Bianca Gonzalez: Sittin' on top of the World Wide Web
THE DIALOGUE - Raymond Gutierrez () - April 29, 2011 - 12:00am

If all those notifications and re-tweets haven’t told you, we live in an age of social media. It has never been easier for us to voice our opinions and broadcast our thoughts through the digital microphone. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook have become instant power tools allowing the youth to express in excess. On the other hand, the digital world is at its best when it brings us closer together, and at its worst when it moves us further apart.

Having been embroiled in a recent Twitter controversy, Bianca Gonzalez is someone who knows her way through cyberspace and reminds us that this great freedom also comes with a huge responsibility. She’s been a favorite on the blogosphere for years, with posts that allow her to speak her mind without crossing the line.

Being one of the first celebrities to share her stream of consciousness via Twitter before it became the medium for oversharing, she has stood by her statements online and calls for us to do the same. 

Young Star: When did you first realize that people had great interest in your online posts?

Bianca Gonzalez: When I started blogging back in college, every post would have two or three comments only. Then when I started hosting Y-Speak, it became around 20 comments for each post. Then it blew up even more when I entered Pinoy Big Brother and I would get up to 200 comments for each post. That’s when I felt that people liked reading about the ordinary life of a person with an extraordinary job.

What are the do’s and don’ts of a responsible online personality?

Ordinary person, extraordinary job: More hits for Bianca’s blog after becoming a host, but with great power comes great responsibility.

It’s hard ‘cause here in the Philippines, I don’t think we have many laws pertaining to cyber content. Do anything, post any opinion on Twitter, Facebook, or any blog but do it in a respectful manner. That’s the purpose of having a blog, to post an opinion. It’s just that there is a right way to post an opinion or say something without destroying a person. My best guide for everyone in terms of drawing the line is, what you post online, you should be able to say in person.

What do you think are the positive and negative effects of social media?

The perfect example was during Ondoy, which showed the negative and positive side of Twitter. The positive being that people were able to communicate so fast about the distribution and donation of goods for the victims, but at the same time, there was a flip side. There were a lot of scams — con artists asked for things they didn’t really need. Connected to that, news that says that a certain celebrity got into an accident or passed away, which is never nice. Double-check before posting anything; Google it first. I hope everyone can use social media for its positive effects: connectivity, development and change.

Some of your tweets became controversial recently when Willie Revillame pointed them out. How did you react to that?

For the record, I really didn’t post anything foul and up to this day, I believe that. I never deleted the post so people are free to check it again. There’s no way that I can deny what I posted, and I will never deny it because what I wrote was really my opinion. That’s something about Twitter, your posts are open for interpretation, and they will interpret it the way they want. That particular day, I wasn’t watching TV but then I got about 2,000 tweets, which is the most tweets I’ve gotten in a span of one night. I was shocked, in a sense that my tweet was taken in a different way and that someone was offended by my tweet. But no hard feelings because what I posted was really my opinion.

What can you say about cyber-bullying?

Actually, I just encountered it just a few months ago. Bullying happens in real life but it can also happen on the Internet. I was bullied, too, as a kid when I was in grade school, like everybody else. And when you’re bullied as a kid, when you grow up, you bring it with you and you make sure that you won’t do that to other people. If you’re posting an opinion along with a lot of other people who share the same sentiments, some people might interpret it as cyber-bullying but baka nagkataon lang na everybody was feeling that way at the most relevant time. We also have to consider that a lot of people feel strongly about certain topics or issues all at the same time.

What advocacies are you most passionate about?

Ever since I started Y-Speak, I knew that children’s education was really my number one advocacy. As of March 2010, UNICEF appointed me as a child rights supporter; it’s an official position they gave me. It’s a huge dream I had, and I can’t believe that I got that privilege. Along with it, education is my main priority and I realized that it’s connected to health, maternal health, domestic violence, etc. It’s all connected to each other.

Speaking of which, what’s your stand on the RH Bill?

I support it. I’m all for educating everyone, to be more responsible, so that we can create a more productive society.

What is the biggest misconception about Pinoy youth?

That we don’t care, and that we can’t make a difference. Because we do care, and a lot of the big movements for change and progress involve us! We’re not just the future, we’re the now.

Do you have plans of running for a government post in the future?

I’ve been asked this a couple of times, but I really don’t think it’s for me. I’m happy being involved with private groups or organizations like UNICEF that help the government. Politics isn’t for everyone!

How would you encourage the youth to be more involved with social causes?

To just identify what they’re passionate about, and push for it. It may not be a grand gesture, it may not be the usual education or health or poverty; it can be on a small scale, like a community or even just one classroom, it can be art and music and writing, or even performing or building or computers. We all have our different interests and if we all do our part, we can help create a well-rounded society. I hold dear to me something Angelina Jolie wrote during her travels: “If we all do a little, we can do a lot.”

Where do see yourself in the future?

Hardest question ever! I just hope to still be doing everything I am passionate about like being a medium for information as a host, and doing my part in building a better Philippines. Of course it wouldn’t hurt if I have a lot saved to travel and live a comfortable life. (Laughs)

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