What Happened To Us?

February 4th, 2022 · No Comments

by Benjie de Ubago

Information technology has exploded and has made us closer to each other.  And yet, we remain distant!  We entered the world of social media where everybody has something to say.  And yet, no one is really sociable. So many words are spoken and yet, we do not hear. There is no communication – simply empty words –  senseless mutterings  of people desperate for attention, who cannot even speak properly. Taglish monologues spliced with grammar mistakes, dipped in sensationalism for effect, and coated in showbiz luster. Yet, no one understands! It’s been a blessing and a curse!

Social media has thrown our values into chaos.

Freedom of expression is welcome.   To discuss and argue like intelligent beings is healthy and at times, even stimulating.  However, this is no longer the norm.  .  Lately, it simply has been abused to the hilt. Use and abuse are opposites!  With freedom of expression comes responsibility and concern for other parties. Our Filipino values have slipped into oblivion. 

The upcoming Philippine elections have brought out of the woodworks the worst of Filipinos who with their bad grammar and lack of comprehension turn rabid and are ready to bash.  These people with their vitriolic narratives are hell bent on spreading disinformation.  There is a huge difference between being down to earth to appeal to the masses and being downright rude and crude. “Bastos” would putting it mildly. . This is  tumbling  down to gutter level.

People do not reply to an argument. They needle to the point of absolute annoyance minus  facts and logic. They engage with the intention to provoke, to inflame and to dance the dance of anger. They are out to malign and, at best – to slander and defame. The viciousness is unfathomable!

Adding to the mix is the revenue offered by You Tube for high audience reach. The more viewers, the more for their pockets.   Even  the endorsers/hosts on their own You Tube shows are uninformed and devoid of  personalities.  .  So even the worst speakers without any broadcasting experience, simply blab on with their inane messaging to rattle our brains for jaw-dropping effects – to impress rather inform!

One wonders what happened to us?!  When did this happen? Have we sank into the dark abyss and drowned in the depths of ignorance? And the saddest part is that the people reading, watching or listening are unable to discern between fact, rumour or fiction. I heard someone say that bad language and cursing is acceptable if they are productive.  If the cursing happened at school, we would have been expelled; if at work, we would have been  fired. This means that we’ve lost the sense of right and wrong and self-esteem is at an all time low.  Instead they rejoice and imitate to their own detriment.

The older generation has been blessed with the likes of broadcasters who were real journalists like Jose Marie Velez, Bong Lapira, Angelo Castro Jr; politicians like Raul Manglapus, Doy Laurel who could string sentences together; and TV & radio personalities like Eddie Ilarde, Boots Anson Roa, Leila Benitez who were truly entertaining.  These were the role models of a time long gone who lived by the principles of their profession and our Filipino values. They commanded respect and they were worthy of emulating. They were the influencers of yesteryears.  In stark contrast, today’s generation is guided by so called leaders who are lacking, delusional –  leaving  us aghast – wanting and wondering.

You Tube, Tik Tok and the other social media platforms should be subjected to a classification approval procedure just like they do for film and advertising for print, radio and television. This ensures that society’s standards are met, the content is audience appropriate, facts are accurate, and no misleading information is spread.  Some of the videos  I’ve seen lately should be totally banned! At the very least, it should get an R rating with a warning on sexual and violent language.  Social media platforms as well as the people with the channels should be held responsible. More importantly, they should be held accountable for the content they put out there.

May God help the next generation.

4 February 2022

Tags: News