Accountability against entitlement

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By Stella A. Estremera

Spider’s web

Saturday, July 19, 2014


FOR many of us, the concept of social network being a whole community of friends, acquaintances and people you don’t even know still hasn’t sunk in. There is but a sense of entitlement, the feeling that whatever appears on our wall and our tweets are ours alone and no one has a right to chastise us for it. “It’s my wall, my life, mine.”

Now imagine real persons, in the flesh, instead of friends, acquaintances, and friends of friends of friends instead of likes and comments in text- and icon- forms. What you have is a community, a big one that crosses geographical borders and wide seas. Everyone “hearing” what you are saying and seeing what you are doing.

Imagine yourself in front of these real people being so engrossed with yourself, pouting your lips at the camera with no regard that everyone else is around you. If that doesn’t sound outrageous enough, imagine yourself doing all those poses in the middle of a dancefloor while everyone is dancing and twirling around you, causing them to hit you and step on your toes. But having imagined the dancefloors of today and seeing the self-engrossed taking selfies right on it, these same self-engrossed twirps will never see the ridiculousness of the situation. As social networks and photo sharing becomes the norm, the sense of the ridiculous has all but become extinct…. So just imagine you, shouting in the highest volume and pitch possible among all these people, “This is MINE!!!!”

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Ridiculous isn’t it?

That’s how ridiculous it is even in the virtual world where all we see are texts and photos.

Accountability… this is a word and a value that is easily lost by our sense of entitlement. Our self-centered I-me-mine world renders accountability to extinction, simply because with the I-me-mine mindset compete with duckface and pouting lips, very little care is really given to the world outside and how they are doing, reacting, living.

It’s always, look world, look at me!

Everyone else is supposed to say praises and click on likes. Anyone who doesn’t or those who takes offense are thought to be deflected by the statement, “This is mine and I do what I want.”

That is until someone raps us so hard, it brings us down to our knees, shamed before being humbled.

But you know what? That shouldn’t have been a hard lesson to learn if only we always remember that the virtual world, the social network, is a community of millions of people as friends and friends of friends connect and interact. There is also that function, copy-paste and printscreen.

This is much greater than any community you can ever physically live in and interact and copied and pasted and printed screens can reach an audience much wider than you can imagine. Thus, diplomacy and tact are paramount. The world really doesn’t care about how you look, but it will always react to how you think, speak, and present yourself. Whether you like it or not, you will be judged and you only have yourself to hold accountable for the crap you will be receiving for whatever crap you are throwing.

Except that… no matter how fast you can ever throw crap back, you are only one, and you know how a community reacts once stimulated into collective disgust and hatred, they pour crap by the tons, all down your head. Remember that, and behave.

***

(saestremera@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 20, 2014.

Opinion

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