it’s also the time where most of us are lost in our paths. In this time where our country needs us, it is also important that we start to uphold education because education, truthfully, would give us a hope for a better future for us and for the Philippines.