By Eireen Manikan
Social Media has never ceased to surprise me. I first began with a Friendster account (now you have an idea how young I am), and I was amazed at how we are able to connect with those we were looking for, wanted to stay away from, and with mere strangers in no particular order. Then came Facebook and Instagram which changed my sleeping habits and put my Maritess-abilities in impressive scales. So now I can have silly chit-chats, discuss work-related topics, assist clients, and JUDGE people based on how they answer back at me, post on their walls and make comments that I may read. Better, I can now stalk my enemies and just have a feel of their goings-on with just a click.
These platforms have made me an instant psychoanalyst and on occasion style arbiter and in my opinion a serious judge of other people’s lives based on what I see in their respective accounts. Judgement or statements that may paint a negative side of people in settings that matter most to them. Their workplace.
Boss: Eireen, have you seen Beautiful Girl lately? I haven’t, and I need some reports from her. Do you have any idea what might have happened?
Me: Oh, she can’t be sick Boss, I just saw her post on FB that she was in a beach somewhere with her boyfriend.
Boss: Oh really? I can’t recall her filing for a leave or informing me about her absence.
Me: Maybe there’s no signal where she is as the place seemed exclusive and far from the city. And she posted something about a family gathering so she must be so busy with her relatives.
In that very simple less than a minute exchange with our boss, can you imagine the damaged I heaped on the girl’s professional future based on just what I saw on her soc med account which may: 1. Not be on real time 2. Not be what she seems to be feeling at present 3. Not be what she wants us to know as her professional colleagues.
Also, through these platforms, I can now say who dresses well in my opinion and who is always trying. There is no precautionary wisdom that whispers to me about some considerations like maybe it was a bad day, or maybe she got locked in her room and borrowed clothes from other people or the pic was taken years ago and posted just now.
Best of all is when they rant; and they do it with wrong grammar. Not a perfect Nazi here, but boy do they make my day. I feel like Mrs. Zuckerberg just making decisions that these people ought to be banned in FB for life for showing us how illiterate they could be. Yes, I could be mean like that, in my thoughts.
After just having chewed that and not fully ingesting it, here comes another phenomenon which has again caught me with my foot on it. There is a Group Page in FB for example, where you can post anything and everything and elicit comments, advises, sarcasm, pity and support from everyone who’s a member of that page. Take Mature Ilonggo for example. It is a page supposedly for Ilonggos of age and you can be a member if a member has invited you. Then you can post as an anonymous individual or declare your name about anything that the admins approve. Posts are usually about life problems or challenges where advice are solicited.
To say that I found my playground is an understatement as I just type like crazy spewing out advices and my opinion like I was Oprah who has a billion-dollar empire to prove that my words mean moolah. Until now, I can’t believe the power these platforms have given us: seeing lives of people, being a part of the decision-making of their lives, knowing their secrets and embarrassments and having a say in how and who they are right in the comfort of my bed with my phones and laptops as my ultimate ammunition.
It is literally like that movie I saw about a building owner who put up secret cameras in every unit and seeing the lives of his condo owners unedited. How have we come to this? This accessibility is both exhilarating and scary. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: they are not forced to post things and share their private lives, but human instinct pushes us to do those things in the most convenient way.
To all of us, advice and comment spewing voyeurs…let’s use it to better each other.