I did not know what “keyboard warrior” meant — not until my sister used the phrase to describe me. After looking for its definition, I learned that it was intended as an insult to me. I wanted to say something to retaliate, but then I realized that she might be right — that maybe I’m a warrior with a keyboard and screen. But I know better, because I choose my war.
The story begins in a place where young people spend most of their time in — the classroom. I consider myself a brave student with a strong personality, someone who, if I may add, is deemed a person who speaks as loudly as possible. But mind you, I speak loudly for a cause. I speak up if something’s wrong, I voice my opinion, I shout for what is right. And I never shut up until I prove them wrong, or the other way around, because I’m not afraid.
I’m not afraid of the truth; I’m not scared of criticism, of correction, because I’m not afraid to teach and to learn by immersing myself in arguments and discussions.
The thing is, most people don’t like that. They don’t like someone telling them about things that they don’t even want to tackle. They’re intimidated by reality; they have this tendency to settle for mediocrity and for not caring until they are directly affected. Some people are ignorant of the domino effect.
I end up with the realization that not everyone is there to listen. Yet fear is not the thing that people should be afraid of; it’s the apathy — the apathy of those who otherwise ought to be the backbone of this country.
I have tried to understand and assume as many possible reasons as I can to stop myself from being disappointed. I comfort myself with the thought that maybe we’re just too confused with the bulk memorization that we’re obliged to do. We’re too consumed and victimized by the system that is turning us into robots, dictated on to submit to standardized testing regardless of whether the testing is proper for the job in question. I have tried my hardest to understand; nonetheless, I have realized that some of us, without any excuses, manage to fight against whatever it is that we should condemn. And mind you, the ones who remain fighting in the midst of a crisis are the real heroes.
As time goes by I have learned that I need to run with the times. In this era of technology I need to try things new, and so I changed my platforms and sometimes their ears couldn’t hear. And that’s why we need to make their eyes hear our brawl; after all, the mass is now turning its attention to its screens. Thus, I have commenced typing. I have begun writing articles, posting my opinions and points of view, and tweeting about my nationalist side, waiting to successfully harness social media to influence other people into being politically and socially involved.
I have written about a lot of things and condemned as many flaws as I could.
I’ve written about: 1) people who promote the cancer of society by intently sharing hoax news and nude pictures posted by the naive instead of taking these down, thus fostering the rape culture and, most importantly, promoting those being blinded by the illusion of fake democracy; 2) the fanatics in this nation that is mostly polluted by the garbage opinions of some conservative, hypocritical netizens; 3) people who are getting all the credit by dissecting and recycling other people’s work and mouthing almost the same ideas with minimal dissimilar words; 4) “Noli Me Tangere,” and of how the character of Maria Clara portrays my country — beautiful yet abused; 5) the rusting system with its fundamental lowest form of evaluation, which is fostered by people who are fond of smart-shaming and anti-intellectualism; and 6) us, killing other people basically because of, well, “possibly” killing other people, how “animals” could probably be despising sharing labels with us, and how uncertain we are in this ongoing fiasco that some people do stress-buying of lies.
We know that we are better than this.
Here is what I suggest: Let’s type about various issues and be more cathartic with our views that could possibly manifest our inner nationalist, or possibly reveal the inner monsters among us. Let’s speak. Let’s take initiatives. It’s not only our right, it is also our responsibility.
If lies spread fast, then let’s spread the truth faster. If hate is rampant, then let love overrule. Unveil reality and overthrow the shenanigans. If the pen is a sword, then the internet will be our gun.
This is directed to patriotic bloggers, nationalist peeps on Twitter, fighters of stigma in the comments section of Facebook who are aware of this ongoing fiasco and are willing to fight with words and intellect, as well as to everyone who has ever walked through the apathetic society and are willing to battle the system with wit. Speak up and never be afraid.
To people who voice their opinion, I give you my salute. To the warriors behind the screen, in this era of technology, let social media be our voice. Keep on resharing and retweeting the truth. Let our voice resonate. Use words as blades of glory.
Let’s choose our battle. Do it for our country. If the new Maria Clara exists, let the new Jose Rizal be reborn. Be the Rizal of this millennium; be a hero.
Just remember that words should never be underdressed. Welcome to the newest form of revolution.
* * *
Kristal Gail Patina, 17, is in Grade 12 STEM at Wesleyan University-Philippines.
Editorial cartoon, December 2, 2017