It’s the thought, not the freedom, stupid.

I have witnessed how lives were ruined in exchange of our power to express everything.

Remember when Charice, Manny Pacquiao and Christopher Lao were bullied via social network sites? The first two were able to defend themselves and make ways to avoid these from worsening because, simply, they’re prominent and they have the capacity to do these. The case of the last one just got even worse because he was just an ordinary citizen with less ability to defend himself, to the point that he even left the country for good. This should be seriously addressed, for there are so many other suffering from the effects of cyberbullying – lower self-esteem, less confidence and competence, and even suicidal tendencies.

Remember how a single tweet or an FB post disturbed the society? The ‘radiation scare’? The ‘this wine sucks’ and ‘magreklamo ka sa lolo mong panot’ tweets? The so many false #RIPs?  These caused sure panic and a lot of worry for the people, especially to affected individuals, and even imposed threats to our harmonious relations with the international community.

We were told that our generation is the most powerful one in the history of humankind, for we are given most of the freedom that our parents – even our grandparents – did not get before, some are which, the freedom of expression and the right to know everything. Yes, we might be able to express our bursting emotions. We can even criticize some things. Or just bluntly disapprove them. Or just throw words without minding the hurt it can cause to some.

Let us remember that there are so many others who witness how we react to certain things, since social media is so widely utilized. Every remark one posts will mark on his Wall (unless one deactivates his account) and on the minds of other people forever. Respect is still the most important factor for social media to be properly used.

For us not to cause other lives to be shattered, do not post anything stupid.


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