Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We don't care about the old folks talkin' 'bout the old style.

Social media serves different people in different ways. To share, to see, to connect, to participate -- there are varying levels of usage.  Facebook for me is a tool for connecting with friends, past and new acquaintances. It just makes it easy for me to look people up.  I used to enjoy sharing content and posting everything -- music, videos, notes, photos, until the interest waned. Now it's more of games and looking at what other people are doing. 

The good thing about Facebook is that people get to choose the content they share -- they get to project the kind of life that they want people to see.  Twitter is more liberated because it kind of gives the mind an outlet and its 'maybe you care, maybe you don't' environment makes it a bit more encouraging for the user to type away. 

It's funny how some people seem to have a different persona in social media compared to how they really are in real life. I know my cousins. I grew up with them, but it still surprises me to realize how much more there is about them than what I know.  My prim and proper shy-type teenage cousins (yes, we have shy types in the family) are all angsty. They talk about their moms and dads, teachers and how unreasonable the world is -- and I'm like, what the hell is happening to you??! When you see these people in person you'd never guess they think about those things. We have unspoken rules such that we don't talk about what we see online infront of our parents, but nothing I share online isn't available to my folks anyway. I am what I am and if I cuss there, my father would understand (but see, I don't say 'fuck' as much as my cousins do!). And the most important rule is not to tell our parents about Twitter so the oldies won't invade it like they did Facebook. I remember being told off on Facebook by one of our uncles because "Joy Mirasol likes Barrack Obama" and my uncle thinks he's evil for supporting abortion etcetera etcetera. What's up with that?

Still, it's a nice way of getting to know friends and relatives. Now that we're more connected and free to share our thoughts online, we feel much closer to each other. I just hope that we don't abuse it such that we lose our values. The future generations will enjoy much more freedom because of the digital age, and I don't know yet what's next to Twitter or Facebook, but I do hope it's something constructive as opposed to destructive. The fact that no one can fully regulate what happens online makes it all the more challenging for parents, mentors and other people concerned to instill values in our young ones and help them discern right from wrong, appropriate from inappropriate.