Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Guest Post: The Thing About Social Media



Okay. We all know what social media is. We use it for school, for wasting time, and other nonsensical shenanigans, right? Today, I’m gonna be talking about my experiences with social media, as well as my advice regarding this broad topic.

Social Media enables everyone to connect with others through different networks with different platforms. Some makes use of only 140 characters to share stuff, others use pictures and text and friend requests. It’s hard to define Social Media as something constant—since it changes with every update, like, share, or reblog.

It’s pretty safe to say that Social Media is useful to us. We use it everyday! May it be for academic purposes, for research, or just for reminiscing past friends, Social Media offers a way to do all of those.  In fact, I myself have reconnected with my classmates since we were in Kindergarten. I’ve seen their change from the awkward, nose-picking children I knew, into the great people they are now. I’ve contacted my classmates from Grade 1, who were now staying in the United States.

Social Media can revive those past connections, and even establish new ones. Making new friends is now easy. Just click a button, and wait. Then you can start talking about your mutual interests, and that relationship soon blooms into an online friendship that will last for some time. Of course, that’s not always the case. Some people become “friends” on Facebook or anywhere else, without actually wanting to talk to each other even virtually.

The speed it takes for someone’s update to appear on your feed is astounding. That’s why it’s easy to spread news on Social Media. Many people with troubled cases involving missing friends/family, or persons requiring donations use this in order to inform the mass of what’s happening. And it works. Here in the Philippines, the authorities help those in need as fast as the post appears on their timeline.

Of course, the world we live in is a big two-sided blade. There may be limitless boundaries on the good things Social Media can do, but there are also numerous adversities that it can inflict to us.
Perhaps the greatest of these, for me, is privacy. Sometimes, Social Media can be a pain in the arse when it comes to your personal space. When you forget that your post wasn’t on “private”, or when you post something on the wrong site, the results might be disastrous to you. When you put it out there, it’s OUT there. It can be shared and reposted to other sites. It’s as if Social Media takes ownership of whatever you posted as its property, and you can never take it back.

I’ve experienced this, actually. Enter 7th Grader me, clueless of how to use Social Media. On the first year of highschool (7th Grade is considered first year), I really, really disliked the seniors. They were rash, naughty—generally not nice. So I did something careless. I logged on to Facebook, typed “The seniors are good-for-nothings”, and clicked post. That was the biggest mistake in my life, but I don’t regret it. I voiced out my opinion, and they reacted like children. They swarmed outside our classroom, and when I came out, they hugged me. I know, isn’t hugging a nice thing? In that instance, no. I felt every bit of humiliation they’d intended. Of course, we were counseled, and everything went back to normal, but I’ll never forget that glorious passive-protest that I’d done.

The only rational advice I can give to everyone out there is to be responsible. Think before you post. And I mean it. Think of how you phrase your words thrice. Choose your friends, your followers, et cetera. If you want to be undercover, use incognito. It won’t hurt. All there is to it so to be responsible of your actions, keeping in mind what would happen after you do what you wanted. That’s all.

Be good.

Author - Raffy Perez

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