Love-hate with social media

05:04 AM March 13, 2018

How many times have we gone on a vacation, dinner date, or concert with someone, and felt alone? How many weddings have we attended where we see guests on social media instead of watching the happy couple real-time?

Ironic that it’s called social media when it subconsciously makes everyone forget how to be social. We forget our friends’ voices but vividly remember their last meal or car selfie that took numerous shots to take. We post for the world to see when we’re all just waiting for that one special person to send us, along with several other girls, a kiss emoji.


We momentarily detach from reality to seek constant validation, oddly even from strangers, that we’ve got it all together. People are quick to call millennials narcissistic when the truth is we wouldn’t be addicted to validation if we even had enough self-esteem to begin with.

We thank our families with every curated post but ignore them at the dinner table. We greet our abuelo or abuela a “happy birthday” online when neither of them even has a social media account. If we were grandparents, I think we’d rather hear a
story from our grandchildren.


We miss out on those awkward glances during first dates
because we’re too busy hiding behind the comfort of our phones. No phones during a date night, please — how is this not a rule?

We mindlessly scroll through social media feeds of nearly naked girls and overpriced but beautiful-looking coffee — the only things that get the most likes, hearts, and comments apart from funny animals and celebrities who recently passed away.

Someone I love says she gets the most likes when she’s half-naked on a beach.

“Why is it okay for other girls to post something like that and when I do it I’m suddenly called slutty?” she asks me.

I wish all my degrees taught me what to say at that exact moment, but some things can leave one speechless. We laugh, but I give her a hug.

Opinions are like unexpected guests in one’s brain, like how do you tell someone they’re a huge humble-brag when posting shopping-spree photos with #hardworkpays?

Yet at the same time you question motives behind their juxtaposed charitable posts, telling yourself, “Who cares about their motives as long as they did or said something good?”


Then you remember the distasteful ways every politician would do a photo-op with NGOs for the next campaign season, to prove to the electorate they’re nice people.

Just the same, who’s to blame them? The times demand a “photo for the gram, or it didn’t happen,” just like the many people who wouldn’t believe this five-star hotel when it told everyone it had the community of cats relocated — the online world screamed, “Show us pictures of these cats or you are cat murderers!”

Social media is great but we forget to live outside of it, relying on photos and videos instead of the beauty of vivid memory, intimacy of actual touch, and glory of inspiring reputation.

How can social media help one to be social again when every opinion shared online is met with ridicule and not true discussion?

We instantly shut down every opinion that clashes with ours with a blanket of anonymity and a virtual screen that seemingly shields one from empathy.

We ride with the wave of cyberbullying without digging a little deeper on both sides of the story. Why say things online that you would never say in the real world?

Yet social media isn’t the problem, in the way ride-sharing applications aren’t the problem. Perhaps all we need is a little self-reflection, honesty, and open-mindedness.

I used to think that with all the cruelty I see in print and online, that the world has become a mess these days. My human rights professor told me that the world of men isn’t any crueler than it was; it’s just that this time, the information about all of it is more prevalent and accessible. It makes me wonder if it goes the same way for us and the facility that is social media.

* * *

Tanya S. Manalaysay, 28, is an MBA-JD graduate of the DLSU-FEU Consortium.

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