Filed under: Corporate Social (Media) Responsibility | Tags: Alvina Antonio, cyber bullying, identity theft, new social media, OrCom, Organizational Communication, UP Manila
When I was in first year high school, our Media teacher (or was it Library class?) showed a thirty-minute video about children of media. A crude characterization of these kids would be: kids–like myself–who have their televisions, and radios on, with their ears glued to a telephone, all the while trying to accomplish some school work. These are kids whose attention spans have become shorter compared to those from the 1950s; these are the same kids who have it (purposely without reference) all, yet still want more.
At that time, I quickly understood that I was a child of media–most, if not all, of us were. I adored my DVD player and television in my room, owned a GameBoy, loved the telephone, and reconnected with friends thanks to the cellular phone. Most of these media tools, I used often.
What I hadn’t considered then was my increasing dependence on such devices–electronic gadgets that are rendered obsolete after 6 months. I was hooked, and I can’t return to my Neo-Luddite roots I-only-like-reading-books self. As a child of media, I not only devoured books, but also music, news, and gossip, among other goodies. (In fact, that’s what I’m doing now.)
I’m so lucky to be living in the digital age, yet in the next few paragraphs, I will complain about the digital age, RageGirl style.
- I am easily distracted. I have a very short attention span, especially if what I see before me isn’t very riveting. When I try reading news, I jump from tab to tab, scanning only the lead , occasionally looking at photos. When I chat with friends, I only ever maintain hour-long conversations with the interesting people. Further proof of my need to be riveted is that I have yet to finish any Nintendo DS Lite game, even though I lug my DS Lite with me every single day for the past year.
- I am in a terribly small world–too small for comfort. I can blog, tweet, or update almost anything in my “personal spaces.” The definition of one’s personal space has evolved from leather-bound diaries to the Facebook/LiveJournal/Blogger/Twitter/*insert Internet-based account made for expressing one’s self here* pages we “own” online. There is an irresistible urge to air out what I feel, what I think, what I want to do–virtually anything I want! And I have.
- I have too many wants, and this unquenchable thirst for spending is prolonged by media–mostly the Internet. I can spend several hours online reading reviews about netbooks, cellphones, or some other newfangled (whoot, I finally get to use that word!) device out in the market. Occasionally, when I am hungry for another happy-making purchase, I think: Did I want this much when I was a kid? I wasn’t as greedy then, maybe because I wasn’t exposed to products money can get me.
- I see some issues that will hopefully never happen to me, but happen to people online, ie identity theft and cyber bullying. My inane reaction for such criminals: immature much? Stealing photos and information to make a fake profile in facebook is just silly. Bullying has never made sense to me.
There’s always something more interesting than what I’m looking at right now, so I switch to the “greener pasture.” With the excess in amusements, I can get hardly anything done–or when I do, an abnormally long time was spent in doing so.
I’m all for freedom of expression, but sometimes… a little real privacy is needed. Never mind that my online accounts are for contacts only–accepting friend requests from near-strangers (people you know by face or a few token conversations only), or even total strangers is a bad habit. I worry sometimes that I might reject a person I’ve met but don’t actually remember. And while I’m a bit more cautious now with accepting friend requests, un-friend-ing current contacts isn’t exactly a nice thing to do, is it?
Anyway, my point is this: I want my privacy, please! I’m an adorable girl, really, but as a teenage girl living the digital life, I cannot separate my adorable personality from my unhappy rants–obviously, that’s all part of my personality. So either I stop having an online presence, or continue connecting with the world by showing slices of my personality all over the Internet. I choose the latter, even though it has gotten me in trouble at least once, just like other netizens who got in trouble for just a single twitter update. I have a nice story about a University student who graded her teachers for the past semesters, only to have that blog entry read by a teacher whom she graded badly… narrating the story would make an altogether different entry, so let’s stop here. 🙂 For now, I’ll continue this risky business that is expressing myself freely in the Internet.
With the Internet, the desire to purchase something is amplified to an almost intolerable extent. Customer reviews, expert reviews, consumer discussion fora–these are just but a few examples of why the pull to purchase (or at least, lust after) products or services is so much stronger than regular sales in malls. Online, I can read from consumers about products they got; I can have conversations about why I should get one brand over another. Even brands that don’t include online marketing in their sales strategy can benefit from the word-of-mouth phenomenon online–if a company’s product is good enough, and people talk about it online, nice and eager consumers like me might buy-in to the company’s product. And there are just too many brands out there to stop my purchasing thirst anytime soon. Boo. 😦
Despite the absurdity of identity theft and cyber bullying, bad events have occurred because of such crimes. Thieves use good citizens’ identities to get loans, credit cards, and run away with the purchases after. Some kids committed suicide because of a little “harmless” bullying. The worst of this all is: at the moment, there’s no stopping such crimes. With Internet-based crimes, there are so many grey areas, that some people get away with barely commensurate punishment–or even walk away, scot-free.
Oh, dear. Not another long entry. 😦 Allow me to write a few more sentences to close this entry properly:
I have yet to outgrow being a kid of media, especially since I enjoy all the benefits it brings me. But I know I will have to step up soon, and take part in making the digital age a safer and happier place to live in.
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