My Facebook has now been hijacked by Philippine politics and it’s sad and frustrating. There were days when I open my feeds only to be greeted by news websites. And in a way, it’s sad to think how many people I had to unfollow because I can’t wake up to it anymore.
While there’s peace in seeing these things instead—Bernie Sanders vs Hillary Clinton parodies, Hollywood news, adorably loveable old dogs, foreign friends’ updates, and awesome advances in tech…I can’t help but miss my friends—the friends I go to Facebook for, friends who are miles back in the Philippines. I miss seeing them update their feeds about the bits and pieces of their lives, because, I suspect, they’ve grown tired of social media these days.
And whenever I see updates from people, from actual Facebook friends I know, they mostly reek of election vitriol that I’ve already grown drunk and tired of. How everything has been blown out of proportion, and people will stop, but then get back to the same hate wheel against everyone that don’t share the same “vision” as them. Then I realize how powerful and ugly social media could get. And that this is part of the price we pay for being so “connected.” Mabagal pa ang Internet sa Pinas sa lagay na yan ha. What more if we’re granted 5Mbps at the very least. Intermageddon na.
I hope in the midst of all these things, of all these hate, of all these misunderstandings, and a point of not being able to agree to disagree, of choosing not to listen, people do not stop being human just because their Internet-sparked ideas do not jive well. May 9 will happen, politicians will win, and we would be left with the ashes of all that hate-fire we perpetuate. There will be a lot of work to do, and, most of all, nation-building. Sana. I don’t even know how we can start nation-building from all these mess anymore.
I’ve grown past the frustration and sadness of our dismal political choices. My sadness now stems from the fact that, as an OFW, I still find it in my heart to want to return to the Philippines. I just got off a phone interview for a job opening in Manila. While I do feel excited at the potential of using these skills I learned right at my own home country, MY ORIGINAL HOME, I fear that there would be nothing worth coming back to. And infrastructures are the least of my worries. I’m afraid that I’d come back to a place where everyone just disagrees, and frustratingly, impose their thoughts and ideas on each other at the expense of losing friendships.
I’m afraid to go back to a place where respect is no longer present simply because everyone thinks they’re right—this is the kind of democracy that the Philippines is molding for itself. Just open your Facebook, you’ll understand how and why.
But then again, who am I to complain. I am just a netizen who also participated and contributed something to all these political mess because I “felt” it was my right to do so. I once engaged with someone on an emotional argument via Facebook over Manny Pacquiao’s issue. At that time I felt protective of people I love who are facing persecution just because of their life choices, and just felt I was doing the right thing. But logically, I wasn’t. I don’t even know the personal background of the person I’m slapping with emotional arguments. Looking back, I acted exactly like the idiot I hated.
Did the emotional tussle get us anywhere? Nope. I ended up hijacking my friend’s thread for nothing. And now I realize it didn’t make me feel good nor educate the other person. Not one bit. It just spawned hatred out of me. Out of him. Vicious cycle–that’s all that it’s been.
So much talk of drawing the line, but, really, where do you draw the line when it comes to defending something online? I wonder, is there really a way that social media can be managed without going as far as damaging each other on a personal level? Is there really no way that we can bring the level of discourse to where we can focus on issues, what’s being done, what could be done, and not people’s personalities alone—regardless if they’re from this party or that, from this color or what? Nothing good comes out of hate. Nothing gets resolved by imposing one’s belief over another’s.
And we all talk of human rights violation, but we’re all subconsciously, unknowingly doing it ourselves. 🙁
Well I guess, this is my cue to get off Facebook for a while. And I hope when I wake up from all these elections shenanigans, I won’t feel like Rick Grimes who just woke up from a coma to find the world eaten up by zombies, and in my case, stricken by awful hate-filled election disease.