Cindy B. Listor, UP Cebu Mass Comm student
TWO days ago, I was browsing through Facebook and saw a string of curses posted on my high school friend’s wall. For a moment I was stunned by the person’s audacity to show such idiocy. I realized later that it is frustrating to see people make fools of themselves online. Maybe if we all become aware of the consequences of what we say and do online, we would become better Internet users and persons.
This is why I felt grateful when I saw GMA’s “Think Before You Click” campaign.
The network’s aim, which is to make cyberspace safer for netizens, is gaining much popularity. The campaign urges Internet users to be more responsible in using social media by reminding them to think of the consequences of their actions before posting anything online.
Indeed, the power of social media entails a lot of personal responsibility.
Social networking has made its way into our list of daily activities. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, are just some of the leading names in the world of social media. They have become today’s main sources of information—be it for entertainment, business, or educational purposes.
The easy access to social media sites through mobile phones and other handheld devices has made information exchange more dynamic than ever.
This new trend has changed the way people interact with each other. Stories are told, friendships are formed and background checks are done mostly through social networking sites like Facebook.
For students like me, Facebook and Twitter have become basic commodities for connecting with our friends and families. Even some of our classroom activities are posted on FB. Indeed, we live in a time where distance no longer matters—thanks to the Internet.
But how do we know if too much information is being shared? When is enough enough?
I’ve seen several racy photos and curses posted online. I’ve heard stories about people getting fired from their jobs because of a stupid post against their bosses on social networking sites. I’ve read articles about artists filing libel suits against netizens for scandalous tweets and Facebook posts and I couldn’t help but wonder, what were they thinking? In April 2011, Stephanie Bon, a human resources assistant at Lloyds Banking Group in the UK was fired from her job for posting a sarcastic remark about their chief executive officer’s salary. Bon went on Facebook and posted, “LBG’s new CEO gets £4,000 an hour. I get £7. That’s fair.”
Expressing yourself in any way you want is a right. However, don’t forget that everything you say or do online can have a huge effect on another person’s life.
How many times have I been that reckless? Just last night on Facebook, I posted strong statements about an issue involving the UP Cebu Student Council and Spectrum Productions. Some people reacted negatively on my post. I wonder if that counts.
That’s the question I’ll be asking myself before I sleep tonight.
I hope people will start pondering the kind of messages they are about to share online. Responsibility is the key to a better world. Let’s start by being mindful of the consequences of our every action.
Tonight I will post a status on my Facebook wall about being responsible for the things people say and do. I may not have many friends online, but I’m sure anyone who’ll read it will instantly get the message: What you say is what you are. Think before you click.