Editorial: The noise

IF YOU are wondering why it’s noisier these days whether it be politics or simply bullying some person called out to be inappropriate, let us understand that this is what social media is all about.

When just a few years back you didn’t even know where you had a cousin twice removed living in Latvia before, today, you have most probably accepted his or her friend request and you have initiated talking about how you are related to each other and have exclaimed, “Small world!”

Thus, from being non-existent entities a few years back, you now get a glimpse of his or her daily life, including her rants about work, family, even maybe politics in Latvia, whence you never even knew about Latvia before.

While less than a decade ago, you fume and deal with your anger in the privacy of your own boudoir, now even inside the boudoir or the toilet, you are connected and can rant all you can, then quickly saying, “My wall, my rules!” despite having caused the aggravation of many.

While before, you will never know the political issues and concerns of your classmate in high school that you haven’t met until your Pearl Anniversary, now, you know how angry she is at the “kasambahay” who messed up the “labada” this morning.

Now, are you still wondering why people are easily provoked into a verbal and physical tussle these days?

Just imagine, one person - less discerning than the few who custom-design their social network to generate only positivity - wakes up to a rant by an acquaintance or a shared link of a friend, that both cause him to flare up. Then because he’s human and he has flared up, then he comments on the link or the rant and ends up entangled in an argument... This was not possible before.

Just a few years back, the only person you can ever end up in a heated argument when you’re not even out of bed is an immediate family member who is in the same bedroom.

Then... the 9-5-1 decision of the Supreme Court saying that the order to bury former dictator President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the US electoral race. At past midnight of the day the SC decision came out, friends were still posting rants of grief and dismay... long after you have gone to bed and was just waiting for sleep to come.

This used to be not possible.

The message in all these? Chill. Discern. Seek the quiet and ponder.

In the noise that we have found ourselves in, all we know is to shout back when shouted at. Reason takes backseat when emotion has already been stirred way before the rant. But never has anyone come up with a sober assessment of things and issues amid shouts and din.

Recognize that this is all noise, find time to retreat, to seek the quiet, to ponder, to discern. Then act.

At present, we prefer to be quiet... as we'd say in Bisaya, “Nabungog pa mi.”

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