THINK BEFORE WE CLICK
Computer May kamao sa Facebook, Asintado sa Twitter, Nambabasag ng mga litrato, At madalas manipang mga komento. Urong naman ang bayag.
-- I read this poem from a collection published in December 2013 at the University of the Philippines. Even with worries that the author may sue me (note that there is neither author’s name nor pseudonym written) I used it because I believe that we have the same stand over cyber bullies.
We live in a fast-paced, constantly changing world where being still is not recognized most of the time; and we cannot deny the fact that we sometimes forget to take time to realize the things that are happening around us. We tend to forget that tomorrow is a gift, and so we must not try to outrun it.
I remember days when I was still a student: back then, I had to run to the library when I needed to report about something, I had to buy Manila paper (and write on it) for visual aids, and I had to stand in front of the class to discuss the subject. How does a student forget the day when he cried so hard because he couldn’t find book references for information on ichthyology? How is it possible that he forgets how awful he felt when he showed his project to his classmates because his father drew a carabao that looks like a goat for his national symbols project in Araling Panlipunan? I can’t. I had a hard time with projects as well because the nearest book store where I can buy bulletins is, unfortunately, not-so-near. I guess these memories help me appreciate the internet more. I can’t deny the fact that it is useful to me as it is to my students. Though I still prefer the A-for the effort kind of projects, I do like the idea of reading printed copies with colored pictures attached. I sometimes even simply ask students to e-mail me their assignments. Well, not that I’m being super techie; I just want to be ‘in’with the crowd.
As obvious as it already is, I totally love how the internet works for me. For us, I think. What I don’t know is how the social media, which is meant to make our lives better and connections easier, is ruining the future of many of our kids more ways than imaginable. Facebook is supposed to be a medium for communication; not a place to divulge more information about yourself than necessary; Twitter and Instagram are not designed to display someone else’s photos as if they are yours; most especially, the social media is not the proper set for dramas and fights. We must realize that we should not post what we can’t say personally, or write what we can’t stand for. We are in no position to give bad comments if we don’t know the story (and the story behind it) as much as we do not have the right to judge others based on their posts.
The computer, as well as the internet, is created to help us develop and get us ready for the next years of our lives. Let us not ruin the purpose by being irrational and insensitive towards the changes, chances and character around us. As cliché as it may sound, we should follow a TV network’s promotional ad telling us that we must ‘think before we click’.
The author is Teacher --oOo— I at Gatiawin Elementary School