The youth is one big portion of the population. This big portion that they have is capable of making both petty and deep-seated actions for the development of the society. We have a boiling pot of different personalities in them. With this mixture of different personalities, there is the common denominator for all of them- they are addicted to the products that technology offers.
With the pace of the changes happening to the world right now, we can say that this mentality of the youth is perfectly normal. They have easy access to the internet, they have their own mobile phones, and they have easily adjusted in voicing out through the use of social networking sites and other means of widespread communications. Everyone has a hold of power to connect to a big audience with the help of these resources. And the thought that the youth right now is taking advantage of this for the sake of reaching and helping out others is truly remarkable.
According to the study “Empowering Youth: Use of Technology in Advocacy to Affect Social Change” by Rosemary Thackeray, the youth becomes a part in creating social change through integrating technology with their social advocacies. It was mentioned there that they follow the steps of 1) recruiting people to join the cause, 2) organizing collective action, 3) raising awareness and shaping attitudes, 4) raising funds to support the cause, and 5) communicating with decision makers. With these simple steps, the youth practice themselves for societal developments in the future and at the same time, take part of the many happenings in the country right now.
As a part of the youth right now, I believe that this is a good venue for creating awareness for others to be concerned and be part of the groups that promote these actions. Just because we are young doesn’t mean that we should be blind to what is happening in our society right now. Because we are still young, all the more that we should actively participate in these things so that we can be able to change the many off beam situations that the system right now is offering us. Changing the system right now for the good causes is needed since in the end, we are still the ones who will benefit the many changes that will happen. We should not rely and just sit there and agree with whatever the government offers us. If we know for a fact that what they are doing is wrong, we should be able to let our voices be heard and demand for just and clean governance because it is their obligation to do so. And as citizens of the country, one of our many obligations is to love the country. And by that, it would mean that we should assure that the country is under good control by the administration. This is why we should be initiative enough to call for others and stand firm for what we believe is for the benefit of all in our country. If we do not start working on these now, then when?
When we see that there is something wrong happening in the country, most of us are inclined to help out to find a solution. This is where collective action takes place. The more the people that are there to lend a hand, the faster it is to find a solution to the problems. Online communication and text messaging are a few of the most effective ways to gather people to join a common cause. If there is a lack of resources to gather a big audience, these technologies are only very cheap and one can easily afford and use them.
One example here was the Million People March last August 26, 2013. In celebration of the Philippines’ National Heroes’ Day, the people did a heroic act of protest against the administration to abolish the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of the congressmen and senators. For a little backgrounder, this PDAF is the money paid by the taxpayers of the country. There is a scam that appeared that over 10 billion pesos of the people’s money were exploited for the personal use of some of the people who are in office. Many were at rage upon hearing this news. And at August 26, they all gathered in a protest to totally abolish this PDAF. The people created an event on the social networking site, Facebook to give out information about the said mob. The different sectors in the community including the youth were all part of this incident. Because of the functions of Facebook, it was easy to inform a lot of people by inviting friends of friends. This was carried on with the use of group messaging through SMS, too.
Throughout time, the youth’s efforts in taking part in nation building have resulted to a lot of successful changes. This is a form of self empowerment in their part since they know within themselves that they are doing something for the country. Right now that there are numerous advancements in technology, calling out for help is literally at the tips of our fingers. May this continue to benefit the country and a lot of people. And most of all, may this call on the whole youth to actively participate in these movements.
May the youth keep the fire that they have in their hearts alive for their country. May they never forget to think critically, act selflessly for others and love the country passionately. With all this, of course, may they forever continue to serve the people!