The advent of social media paved the way for the fast transmission of information across the globe. An event unfolding on one side of the world can be relayed to the other side in a matter of seconds. We can actually say that most of us have been heavily dependent on social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news bits. I am one of these guys.
I mean I can check on my twitter account and get news updates as it happens where it happens even before it can be aired on television. The information and the visual imagery that I get on my gadget are first hand from people who are on the scene. Social media is the new means for information dissemination.
Sadly, the emergence of these social media applications also saw the emergence of the peculiar human behavior of highlighting mistakes. The habit of throwing other people’s errors into the limelight, in social media terms – viral, have created an oppressive behavior by netizens against the hapless victims. Though a small percentage of these posts may be true, majority of which tell only half of the story.
Two Philippine athletes, Pahoyo and Fabriga, took the beating on social media this week when videos of their failed dive attempt in the ongoing SEA Games were posted on social media. The video went viral in a few hours and generated different reactions from netizens. A lot of the comments lambasted the two for the very poor performance while some came into their defense. The sad reality was that they both became the butt of jokes in a matter of minutes.
I stumbled upon the video and I have to admit that it made me laugh. I thought to myself – how could that have happened? I even thought, are they really from the Philippines? So I checked on the conversation of the two athletes and both were speaking in Tagalog. Okay, they are Filipinos. After, carefully deciphering their conversation, I tweeted back “Kinakabahan naman pala.” to the person who shared the video on twitter.
Needless to say, I saw how the post got re-tweeted on Twitter and shared on Facebook. I felt bad for the two Pinoy divers. One comment even went on to say that the taxes that we paid for goes to the training of these two athletes. But if you come to think of it, these young kids wouldn’t be in Singapore if they had not shown promise so reading all these harsh comments was probably a premature judgement by netizens.
Good thing that I also bumped onto a shared Facebook post on an earlier synchronized diving competition where both athletes showed their skills in diving. Though they did not win the competition, the video showed their remarkable skills in diving. When I read through the post, it turns out that the post is from Pahoyo who even chided that people are focusing on the error when the focus should be on their earlier performance that showed how great their tandem was.
I know how harsh social media is so I took it upon myself to share the second video that showed their great performance. I tweeted the more positive video to the one who re-tweeted the first video, hoping that the person would also take the time to retweet the second one. The person never did. I tweeted two social media personalities who have a large following, explaining the circumstances, and asked their help to make the second video viral. I never saw it re-tweeted. Well, so much lip service for the personality who claimed to be against bullying. I requested my followers to retweet the video so as to help correct the premature judgement because of the viral video. I am glad that my friends did. By the time the early evening news was aired, I was glad to hear a more defensive position in the news reporting, in favor to the two athletes.
I do not stake any claim about getting the second video onto the platform as some may have done the same thing but the whole exercise, if I may call it, proved the harsh reality of netizens’ behavior and social media. The first video went viral in a couple of hours while the second video, one that showed greatness, took a long time to pull through.
Does it show that netizens would rather glorify the errors committed by individuals so as to generate a little dose of laughter rather than focusing on the positive ones? Does it mean that we find greatness boring and that the small margin of errors are one that picks up our interest? If, in both cases, we find the answers to be affirmative then something is not right.
What our world needs right now is a dose of positivity, whether big or small. We should start in our own little way to see the good colors of life rather than seeing a person or persons being made fun. We scorn others for oppression and yet we smile and jeer at these errors, what is the difference between the two?
As a social media user, I encourage others to think before you click. That is true. The post that you are sharing must not blind side the real truth and should not in anyway undermine other individuals. We should be responsible in what we share as we do not know if people would be taking your post with much thought or as a grain of salt. It takes a great deal of self-respect for one to be able to respect others, as well. As a golden rule, look into the mirror first before you look at others.
And besides, the whole world can take in another positive thought more than your crap. Trust me, we all need a little positivity now.