Salvaging 2020 & Surviving Social Media Slander

Ctto: Photo not mine

Whew. It’s been a rough week. Heck, that’s an understatement. It’s been a rough year. To this day, our world has dealt with riots, uprisings and so much division among the people. It’s heartbreaking to see how polarizing this world has become in a time where we all need to be united more than ever. I remember staying up until midnight of January 1st, ecstatic and hyped up for the new decade. Little did I know that the world would be plagued with a series of unfortunate events.

Honestly, we’ve all been sounding like a broken record with regards to our remarks about how horrible the year has been. Just a quick reminder, we’re only 6 months in. We went from listing down our ambitions back in January to, quite frankly, listing down a bunch of do’s and don’ts in order to survive June and beyond. You add that with a firestorm of global developments (at this point, it pays to be safe when it comes to word choice), and you have the perfect storm unfolding right before your very eyes.

Amidst the many happenings, tragedies and surprises, one thing has remained constant: SOCIAL MEDIA. I still am an avid believer that it is still part and parcel of daily living. I also stand by opinion that it can be used to uplift, inspire and motivate others. Unfortunately, social media can get ugly at times, and it has without a doubt. From burner accounts, trash talking, name dropping, you get the gist. It truly has become a toxic wasteland, and I’m honestly a couple of slander tweets away from deleting my Twitter. However, I refuse to give up the fight, and I still believe social media can still be used for good.

In a world where misinformation and disinformation are at all-time highs, it is our role as responsible users to clean up the mess we made online, which has oftentimes translated in live-action chaos. Of course I’m not the type to force, but allow me share this invitation for us to become decent human beings again. After all, we all want 2020 to get better, right? It really starts with us if we wanna change the outcome.

  1. Apathy is our Greatest Enemy

I’m sorry guys, but imma have to get the elephant out of the room right away.  There are no four words in the English Language more harmful than, “Why should I care?”

  • “Di naman ako nagugutom, ba’t ako magdodonate?” (I’m not starving to death, so why should I donate?”)
  • “Di naman ako pinapatay sa lansangan. Anong paki ko diyan?” (I’m not getting killed in the streets, so what does it matter to me?)
  • “Ba’t kailangan pa ako magdasal kung di naman ako apektado” (Why should we pray for others if I’m not affected anyway?)

You see, this IDGAF mentality is the number one killer of society. The opposite of love is not hate, but apathy. At least when you hate somebody, you’re still passionate about it. When you are apathetic, you literally lack care for the people around you. Truly, that does not sit well with me.

I’m not saying y’all should go full SJW (Social Justice Warrior) mode and tweet about every single thing that pisses you off. That’s a start, but that’s not the only option. I also understand if some of y’all are afraid to express your own opinions online because of backlash and the already toxic online environment. I understand the fear. This is why I said voicing out is not the only option. Lately, there have been a ton of donation drives to aid the sick and families involved in various tragedies. I’m not saying give your entire bank account to these funds, but 10 dollars or 100 pesos wouldn’t hurt, right? Really, it’s the thought that counts more than the amount. It also wouldn’t hurt to pray harder too. As much as folks have been underestimating prayer, at the end of the day, God has the last say in all this. My main point is that there are so many ways to get involved, which gives us absolutely no excuses to not give a damn in these extraordinary times.

So to Apathy, sorry honey, but it’s time to get outta da way.

  1. “When they go LOW, we go HIGH” – Michelle Obama

This current generation may have forgotten what the former first lady said when it comes to dealing with bullies, in this case, “trolls”. Before you “cancel” me with your hate speech just because you don’t agree with what I’m about to say, ask yourselves these questions: 

  • Did Jesus say “F___ you Judas, you F___ing traitor. F___ Pilate, dude is such a sellout.”
  • P_____-I__ ba yung sagot ni Rizal nung babarilin na siya ng mga heneral sa Bagumbayan? (Did Rizal call the generals who were about to shoot him at Bagumbayan “sons of b____es”) Last time that I checked, he is our national hero and he didn’t own a gun or even a balisong. All he needed was a pen and paper.
  • Since this is pretty relevant, did Martin Luther King ever resort to violence and discriminate against his fellow African-American brethren by calling them a bunch of savages and the N-word? He had every right to because he was black.

