Monday, February 28, 2011

The lesson I learned from using Facebook

 It took me a while to get on the social networking bandwagon, but when I finally did, I did it with a passion. I’ve posted pictures—I would eagerly take photos during parties, family travels, events, and holidays so I could post them on my site.

Facebook (FB) also paved the way for me to trace people even as far back as first grade classmates and friends—we eventually had a reunion late last year—it even allowed me to frequent contact even across national borders—with some distant relatives and friends abroad.
More than friendship though, FB is also a way of self-expression for me. It’s not surprising that I’ve found even older Pinoys adjusting quickly to FB and seeing it as a way of just keeping in touch but of “conversing,” all the way up to harassing someone they don’t like (or paradoxically, that they like) until they get “unfriended” by the person being “stalked.”
I’ve been so comfortable with FB that I had forgotten it was a very public media. Recently, I’ve been subjected to public scrutiny. I decided to pour out my sentiments on my FB status because I had no one else to talk to—I didn’t use names or mention bad words when someone commented on them, using my wall as a way to provoke me. I felt so violated because someone I don’t know was able to manipulate something so personal.
It may have been a rather tactless and insensitive remark on my part, but my point was that it was my page—my personal wall. Am I not supposed to write what I want without any restrictions at all? I’m allowed to be an a_hole if I want to be one, right? As far as I know, there’s no censorship or filtering on FB.
I didn’t know what she was up to. I later found out she wasn’t a total stranger after all. Just some “attention-seeker” I know. 
I really got into a hot water because of her—and although I still believe I’ve done nothing wrong, I decided to ask for her forgiveness just so this issue would come to an end. You know what, until now I could never fathom why she did that in the first place and why in the world would I ask an apology from someone who should say sorry to me? Call me a fool, but I just don’t want to think about that fiasco anymore. However, I still stand by my belief that some people really need to develop better Internet sense and netiquette.
FB can easily become a venue for gossip, backbiting and cyber-bullying. While one is certainly allowed to post their opinions online—it is a free world, after all. So now, I poke, blog, comment, post and tag…but I’m trying to do it more wisely and prudently. At the end of the day, it’s still my choice which and when to click and enter.

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