Unspoken Rules on Social Media

Masaya sa mundo ng social media. Pero let us not deviate from its intended purpose, yung maging mas connected tayo sa isa’t isa.

No one can argue how instrumental and monumental social media is sa lahat ng areas ng buhay natin. I grew up in a time na wala pang Facebook at dial-up pa ang internet connection, pero parang hindi ko na yata ma-imagine pa na bumalik sa panahong iyon. Ay wait, i-qualify ko yung sinabi ko. Haha! Siguro yung simplicity ng buhay noon gusto kong balikan, pero pagdating sa mga “tools of the trade” at mga productivity features of today’s technology, malaking tulong talaga.

Unspoken Rules on Social MediaSabi nga, the greater the opportunity for good, the greater the opportunity for evil. Ang bilis ng transfer ng information ngayon. And information comes in different faces – good news, bad news, depressing, informative, cringe-worthy, motivating, etc. Minsan pa nga, detrimental pa to the welfare of others. We live in the era of information right before our tiny screens. Ang tanong lang ay kung paano natin ginagamit ang mga information na ito? Nakakalunod ano? Ang social media na dapat sana ay for “socialization and connection purposes” ay nahahaluan na rin ng kalokohan.

​How do we make the most out of the blessings of technology, particularly that of social media? Meron akong ilang practical tips:

  1. Kumustahin mo rin, wag puro Everwing

I play Everwing, yung bagong game na kinaka-adikan ng marami. Ang catch lang ay kailangan mo pang mag-send ng “play with” message or “challenge” sa mga online friends mo para mas ma-enjoy mo yung game. Kaya naman maraming chat boxes ang napupuno na ng mga Everwing messages. Pati yung mga online friends mo na matagal mo nang hindi nakakausap biglang nag-pop up ang chat bubble dahil sa Everwing request niya. Maraming patay na GC rin ang muling nabuhay. Haha! Pero magandang opportunity to to reach out your long lost friends and catch up with GCs. Makipagkwentuhan ka rin, wag lang flood ng Everwing. Mas enjoy makipag-compete ng scores with friends kaysa naman mainis sila sayo kasi ang kulit-kulit mo. Invite them to play with you, hindi yung binubulabog mo lang ang messenger nila. Haha! 🙂 At sa mga nakukulitan sa akin, sorry po. Laro tayo. Hehe!

  1. Magrerespond ng “going” tapos biglang drawing? Wag ganun.

Maraming pagkakaibigan ang nasisira dito. Kung hindi ka pa naman sure na makakasama sa lakad ng barkada, wag ka nang masyadong magpabida at magsabing sure ka na. Wag kang masyadong paasa. Update the group, kasi effort kaya mag-prepare at magplano. Wag kang basta mawawala kapag malapit na ang usapan. Be honest and transparent, nakakasira yan ng integridad. Pero honestly, wala naman akong hugot, promise. Hahaha!

  1. Cooperate din sa GC para sa huli hindi ka masisi.

Gawain ko na i-turn off ang notifications ng mga group chats where I belong. Madali kasi akong ma-distract sa dami ng messages at nao-overwhelm ako kapag sobrang haba na ng kailangan kong i-backread. Pero try to keep up with the conversation pa rin. Lalo na kung kailangan mong ma-update sa mahahalagang discussions ng group kagaya ng anong oras ang lakad, magkano ang contribution at sino ang magdadala ng pagkain. Kung hindi ka updated, at hindi ka rin marunong magtanong, naku baka masisi ka sa huli.

  1. Wag mo silang inisin sa hobby mong pangsi-“seen”

Same with No. 3, maraming puso ang nasasaktan sa mga hugot at jokes nila na hindi mo naman pinapansin. Sayang effort. Huhu.

  1. Kung alam mo nang may pambubully, wag ka nang sumali

Sa dami ng mga status posts, videos at pictures na kumakalat online, hindi maiiwasan na maraming mga private individuals ang naco-compromise at nauuwi pa nga sa bullying. If you think na hindi na maganda at nakakasakit na, wag ka nang makigaya pa sa iba. Hindi mo lang alam how does a person feel kung ang lahat sa social media ay may hindi magandang sinasabi tungkol sa kanya. Don’t be an accomplice to bullying.

