When I retired from SunStar Cebu in 2019, I had to learn many things, notably about the new technology that made social media a problem for traditional media. For years I wrote columns, first with The Freeman and later with SunStar, both of them leading Cebu newspapers. But the new technology required a knowledge of more than just the print media. When I became editor, first with The Freeman and later with SunStar, I learned the kind of editing required for print media. Social media was a totally different ballgame.

When I came up with a vlog, my first problem was video editing. I could edit drafts in print but I didn’t know how to edit videos for my vlog. I initially sought from younger and more experienced people but with the Covid-19 pandemic, I soon realized I needed to rely more on myself. A non-technical old man was forced to learn new technology. An old dog had to learn new tricks.

It had been months after I learned the aforementioned new tricks. And while I would say I am still far from being an expert in video editing, I am now getting the feel for it. It was hard but I did manage to learn. Now I am ready to go to the next phase, which is to adjust my newly learned knowledge to my old capabilities. The vlog that I created needed changes.

I am no longer doing much writing after I learned video editing. But there were times when I felt I didn’t have to let go of what I am an expert of. But I needed to know how my writing can best serve the current advances in technology now. I say this is also the dilemma facing many good writers in this age. How can writers thrive in a time when video has become “it”?

New technology has forced SunStar to limit the number of columns it would print. Meaning that columnists are a disappearing breed. My son once followed Hassan Minaj on Youtube, which surprised me. Egged on by Netflix, the man became so popular he was even invited by the White House to speak before practicing journalists and columnists. To think that he was once a “mere” standup comedian.

This was proof to me that times are changing with the advent of a democratizing technology. Traditional media no longer control earnings taken from information gathering. Social media now has monetization rules that are dependent on one’s creativity as a content creator. There is a bad side to this, true, like the lack of adherence to ethical standards, but I am sure time will come when everything settles down like water after a flood.

My aim is, of course, to earn money with a vlog. One thing I learned from this is that it is a difficult task and takes time. But there was one thing I learned when I was younger: patience. I can be patient with the waiting and with the continued process that unfurls.

Which is also my advice to those who want to ride on the new technology and on social media. The age of trolls and fake news will soon vanish like Thinking Pinoy and Mocha Uson, for example. New standards in social media are being set. Which makes learning even more exciting.