Nothing escapes social media

READER'S VIEWS - The Freeman

The social media life of a person starts at conception. The proud couple tells the whole world about the coming new member of the family. A silhouetted image of a child in the womb is immediately posted. Next, a party is organized for a grand gender reveal of the child, no name yet, but the baby is already introduced to “netizens” in the vast social media landscape. Milestones in a child’s life are well documented from small academic achievements and perhaps until one finishes college. The couple has become a certified stage parents.

When one reaches the age of reason, the person is still hounded by social media as s/he is preoccupied with what to share on his/her social media account. The first job or career might be enjoyed by means of treating family and friends alike to a buffet lunch, with a picture of the food on the table. Never mind if there would be only a few pictures of people in attendance as long as photos of appetizing and aesthetically-appealing food is there. Now extreme examples of this is called food pornography.

Also, the first relationship with the exact date of engagement surely will titillate the senses of those people who are in love. Or sometimes just a shot or two of hands holding, would do the trick and give a hint that a person is “In a Relationship” status.

Travel buddies/groups on local or foreign trips also have a strong social media presence. Of course, there are leisurely, fun and relaxing activities such as a Holy Week spent in Puerto Galera, a family reunion held in Coron, Palawan, or the pre-pandemic event of Laboracay every May 1 in Boracay.

On weekends, “party-party” is the in-thing. This party may be a birthday, an anniversary, a simple get-together of friends or even a birthday bash for a pet dog, which can be held in a posh venue or in one’s condo unit.

Since life is not always a bed of roses, even frustrations, negative events in one’s life would find their way on social media perhaps not for the purpose of advertising one’s unfortunate experience in life, but probably to gain sympathy from friends and eventually be able to emotionally recover through a virtual catharsis with concerned friends giving their advice. A person to be brought to the hospital in an ambulance might also end up getting a coverage on social media, and this I saw in my friend’s social media account. Her husband in his old age, oblivious of what was happening around and in serious illness, got a social media mileage courtesy of his wife who happened to be social media savvy.

When one posts or changes his profile picture into a black background with a candle in the middle, it will surely solicit reactions of condolences. Someone either a relative, a friend or somebody close to heart or even a pet dog may have died. Probably the next posting is a picture at the dead person’s wake or burial at the memorial park. Similar to the natural order of things, it is expected that the person’s social media life would also end with his/her death, but family and friends may still revive memories of the dearly departed and it will not be difficult with the online archive of photos, videos and other postings.

Perhaps because of this, we may find the seeming inescapable reach and allure of social media a little less uncomfortable. Still, as we now live inevitably both in the physical and the virtual world, the latter via social media, may we not forget to imbue our words and actions, our clicks, comments, and uploads with meaning.


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