  1. Magtimpi kahit kaunti. Hindi lahat ng drama nilalabas sa social media.

May iba sa atin hindi makapigil sa sarili, lahat na lang sa social media sinasabi. Remember that whatever you put in social media ay maaaring makapukaw ng interest ng public. Kung hindi ka handa sa mga comments ng iba, aba’y magtimpi ka. Given na page mo yan at walang pwedeng pumigil sa mga gusto mong i-post online, pero be more responsible at aware sa mga maaari mong ma-fish na comments. Sige ka, ikaw rin. Pero friendly advice: hindi lahat gusto ng drama palagi ang nababasa.

  1. Be wise. Ang taong gullible, sa fake news mapagpatol.

Ang daming fake news online grabe! Pero ang mas marami, yung nagse-share ng fake news. Hahaha. Pwede ba tayong maging mas matalino sa pagdi-disseminate ng information online? Don’t just base on the clickbait headlines. Basahin rin ang contents. Verify with credible sources kung totoo ang balita. Be responsible online. Wag maging gullible.

Masaya sa mundo ng social media. Pero let us not deviate from its intended purpose, yung maging mas connected tayo sa isa’t isa. Maraming away at divisions ang nabubuo from the very thing that should connect us. Maging mas wise at responsible tayo as we behave online.

 

 

Ebas Generation

Whatever we say most often, and the manner how we say it, reflects the condition of our heart.

For sure nakita mo na ang mga ganitong eksena sa kalsada:

  • May naglalakad sa na magkarelasyon na sobrang affectionate sa isa’t isa. Mapapadaan sila sa grupo ng mga kalalakihan at once magkapaalaman na ang dalawang magkasintahan, mangangantyaw ang mga kalalakihan, sisigaw nang “hindi ka mahal niyan!” or “maghihiwalay rin kayo!” o kaya, “walang forever!”
  • May babaeng napakaganda ng porma, accentuating her natural beauty dahil sa above-the-knee dress niya. Mapapatingin ang ilang kababaihan sa kanya, titignan ang glamorosang babae in a way bordering between humiliation and appreciation. May ismid pa pagkalagpas ng subject, sabay comment ng “hindi naman kagandahan”.
  • May batang nagta-tantrums sa kalsada, getting the attention ng mga tao sa paligid. Hirap na hirap na ang nanay niya para patahanin ang anak dahil may bitbit pa siyang mas batang anak at isa pang sanggol. Titingnan siya ng mga ibang nanay pa sa paligid, bumubulong nang may panghahamak “napaka-iresponsable naman. Sunod-sunod naman kasi mag-anak!”

Ebas GenerationPamilyar ba ang mga eksena? Marahil ikaw mismo na-experience na ito. O kaya naman baka ikaw mismo ang nagbibigay ng mga opinyon na kagaya ng mga nabanggit sa itaas, wag naman sana. May mga tao na nagbibigay ng mga unsolicited opinion sa iba – kahit sila mismo ay wala namang kinalaman o nalalaman man lang sa pinagdadaanan ng kanilang mga subject of criticism. Ang mga taong wala namang pakialam sa welfare ng iba ay all of a sudden nagkakaroon ng “say” sa status ng iba, yun nga lang kadalasan ay para lang mapagkatuwaan, or mapatunayan sa sarili na nakaaangat sila.

Sa totoo lang, ang dami nating ebas.

Ebas /eh-bus/ png. Salita, sabi, daldal, kwento. 

Isang salitang kalye na ang ibig sabihin ay sinasabi. Ang taong maraming ebas ay taong maraming sinasabi.

Halimbawa:

  1. Ang simple simple lang naman ng tinatanong ko, ang dami mong ebas.
  2. Ang dami mong ebas tungkol sa kanya. Lagot ka kapag nalaman niya yan.

Pansin ko lang, masyado nga tayong maraming napapansin at binibigyan ng komento. We are now in the information age kung saan ang ating mga idea, suhestiyon, opinyon maging ang mga kritisismo ay madali nang mag-circulate sa maraming mga tao. Ang anumang sinabi mo ngayon ay maaari nang umabot sa kabilang panig ng daigdig dahil sa mabilis na palitan ng mga FB status, tweets at blog posts. Hindi na ito mapipigilan. Bahagi na ito ng ating pag-unlad at pamumuhay.

