Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What Mo Twister Should Have Known in the First Place

Gone are the days when people simply kept everything to themselves or simply just shared personal information to close friends. By close, I mean within close proximity and physically accessible. Satisfying the need to consult, say, a problem with your best friend who so happened to be in another country, was a virtual impossibility before. Now, there’s SMS, Yahoo! Messenger, and Skype that will enable one to get a more immediate response. If you, on the other hand, find contentment in sharing every detail of your life not just to your best friend, but even to random individuals, there’s Twitter and Facebook.

Zip It

Just yesterday, a friend on Facebook posted a status update. As expected, there were subsequent comments:

(Emphasis, of course, supplied)

Out of curiosity (and impending outburst of rage), I checked out how many Facebook friends this girl had: 1,358. Not 10. Not 100. It’s over a thousand. It’s such an unwelcome oxymoron to say that you just had to post an emotional update and, at the same time, say that you don’t appreciate anybody’s reaction to it. If she sincerely had intended to simply “get things out” and not have anyone pry on her enigmatic woes, she could have responsibly filtered the recipients of her update.

Online, there are no boundaries as to who gets which information, unless you filter, not the information, but those who you will allow to see the information. Filters and privacy settings provide security. We, however, need not rely so much on security if we all learn simply when to shut up.

Common Sense Isn’t So Common

Take Mo Twister as an example:

This video was allegedly uploaded by an anonymous user who was in possession of Mo’s personal files from his old laptop that he had, again, allegedly disposed of already. “I appeal to whoever is in possession of my personal files to refrain from uploading anything further,” Mo said in a recent interview. Your appeal is useless, Mr. Twister. Stop uploading, you say? How does NOT recording yourself on video while airing your and another person’s dirty laundry in the first place sound? We all have brains. It won’t kill us if we decide to use it sometimes.

Think Before You Click

As cliché as it is true: With great power comes great responsibility. Though the Internet now permits liberal exchange of information, such freedom should be exercised with restraint. GMA News and Public Affairs just recently launched a campaign entitled Think Before You Click, aimed to encourage individuals to “[t]hink about the repercussions of what you are about to post, will it hurt others, could it potentially hurt me, or those who I care about the most? It's hard to take back what you’ve posted online, and everything has an effect.”

Next time, if we have emotional baggage, I think it will be better to just surprise ourselves by the wisdom and maturity of simply sucking it up. Should we feel the “need” of unloading such baggage, let this be a reminder: “A close friend over a cup of coffee” will always trump “A thousand pretend-friends over Facebook or Twitter.”

Ma. Eliza Christine Gomez, Entry #2

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