Social media detox. What a word. A conscious elimination of social media uses for a set period – ergo deactivating of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all other platforms. But for someone whose line of work revolves with marketing, organizing orders, communicating with clients, and creating content online, it is something I just can’t afford to do. For a more millennial response, “sana all”.
The internet, no matter how toxic it has been claimed to be, remains my bread and butter. And somehow, I survived. Because when you narrow down the reasons why social media has become a battlefield, it’s not entirely the platform’s fault but on how it was used as a medium for hate, anger, manipulation, and downgrading people. I have fallen prey as well of this antic – a subject of ridicule, false accusation, and hatred. But here I am, still writing this piece. In this era, it’s totally difficult to do away with social media. What I learned through years is that we can’t totally mold how people see us, but we can change the way we react to things; we can learn to take precautions before our emotions override us – to avoid massive impact.
With the extended days of quarantine, the screen time for many individuals has increased. And while many have used the internet to channel good energies – fundraising campaign, frontliner support, online creativity (aka Tiktok and memes), and social awareness – we can’t totally do away with people whose sole goal is to create confusion, terror, and hatred. So, here are some unsolicited advice on how you can survive these days of internet trolling, fake news, and political riot.
- Choose your battles.
Know that not everything on social media is made for you. Don’t take everything as an attack. You don’t agree with it? Fine. No need to blast off unless it’s directly targeting you (or even if it does). Remember that this is a democratic country – we all have the right to air-out our individual concerns. Let them. It’s easy to react when someone strikes a chord in us. But think, is it necessary? Can I let this pass? Do I really have to meddle in this? Remember that not everything is worth fighting for. So, choose your battles.
- Learn to Read; Read to Learn.
People are easy to trick, easy to deceive. Give them a striking headline and they’ll sure take the bait not knowing how legit the information is. This is the reason why troll farms are cultivating. And this is the reason why it is important to read, read, and read. Do you know what I do when I see a doubtful viral post? I check the comment section. There I find what’s behind the post, how it was used to form impressions and the answer to my inquiries. Then I verify sources. Remember how we were asked to look for three or more sources of our reports back in school? It was asked for a reason – to double-check. Google does not have the answer to everything but it can surely lead you to similar texts and articles. Compare and contrast.
Yes, reading is taxing and time-consuming. But it saves lives. It takes you out of the false dilemma and allows you to focus on the real issue. Thus, hopefully rerouting you to the possible solution. Remember that it does not hurt to read – if you can.
- Do not let your emotions override your decisions.
Do you know why Doctor Strange handed-in the Time Stone to Thanos and kept Ironman alive? Calculated actions. Had he let his emotions overpower him, End Game will surely have a different ending. Of course, that’s fiction. But what’s real is that: decisions should not be made when one is on the verge of emotions. It’s easy to stir conflict upon reading personal posts and rants of people. It’s easy to end the friendship and lose reputation in social media – but please don’t fall victim to this. You don’t have to. Remember that you can always practice your right against self-incrimination.
- Remember that it’s not always about the whys.
I hope you’ll agree with me that one of the most difficult questions to answer back in school starts with ‘why’ – the ultimate search for reason and purpose. But as an adult, I’ve come to realize that there’s a deeper question next to that: ‘what now?’ After finding out the answer, what will you do? You see, call to action is very difficult because we have been attuned to just questions things. We even answer a question with another question – and this does not solve anything because every problem needs a corresponding action in order to be addressed. If you think what you are doing right now will benefit the people and resolve the burning issue, go for it! But if you can’t be part of the solution, then at least, don’t be part of the problem.
- Learn the art of kebs.
Everything has its timeline. For how long, that we do not know. But rest assured that nothing can last indefinitely. This too will pass. Give it a week or two, believe me, the issue eventually follows a natural death as it gets trampled with another burning issue. So don’t take everything to the heart (most especially if it does not concern you). Learn the art of kebs. Or better yet, be the one to spread something good in this devastating online riot – share snacks, memes, Kdrama and Netflix recommendations, or things like that – to ease out tension.
So there you go. I’m glad you’ve reached this part because it only goes to show how bored you are that you finished this unsolicited opinion. HAHA. Nonetheless, I hope you well. Keep safe and let’s remain faithful of the good days to come. Ang importante buhi.