Think before you post.

#respectPrologue: This is a rant or a warning. It really depends on how you look at it and who is reading this.

I don’t typically express my opinions on social media but I feel that at this point in time, I think it’s better to establish boundaries between what is freedom of expression, blatant disrespect and abandonment of any shred of humane accountability.

Furthermore, as discussed amongst my closest peers, I may either be a.) in the midst of a midlife crisis, which further fuels my dreams and desires to make this (online) world a better place for my kids and your kids and the kids they will soon look after. or b.) in a state of acute PMS which further provokes the wanton abandonment of patience and understanding for people who think that they absolute rights in social media platforms.

Translated: Private Message, Block button and Report User are not reasonably qualified and effective outlets to get my point across.

For those who think that Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and all the other platforms are God-given outlets for self-expression and feel super human power over your accounts, remember kids, with great power comes great responsibility. Risking that I come off as a know-it-all middle age b*tch, I say this to all  individuals with social media accounts, regardless of age, profession, social skills, political affiliation, familial connectivity, birth rights, emotional capacity and brain development: F*ck you and your unwarranted arrogant posts.

Don’t get me wrong. I am an advocate for freedom of self-expression. My parents brought me up in such a way that if we have ideas or feelings, it’s either we talk about it or write about it in a 200 hundred word essay (applicable to me) or have monologues with Barbie and Ken (my sister). But what was drilled unto our consciousness was that freedom of expression is never and should never be at the expense of someone else.  Just to identify with those who think they know-it-all but are still in their 20’s, darlings, I can no longer count the number of times I have gotten myself into a sh*tload of trouble because of my freedom of self-expression advocacy. Madonna’s Express Yourself single was the soundtrack of my adolescent life, if you must know. But as they say, with time and age, you become wiser. Meaning, you will know better. Maybe not now, soon I hope. But for the meantime, let’s discuss the parameters of responsible online posting, shall we?

  1. Professionalism – Most of us are bound by corporate standards to limit our posts to non-defamatory statements. But more than that, this is primarily because we need to maintain a sense of proper online etiquette when it comes to our opinions about our colleagues, our bosses, our clients, even our competitors. Demeaning/ bad-mouthing/ degrading other people should never be made acceptable whether online or in real life. Should you feel the need to vent, I highly recommend, you talk to your boyfriend or husband or family member first. Should you fall under the loner category, a mirror will do. #respect

Fact: Degrees of separation. We live in such a tiny city, one way or another our paths will cross. You will meet me. Maybe we will do business, maybe we won’t. It’s always so much nicer not to burn bridges, especially when you’re in the Sales, Marketing, Customer Relations and Hospitality industry, don’t you think? 🙂

2. Accountability – For this generation, I think that other than death and taxes and the armageddon, we should include ‘Screenshot’ as one of mankind’s greatest fears. I find it absurdly amazing and scary how one click of a button could immortalize you, your post, your throwback thursday pic, your sex video, whatever. It’s a digital fountain of youth. Again, for the sake of emphasis, with great power comes great responsibility. Think before you post. Respect yourself and others will respect you. #respect

Fact: Goodbye post. Hello hard drive. Hello Watsapp. Hello WeChat. Hello Viber. Is there still YM? Point is, digital sharing is boundless.

3. Responsibility – Not unless you’re Bobby Nalzaro or Leo Lastimosa or Karen Davila or Anderson Cooper, I believe you don’t have the background, credibility, awards, commendations and most of all experience to report so-called details. Opinions stated as facts do not merit as responsible journalism. Not that I’m saying, personal FB posts by amateurs are now considered legit.There is a process to that. It’s called education and experience. Opinions stated as facts will remain just that, opinions. You don’t have to make it a life mission to persuade others to empathize with you or prey on other people’s vulnerability. Say, a tragic death. I don’t know everyone else’s past, but the death of a loved one is never easy. If you haven’t experienced great and sudden loss in your life, I do not wish it upon you and your family. No one, not even heartless kids like you, deserve to feel that kind of profound pain.

Maybe at some point in your life, you were a disgruntled customer, employee, client, patient, etc. And that’s normal, that’s okay. Sometimes, we charge it to the company (harhar) but most of the time, we have to charge it to experience. I believe that’s what hotlines are for, quality control section, customer relations department, but really, why go through all these when you could just talk it out with the party concerned? Because you see, darling, in the adult world, this is what we call ‘providing solutions’. The sooner we address the problem, the faster we can move on with our lives, the lesser negativity we have to deal with. This, darling, is part of our corporate and social responsibility. We don’t have to wait for someone to die to voice our concerns about them, do we? Going back, we have consumer, client, patient rights, yes,but never was it ever made humanely acceptable to take someone else’s life. Death, in my unsolicited opinion, should never be an answer. And to say that a persons tragic death was well deserved is nothing short of an anencephalic (fancy term for absence of a brain, for everyone’s benefit) opinion. To filter our thoughts and emotions and think about the impact these might have on other people especially for those who are grieving. Ask yourself: Will this make a positive difference? If it doesn’t, then think about it. What are you aiming for? What is your end goal? 1-10, where are you on the *sshole scale? This, my darling, is part of our personal responsibility.

Fact: Death. That’s why they call it ‘pay our last respects’, when someone leaves this world, right? Mutual respect makes the world a much much more better place, for you, for me, for the entire human race and those who are no longer with us. #respect

Darling, don’t take this the wrong way. I understand you. More than that, I respect you and your opinions. All I’m asking is that you TRY to understand those of us who feel a little lost and are trying to make sense out of something that is fundamentally senseless. In any other given time and place, I will just let this pass. Will just disregard you as another insignificant post on my newsfeed or screenshot passed around the chat rooms. But not this time, now is a time to mourn and remember those who passed away and the goodness they brought into this world. Remember, there is a time and place for everything, my dear. I certainly wish that someday, this will all make sense to you. And I hope, that for your sake, when your time comes, you will be remembered for the good things you did, not for your shortcomings which I know will hurt your loved ones even more. We are not in any position to judge, because as far as my beliefs go, we are all the same. Nobody is perfect, my darling. I’m sure you already know this. But our imperfections should not define who we are at the end of this life.

As a mother, as a wife, as a sister, as a daughter, basically as a human being, I want to live in a world where respect is unequivocal. Because we all deserve it. Because the world needs it. And this is the kind of world I want my son and your children to live in.

I hope this post reaches the one it is meant for. Because you know, that’s the problem with facts. They have a way of discrediting opinions of those who think they are not vulnerable. 😉

Author’s Note: This is directed to the girl who posted that Dr. Abbu ‘should’ve seen this coming’. Rest in peace Doc Abbu. You will be forever in our hearts.

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