You guys see the pattern here? These historical leaders we idolize never resorted to violence, whether physical or verbal. It dismays me when I see a lot of us calling out one another for the things we say and the mistakes we make. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still important to point out one’s mistakes, but to “end that person’s whole career” based on one tweet or vlog is just not it. It’s our role to correct others and ourselves, but why don’t we bring each other up while we’re at it instead of putting each other down. I know. It’s hard to love one another these days in a world consumed with too much hatred. Bullying just got more ruthless than it already was back in the day. Take it from Barack’s wife though. Instead of stooping so low for personal clout, why not take the high road by either engaging in diplomatic discourse or by simply blocking him or her if you can’t take what he or she is saying.

It’s okay to voice out. In fact, you should fight for what you believe in and stand up for your respective stances. It’s one thing to do all these. It’s another to also check your privilege, pride and ego. It’s easy to go low, but it’s hard to go high. It’s easy to slap someone on the face, but it’s awfully difficult to “turn the other cheek.” I believe Chivalry is NOT DEAD. If anything, this, along with courtesy and respect, are much needed in our society right now.

So to Cancel Culture, you’re CANCELLED bruh.

  1. Distractions are Key

I get it. It can get really draining scrolling down to some bad news and negative comments every day. The sad truth is all these have become embedded in our daily lives. I can relate to all of your fears and anxieties. My parents always remind me that when in doubt, give yourself an outlet to distract yourself. It does not mean you don’t care anymore about your surroundings. If anything, these distractions are much needed breathers in this never-ending loop of bad news we have become accustomed to.

Most of y’all are still in quarantine, right? Continue developing those new skills, whether it be playing the piano, spoken word, you name it. In my case, I have added jump rope to my regimen, and I choose to believe that the results speak for themselves. In my parents’ case, K-drama has consumed their TV time since quarantine began. For my siblings’, they’ve been playing with their newly-bought Switch for God knows how long. 

Our outlets and activities differ, but the important thing is that by engaging with our activities, endorphins are released, thus bringing back positivity in the ball game (I’ll talk about that in a bit.). It’s okay to be passionate about current events and issues, but staying tuned in 24/7 is just not good for our health. It really pays to engage with our “distractions”, whatever form they may be, in order to take care of our physical and mental well-being in these awfully difficult and trying times.

So to Distractions, by all means, come on down!!

  1. Hope => Positivity => Progress

At the end of the day, it all boils down to this. It’s easy to fall in the traps of “wala namang kwenta yung mga ginagawa ‘ko” (there’s no point in what I’m doing), “palipasin nalang natin yung panahon na ‘to” (let’s just go through the bad times and go about with our own lives), etc. I am just an ordinary guy, and this is just a small “platform”. Therefore, who am I to tell y’all what you should and should not do. At the end of the day, the choice is still yours.

Hope is my mere invitation to all of you. It is something not forced, but learned. A select few acquire it right away, but many of us struggle to gain even just an inch of hope amidst these trying times. I don’t blame you guys one bit for grappling with the lack or complete absence of hope these days. Suffering has been the common theme these days, but as Michael Jordan said in his famous “The Last Dance” documentary, all it takes is “one little match to start that whole fire.” All we really ever need is a tiny droplet of water to get the rain pouring. Once that tiny seed is harvested, a giant tree is born.

Hope is all we need to spark positivity. Yes woke millennials, toxic positivity is included. If you think about it, toxic positivity is still “positive”. The intentions are good, it’s just a matter of reading the room right. So like I said earlier, don’t cancel him or her out for practicing “toxic positivity”. Instead, try to understand where he/she may be coming from, then try to give him or her a better perspective of the situation in order to eliminate what made his or her action toxic in the first place. By doing so, the amount of positivity that came out of his or her mouth or actions hasn’t gone anywhere.

When it’s all said and done, hope and positivity are the ingredients we need in order to make progress. This world ain’t perfect, and it’ll stay that way for years, decades and centuries to come. But this world has such a bright future ahead. It’s only fitting we pave the way by making it a lot better not just for ourselves, but for our future kids and grandchildren.

So to Hope, we need you now more than ever.

2020 has been nothing close to a “solid year”, but we got 6 months left to clean up the mess we made. It won’t be easy, but we got the tools we need to get it done. Whether it’s dismissing our apathetic behavior, cancelling “cancel culture”, doing the necessary research before reacting to what’s “trending”, being proactive in our communities, continuing to hone our respective crafts during our distraction periods, or by simply just staying hopeful, we truly have more than enough to come up with the biggest plot twist of the year and of the 21st century. 

So to 2020, the people involved, and social media, for the love of mankind, please  get your $*** together. LOL just trippin’. Love y’all always. ❤

Yours Truly,

D.E.L. R.O.


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