She asked me to fill up her autograph (a hype back in the 90’s) and I couldn’t figure out the last item I had to answer. It said “Friendster” and it was badly written: using a dark shade of lead pencil on a “hot pink” paper.
We were in sixth grade.
It was just as simple as asking a person whether they had a birthday – which is quite absurd to ask when you can’t exist without one. Sort of. I don’t know. I’m not a philosophy degree holder.
But if you get the point, something was stirring up in the early 2000’s that would eventually change the course of society.
The ideas behind this POV are true for the majority of my life as someone who’ve engaged in social media for almost two decades.
Some might be true for you, while some aren’t.
SOCIAL MEDIA ERA
Friendster, Multiply, and MySpace used to be so popular but since the digital space worked like a business, these slowly faded in the background: behind giants like Facebook and Twitter.
These are platforms – like the ones you have in school back then. Well, we called it a platform and it was a wooden one, and we waxed it every week.
You stand and share your presentation on the platform about how butterflies metamorph and why your dad chose to mold vases instead of teaching modern art in an art school.
We fully never understand the choices of others.
The term social media was first used to describe these platforms or to better identify these sites.
The point was to socialize through these sites, find new friends, find dates, create an almost tangible way to interact with people far across the globe.
But does this term still serve its purpose when we talk about it now?
Back then, if you had to socialize, you needed to start with small talks like “Hi. I’m JD. So, you like Tolkien, too, huh?” or “Hi. Are you a doctor? Cause I would like you to cure my broken heart.”
And though most of the time, the latter doesn’t work, socializing had to be something about connecting with the person for a good purpose.
It was still true during the early days of social media, at least in my experience.
We used to add people to our “following” list because we wanted them to somehow be connected to us in a good way. Give them nice testimonies, share glittering digital stickers, and “poke” them just to have their attention.
I used to give nice testimonies on Friendster until I had to become a teenager and took a liking to Gothic stuff: skulls, blood, vampires, and charcoal. Yes. CHARCOAL. Don’t ask.
Lately, people in “social media” are aiming to destroy one another in tons of ways.
This so-called “entitlement” is most prevalent.
I, too, have had my fair share of this. I felt so entitled that I would argue with people online until the wee hours. I won’t even pee not until I finished my 4-part comment thread.
There was a point where I started to sound and feel like a bully; like everyone else was crap and I was gold.
On the surface, it felt nice. Inside, I felt like a bag of shit.
FAKE NEWS AND FAKE LIVES
In the book I’ve been reading for almost a year, there was one particular paragraph that got stuck in my mind:
“A HAPPY PERSON DOES NOT NEED TO FACE A MIRROR AND TELL HIMSELF THAT HE’S HAPPY. HE JUST IS.”
When we translate that to what people are doing on social media, it’s more like: there shouldn’t be any reason for you to prove to everyone else that you’re happy or you’ve been having the grandest time of your life.
Truth is NO ONE CARES.
Probably because they’re also proving themselves to everyone else that they have better lives.
Get a life, Brenda. Hahaha!
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t post anything online.
I’m saying that we should share something authentic and something that shouldn’t be about proving something that’s already proven to be true.
People care more about authenticity than your squad’s “forced laughter” shot or that you’ve finished hearing mass while you’re talking about someone else’s life choices somewhere in the background.
And although I really don’t like to admit this, I’ve also shown fakeness and unnecessary things that didn’t really have to be shared.
I’ve shared pictures of whatsoever proving something it’s not or someone I’m not multiple times.
We all have.
As for fake news, well, I have this article to cover what I have to say. Ano ang masasabi niyo mga ka-DDS?
SO, WHAT AM I TRYING TO SAY?
I don’t exactly know.
I started this article based solely on how I feel and what I think about Social Media.
But if I were to summarize what I wrote:
Social Media has changed the course of human history and has changed the human being.
It’s such a powerful disruption in our history as a species that it deserves a definite marker like that of the Black Plague and World War 2.
Despite it being around for quite some time, the way we use it is quite immature. It’s obvious from how we lure customers to how we diss our relative’s opinions online.
This is the truth at least for now.
Our species has survived through understanding and manipulating its environment.
For now, we are trying to understand the correct usage of this breakthrough in human ingenuity.
I am sure that in the future (it might take more than my lifetime or my children’s) we’ll be able to figure out how to use it so that it won’t destroy lives – our own and others’.
Maybe I’m trying to say something important here or something rubbish. It’s up to you to decide. 😉