“So you’re a medtech student?”, was the common response I received from most of the people whom I got acquainted with during the #MoveCebu chat series hosted by Rappler and the University of San Jose Recoletos last November 21, 2012.
Honestly, I have expected their responses to be that way because I have already anticipated that the people who would swarm the venue would either be journalism students, or journalism students. Kidding. However, because of my great belief in Social Media and my desire to quench my thirst to learn about Social Media, I dragged myself. The next minute, I would see myself sitting just a row away from the stage.
Change in Perspective
#MoveCebu was very timely and needless to say, relevant. With the increasing numbers, minute per minute, of Filipino people engaging in the different activities on the Internet, you could not help but become worried if we are using it for the right reasons or the wrong ones.
#MoveCebu became a venue of learning things on the internet we least expect to actually matter at all such as bashing despite anonymity, writing one’s thought over Twitter or blogs, photos and videos we upload, cyberbullying, advocacies and a whole lot more.
Prior to joining the activity, I could say that I had a different perspective of the social media world but everything changed after I was able to listen to the different talks of people who are experienced on these fields. Just like what Ms. Maria said during the event, “The way you see the world changes in perspective”. Indeed, the talks during the #MoveCebu made me change my perspective about Social Media World. That it was a fragile place, where every bit of information influences (up to the third degree!), matters, and it actually stays there, regardless of the fact that you have that big delete button in front of you.
Social Media Smart, not narcissist, attention deficit, or stalker
I did not know until during the event that there was such kind of phrase, “social media smart”. Chay Hofileña the head of Rappler’s Citizen Journalism explained the importance of being a Social Media Smart, some of the ways include:
- Remembering that everything is public.
- Minding one’s privacy settings.
- Assume everything you post is fair game.
- Avoid feeding the troll.
- Never lie, cheat, threat anyone.
Indeed, being social media smart all boils down to being responsible when you use the Internet. She also explained about the three psychological effects on spending too much time in social media sites: Narcissism, ADHD and Stalking. Friends, you are warned!
Ms. Chay left us with this, “If you cannot say it face to face, don’t post it”.
Pushing advocacies, multimedia reporting, and the stories behind the story
Although it is not new to me, Josh Villanueva explains to the crowd that Facebook can be used in pushing one’s advocacies. He said, this can be done in four ways with the help of Facebook Pages:
- Building (because content is the king)
He further adds that with the Philippines as the number 1 socially engaged country, with 30 Million Facebook users in the Philippines, 800 000 of which is from Cebu. One could surely push for his advocacy if the four steps were coupled with determination and perseverance.
Ayee Macaraig would make me realize that anyone, in any place, and any time can be a journalist. Gone indeed are the days of traditional journalism, more so of the print journalism (but I know Pat Evangelista would object to this). With a smart phone, and a microphone, you could record reports, be the witness as news happens.
Lastly, Pat Evangelista shares the stories behind every story. She tells that there is no such thing as objectivity when it comes to journalism because she believes that “How you look at things may color how you write”. She emphasized that it is not the platform that makes the journalist; it is the heart that makes a journalist. When doing the report, it does not actually matter what you say, what matters is how you say it.
And the reason why she writes news is that she cannot forget about her experiences in Maguindanao and she hopes she never will.
I was lucky to be one of the selected people who participated in the workshop given by the Rappler Team. Ms. Natashya Gutierrez mentored our team. We were told to think of an advocacy, create a Facebook page for it, and apply what we have learned from Josh’s talk. Our’s is the BEST (Bisayang Estudyante para sa Saktong Tumong) Advocacy, an advocacy about youth empowerment particularly of the youths coming from the Central Visayas region. Please support us by liking our page here.
Indeed, attending the #MoveCebu activity was a good decision that I made. I have really learned a lot from it. I even had my copy of “10 days, 10 years From Bin Laden to Facebook” signed by the author herself. Lastly, the most important thing that I learned out of attending the event is this:
“Yes, I am not a journalism student but a Med-tech Student. A med-tech student who has a changed perspective about social media. A med-tech student who has an obligation to be social media smart all the time. A med-tech student who will push my advocacies, be a citizen multimedia journalist when the need arises, and most importantly, share and tell stories”
For responsible Internet usage,