“Social media has become so toxic these days” laments Inquirer columnist Ambeth Ocampo on his piece today. It seems to be true for a lot who are shocked by this new experience of winning and losing friendships online on the bases of political positions taken.
Ocampo’s solution is to “take a break from social media”. Others are calling for people to be a bit more reserved or “mindful” about what they post on their timelines. At the extreme end, some self-righteous voices call on people whose opinions they consider to be annoying to delete their account.
Fortunately there are some youthful voices who provide better perspective to challenge teh views of old farts under whose watch the Philippines ran aground. For her part, columnist Kay Rivera, also on her Inquirer piece today begs to differ to those who ask why one needs to care about these “toxic” politics and other things supposedly outside of our spheres of influence…
I say go ahead and care, and go ahead and post. Post impassioned rants about SM malls and the destruction of trees, post essays about male privilege, post about the victims of martial law; be concerned about what happened in the past and be invested in what lies in store for the future of our country. I do not think that millennials were made to stand idly by, to be passive consumers of news; I think we were made to participate in the discussion, and have the capacity to actually lead it. If youth is not the time to be passionate about things, then what is?
Social media, after all, remains what it is — a platform for sharing stuff and democratising the power to reach a big audience. What emerges out of that capability is only now being understood. But to dismiss it as a “toxic” world just because we do not like the manifestation of that power it accords to its users misses the point of this new world we are in.