MAGANES: Critical engagement on social media

March 26, 2018 at 6:03 am Leave a comment

 vir maganes

Whether we like it or not, social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, are new platforms of information that most netizens are using these days. The use of these social media applications are not only becoming a fad but also the channels where messages and information are swiftly conveyed. With their use, the world is becoming so small that users around the world could interact easily through messaging, photos, comments, etc.

In this time that new technologies in communication are fast emerging, social media platforms play an important role in the field of business, education, economics, sociology, science, politics and even entertainment. In a flick of a finger, new information and news could easily be accessed thereby giving us the time to digest them in our minds.

However, at the height  of the popularity of social media usage, there are also disinformation and misinformation that netizens usually encounter. There are websites that are being used to peddle misinformation and disinformation, to some others they call them “ fake news,” to the detriment of our socio-political engagement.

These websites  that are mostly handled by social bloggers, appear to be authentic but the mere look at them especially on how information are conveyed, we could discern that they are not real. Many netizens are hoodwinked by these websites. They could no longer identify what  “real information” are, as opposed to disinformation and misinformation. The Senate Committee on Public Information and Communication chaired by Senator Grace Poe has lengthily conducted hearings on these aspects. But, we have yet to await the results of the hearings through the Committee Report.

We should be critical in using the social media platforms. We have to “think before we click” in sharing information from websites. Let us be critical particularly about the socio-political ferment in the country. We should use the social media platforms responsibly in order to elicit a network of responsible netizens.

I am a social media user too, with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Of the four social media sites, I am more of a Facebook user due to its popular engagement by  “friends”.  Facebook has evolved as a channel of every information that we are encountering everyday. Thus, most users could easily share what they are doing in a given time- what they eat, what they wear, selfie photos,memes, places they went to, favorite quotations, etc. One could post anything from real to surreal. Those posts that I mentioned get more “likes” on Facebook that shares or posts that contain socio- political events in the country. What does this mean? Few netizens are critically engaged on the socio-political situation in the country.

Social media sites could be potent change agents if only most netizens are inclined to be critical engager on socio-political situations in the country. I for one have been critically engaged in these aspects. On my Facebook accounts, I share and post political and social engagements for I view them as more informative to change our life’s perspectives. I even post “shout outs” that are critical as against to what are the norms in the society. Sometimes because of that openness and candidness, there are those who opposed  what I have posted. It’s alright. I found that as part of the democratic process on self-expression. That means too that those who read my posts are critically engagers of one’s thinking.

As social media users, we could also be social and political influencers. This is now the time to use social media to educate the people especially that the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections are fast approaching. Through social media sites, we could educate the voters on how to select and elect the candidates. We could even campaign for them. But there’s caution here. We have to avoid using the social sites to demean any candidate because it could lead to a legal problem.

With the popularity of social media sites, mainstream media are greatly affected especially the printed ones. It has been observed that the circulation of mainstream broadsheets is declining. These broadsheets have now conquered the cyberspace by having their websites. News and information could easily be accessed either through computers and smartphones. These news and information from broadsheets could also be shared to other netizens. Even television programs could be viewed through the YouTube. Netizens are not obliged to use their television sets to watch news and public affairs, soap operas, and sitcoms.

Indeed, the social media sites are changing our personal views and perspectives. We could make use of them by doing our part as critical engagers. We don’t have to believe everything that we read and view from shared websites. Let’s be purveyors of truth as these will lead to people’s social and political re-awakening.

(For comments and suggestions, email me at or at Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at Read the online edition of Northern Watch at

Entry filed under: News.

EDITORIAL: Maligayang pagtatapos sa Batch 2018  Imee joins Balungao’s Goat Festival

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