Facebook and Twitter have gone to more than just platforms for people to meet new acquaintances, stalk their crushes and salvage childhood friendships. It created a community where individuals can share (or rant) thoughts, experiences and beliefs. Social media has also given birth to a new breed of cynics and idealists – a simple Like, Share or Retweet shows support to an advocacy.
Yes, social media has paved the way for the democratization of information, but a harmless click can serve as an excuse that we are actually doing enough. It gives us a feeling of “at least” we have done something. Social media has shattered the wall that’s keeping us from being aware. The next obstacle is how to make people act.
As Ian Agatep, Vice President of the Ateneo Sanggunian, comments on the era of clicktivists and tweetivists, ”There’s nothing wrong in staying aware through online social media in general, but it’s important to have students be part of various groups/ organizations at the very least. This gets them away from the computer screen and provides them something that may be worth their time.”
On my facebook news feed, people are clamoring for “Shares” to a picture of a dying child, to the news that DepEd is not providing enough classrooms (what’s new?) or to an article about a pod of slaughtered dolphins. How many of them have actually volunteered in a hospital or helped build classrooms? Shut up, get up and do something.
Instead of watching movies on weekends, invite your friends to volunteer to a Gawad Kalinga initiative or to visit orphans in White Cross. If that’s not your cup of tea, try to create something that will make your participation in a cause more concrete. You might be surprised that your simple baby steps can eventually allow you to run a marathon. That’s the story behind most people we featured here in Manila Kid.
I want to challenge leaders who champion an advocacy, cynics who criticize systems and people who think they can augment change through awareness. Stop focusing on merely spreading the advocacy and start providing opportunities on how people can move. Shut up, get up and do something.
I remember this group of programmers who I’ve talked to several months ago. They are developing an online game where the tasks which you have to accomplish are in real life. Points are reflected online but monitoring systems are in place which measures your actions. Instead of getting a million points in Temple Run by “strategically swiping” your fingers, you will get points by how much positive action you did. 5 points for picking up trash, 20 points for helping an elderly cross the street. You can be a Level 10 call center agent or a Level 34 nurse through this game. I’m not sure how this project turned out. Maybe they’re close to finishing the software; perhaps they even stopped the project. At least they tried, they acted on the idea. Fear of failure did not stop them. They did something. When will you?
Dare to move, NVP