Hindi ito masama. Ipinaglaban ng ating mga bayani ang tinatamasa nating karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag. Ipinaglaban ng ating mga ninuno ang pagkakataon upang hindi tayo masikil sa ating mga opinyon at idea. Malayang bansa tayo, at ito ay pinagbayaran ng buhay nang mga nauna sa atin.

Ngunit nasasayang ang ating karapatan sa tuwing ginagamit natin ito para lang makapanlibak ng tao. Tumingin ka sa social media feeds mo ngayon – hindi ba’t punong-puno ito nang mga impormasyong hindi mo malaman kung verified ba o hindi ang pinagmulan. Hindi na mawari kung ano ang tama sa mali. Dahil ang lahat ay maaaring makapagpahayag, ang kapahayagan ay umaabuso na at nagiging mapanlibak, mapanghusga o mapanghamak. Nawawalan na tayo ng respeto sa isa’t isa.

Masaya tayo sa pakikipagkwentuhan at pakikipagkapwa-tao. Bahagi ito nang kultura. Subalit sa pagiging bukas na libro natin, ninanais din nating bulatlatin ang libro ng buhay ng mga taong wala namang kagustuhan na sila’y basahin ng sinuman.

Iniisip natin na bahagi ng kulturang Filipino ang pagiging open book sa tao. Pansinin ang mga kanto at mga tindahan – hindi nawawalan ng umpukan. Masaya tayo sa pakikipagkwentuhan at pakikipagkapwa-tao. Bahagi ito nang kultura. Subalit sa pagiging bukas na libro natin, ninanais din nating bulatlatin ang libro ng buhay ng mga taong wala namang kagustuhan na sila’y basahin ng sinuman.

Now that the community is slowly shifting from being face-to-face and personal to being virtual and impersonal, mas nagiging vulnerable lalo ang buhay ng mga tao sa kamay ng mga malisyosong maraming ebas. Online gossip. Online slander. Online shaming. Isang post, tweet and share at madali nang makakapanira, makakapanghamak, makakapanghusga nang iba – on a massive scale. At ang motibo – makahakot ng likes at social approval. Hanap-kampi kumbaga.

***

I don’t want to end this post sounding more like a rant. I would like to offer something of value pa rin – more so, biblical, spiritual value.

If you are a believer of Jesus, though this sounds like a cliché, but you must be responsible for every comment you express to people – be it in real world or virtual. Maging careful sa bawat sinasabi. Mahirap lalo pa’t exposed na exposed tayo sa mga unhealthy conversations. Personally, I was rebuked by a friend hardcore for a joke I thought is plain funny, but is actually disgraceful and degrading pala. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. The Apostle Paul instructs us:

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:6 NIV

Paano nga ba tayo magbigay nang komento sa iba? Nakakasakit, nakakapanlibak? Nagbibigay ba tayo ng buhay sa ating mga salita? O kagaya natin ang mga naunang examples na nabanggit ko? Agent ka ba ng mga unsolicited opinion na mapanakit ng puso?

Whatever we say most often, and the manner how we say it, reflects the condition of our heart. Remember what Jesus has said:

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 ESV

Gayundin naman, out of the abundance of the heart, the FB status speaks.

Hanggang dito na lang din. Ang dami ko nang ebas at mga unsolicited advice. Shut up na lang ako.

Train of Thanks 02

Because we’ll never run out of things to be grateful for.

The world stood shocked as news of another terrorist attacks streamed our SNS feeds and TV screens. According to news, this attack on Paris is the deadliest since World War II, leaving at least 120 deaths and the ISIS claiming responsibility.

As if it is not enough, suicide bombings have also taken place both in Baghdad and Beirut. Earthquakes also occurred both in Japan and Mexico. Add to the list all the tragic events in various cities of the world that has not even reached the attention of mainstream and social media.

In times like these, we must join hands and hearts in prayer, not just for Paris – but for every nation of the world. “For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.” Ps. 22:28 and “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Ps.145:18.


