This Ruined Puzzle

It’s already one big thing for Filipinos to be madly in love with watching television. It’s another big  thing for them to love reality television shows. The way Filipinos are so engrossed with reality TV shows give us the impression that they love “real life” itself. However, with the way these TV shows  project themselves to the public, what is it that makes these things “real” anyway?

I have to admit that there is  a time in my life where I, too have been engrossed with watching these kinds of TV shows. Back in my high school, one of the most popular TV  shows then was Pinoy Big Brother. It was the type of show where there are normal people set to live altogether in one house and what they do inside the house is being aired to national and even international television. In this show, there is one edition that I have liked so much- PBB Teens Edition. I must say, back then, watching it seems to be  really fun. The case in point in here that brought about my closer attachment to that edition is the fact that I can actually relate to what those people on TV are feeling. They were teenagers that were also around my age bracket so I suppose that there is mutual connection on the way we see things that affect our behavior.

Growing up, there has been a part of me that slowly eradicated the like I used to have for the TV program. I suppose that I am able to figure out things more critically now than I ever had years before.  I think that it isn’t that real at all. Or rather, it hasn’t been real at all. How would the people in there give out their true selves when they know that they are being shown to the public? Maybe they may be really at their true selves however, there will always be a front that they will use to cover the real things that they have in mind.

According to the study, “Reality Television as a Model for Online Behavior: Blogging, Photo, and Video Sharing”, reality television is interconnected with video sharing and blogging. With this, it can be extended unconsciously to the mental perceptions of people.

With blogging, we have often practiced to open up our thoughts to the public and even disclose a few personal things. Reality television is  connected here in a way that it, too, discloses the things personal to the people who join it.

With video sharing, people who post videos of themselves temporarily feel the stardom when they get to have positive feedback and a couple of “likes” on their videos. This is also related to reality TV since you are showcasing yourself  to the public. So what is it that you really are showing? What you have or plainly, yourself, seeking for attention?

And also, the more that we see the little things people do in these reality TV shows, we get to develop the understanding or the thinking that whatever they are doing is acceptable or is  okay to be freely shown to everyone. When we know for a fact that this is not how it should be. There are a lot of factors to consider in being totally expressive in what we feel- there is society, religion, morals and even other people’s  perceptions.

These reality TV shows are undeniably guilty pleasures to some people yet we should be aware that for one, media can be ultimate liars, too. The distinction between the truth and a lie to them may not be that noticeable. We should be smart enough to know actually what is real and what is just a dream.

Parents and Activists

North Fort

Parents and Activists
Renato Constantino
GRAPHIC, April 28, 1971

Graduation has been aptly called a commencement. It is on the conventional sense a commencement of adult responsibility for the young. For their parents, it is the climax of years of anxious waiting and of sacrifices. But, if both want to invest it with deeper significance, a commencement should mark the beginning of understanding and of partnership with the young in patriotic involvement.

We live in a period of turbulence, of instability and of change. A decaying society leaves in its wake many dislocations, many confusions and rising tensions. These dislocations and tensions have been dramatically projected by the activism of militant youth.

All at once parents are seized with paroxysms of fear; many in an excess of protectiveness, have sought to isolate their young from activist fever, while others have reacted with anger and despair. The result is a growing…

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The Secret’s in the Telling

The lifestyle human kind has right now is merely a sign that we have gone over a lot of  development through the years. There is now  easier access towards every bit of information and basically, there is easier access towards how everything in life works. Along with the wide array offered to us by these advancements, we can even socialize via the internet also.

Facebook, the largest social networking site available in today’s generation is being used by over millions of people around the world. The word “social” in social networking is definitely maximized in how we use Facebook nowadays/ You share your posts, photos, status updates and information with your friends, even to the people whom you do not know.

There are theories set on why people actually invest their time on updating their Facebook pages more than anything else in the world. It provides people the satisfaction that whenever they showcase what they know online and they would get to have a number a likes or positive feedback, there is the rise of self-esteem for them. According to the Theory of Ritualized Media, media is not consumed merely for informational or entertainment purposes but they are also habitually used as part of people’s everyday life routines as diversions and pastimes. Even according to the majority of people, opening their Facebook accounts has become part of their everyday routine. They would use it for communication processes, educational purposes or just for the sake of passing the  time.

Facebook may be that fascinating by means of its reach in connecting people and society. However, we must consider that there is this underlying responsibility that we should take notice every time we post something online. This is why Facebook itself offers privacy settings for us to use to minimize the viewers of whatever we post. However again, thee are the lurking questions of “How private is private anyway?” and “Is private really private?”.

We must always remember that every time we post something, we are giving Facebook the opportunity to spread out what we have posted to other people. This is why privacy settings matter. Some people may not be aware of how these things work and I believe that this tends to be a problem to people. The things that they post on their Facebook profiles may be an outlet to draw out offensive things against the person,  gather important information, bully someone emotionally via online and a lot more of other ways to make one’s life miserable via online.

By the use of these privacy settings, we can at least, minimize the people who access the information that we give out online, specifically on our Facebook profiles only. Again, however, we cannot guarantee that we can be totally “private” through this.  There are still a lot of people who are just so fond of getting information even by means of hacking one’s personal profile. So therefore, it all sums up to the fact that we should be held responsible of whatever we post.

We cannot easily keep things private in the tangible world, so how much more in the online world, right? We  must be the ones who define how we should rule Facebook and not the other way around. Mankind should not view the rise of technology as something grand since we are only defining our limits to control it if we see it in that kind of light. We should be the ones taking charge of how we want things to function since we are the ones having the total grip of what’s happening in the many advancements in technology now.

Leap of Faith

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!