TechTalk: Of public opinion and social networks
Its just the beginning of the year and the social networks are already amass with different discussions and opinions, and mind you, its not about new year resolutions or some melodramatic life experience — its about pertinent social issues that may actually affect each one of us.
Public opinion back then, was strong. But public opinion now, in this digital age is stronger. During the times when social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Youtube were non-existent, the people took to the streets to make themselves heard. Print media was the measure of public opinion, along with posters. But now, the media for public opinion has evidently increased, adding on the list, the giants of social networking — and it seems to be working very very well.
Take for example what happened to the SOPA and PIPA bill, both were protested by a lot of people who did not necessarily rally on the streets to be noticed, but instead, they “tweeted”, “retweeted”, “commented”, and “liked”. Not to mention “blogged” and “reblogged” and “shared” just to get their sentiments known. The results, as you probably have already heard of, were remarkable. The voting for the bills did not go through.
Back in our own country, the Impeachment Trial of the Chief Justice is the one being feasted on. If you have twitter, search for the hashtag #cjontrial and you’ll find literally hundreds of conversations regarding the day to day happenings inside and outside the impeachment court. You might be also surprised how smart the comments are. In facebook, there are shared videos, notes and pictures that stand for a certain individual’s opinion on the case. Although the verdict is far from being determined, public opinion has been swaying back and forth, and that is because the people have been constantly informed, not necessarily by the news anchors of our big networks, but by fellow Filipinos through the different social networks.
If you think social networking is just for fun, maybe you should re-think that opinion. They may have been developed with the intention of fun and recreation at first, but the people who use it have transformed it into something more useful. It has been used as a tool to gather help during calamities, as a cheaper advertising option, as a tool to consolidate the citizen’s comments in order to usher in change, and as means to finding out the truth without possible biases. The games and acquaintances might well be just a bonus for using it.
So the next time you open your account, don’t just browse photos from other people’s lives, read a topic that is socially relevant. You need not comment at all, but at least you can be aware of both sides of the story.