In spite of all the heartbreaking news and in keeping with my thanksgiving series, here is my train of thanks for the week:

  1. Meetings. I thank God for sustaining me with wisdom and strength as I supply reports for our ministry meetings. While I admit there are still lapses and I need to improve more in many areas, still I am thankful for the personal lessons I receive. Especially when it comes to the area of excellence, both in output and attitude.
  2. Social Media Testimony. I received an unexpected personal message from a person I look up to. Intimidated with his achievements and his personality, I hesitated to even reply to his very simple questions about my church and my faith. There were actually nothing significant that happen after that discourse for it was just a simple Q&A yet it left me with a realization that your social media can be a reflection of your personality – especially if you are true to what you share online. Our short discourse happened because he saw my posts about my faith. Therefore, I can say that your social media posts have the power to draw people or to keep them away.
  3. Traffic. Just hearing the news about everyday traffic is so sickening, yet to experience them on a daily basis is another story. This is why I am grateful that my office is just a couple of minutes walk away from our home. When I was still working in Mandaluyong, I know how it feels like to endure and survive the concrete jungle of EDSA and Aurora Blvd every single day. And now that I no longer have to spend much time commuting, I see to it I am spending my time in more productive activities. I just pray that this hellish traffic situation in the Metro will be resolved the soonest possible time. We deserve better.
  4. Home-cooked Sinigang. Nothing beats the taste and satisfaction of a home-cooked sinigang prepared by your mother. This is pure bliss.
  5. DepFest Reloaded. This week’s instalment for our church’s department festival is a blast. I had so much fun watching performances, lalo na sa mga taong di mo inaakala! Who says that to be a Christian is to be boring? It is such a joy to realize that even inside the church, genuine laughter and fun is possible, as we give God the praise for our talents.

How about you, what are you thankful for this week?

– Marts –

If Jesus Comes Back Today

Jesus is coming back. Rend your heart, not just your garments.

If Jesus chooses to come back today, I wonder how the world will react. I bet netizens will be so active in flooding their social media feeds. I’m thinking of hashtags like #TouchdownJesus or #WelcomeBackJC will trend with number of posts and tweets unimaginable. Acts of compassion and kindness will be most evident during these times. But these events are just pigments of my imagination. In no way these are biblical, purely speculative.

If Jesus comes back today, what would really happen? We have accounts on the Bible that says His coming will be like a thief in the night – no one knows when. Yet with certainty He will soon come and take with Him all those who are His.

But more than the manner and the specifics of His return, have you ever thought about how you will choose to welcome Him?

We are living on the last days where all major signs of His return happens right before our very eyes – wars and rumors of war, pestilences, drought, unexplainable weather disturbances, uncanny sightings of celestial bodies and rampant evil. If Jesus will ask us for reasons why He ought to return now in our generation, I believe we can raise enough justifications. But the prerogative is not in our hands. Only the Father knows when.

But more than the manner and the specifics of His return, have you ever thought about how you will choose to welcome Him? I have heard of a story of a good lady who patiently waits for Jesus’ return that she refuses to go on a bath thinking she might get caught naked and unprepared. I just don’t know if she’s still holding on to this resolve.

Yet the lady is preparing herself. No matter how silly it may sound to us, no matter how extreme her view is, the bottom line is she wants to be prepared. Because who knows, the Big Day might come tonight or tomorrow?

The prophet Joel has this to say: “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.”
Joel 2:12-13 NASB.

Preparation for the Lord’s coming is not about keeping your hairs and your nails trimmed, nor making yourself presentable. Our earthly appointments calls for that kind of preparation, but our preparation for His coming needs the rending of the heart.

Preparation for the Lord’s coming is not about keeping your hairs and your nails trimmed, nor making yourself presentable. Our earthly appointments calls for that kind of preparation, but our preparation for His coming needs the rending of the heart. To rend ones heart is to make it open, available for the mighty works of God.

Are we prepared for His return? Have we forgiven those who trespassed against us? How about leaving our sinful lifestyle behind and clothe ourselves instead with humility, kindness and love? Have we opened our hearts to the Lord? And most importantly, have we accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation and full life?

The day of the Lord is not just another day in the calendar or a significant news-worthy, trend-worthy event. It is a dreadful day to reckon with, knowing that He will come both in judgment and in love. In judgment for those who rejected Him, refusing to apportion His grace for the wages of sin; in love for those who long for His return, patiently waiting in faith for the consummation of His promised redemption.

Jesus is coming back. Rend your heart, not just your garments.