The Social Media Mask


With the current hooplah about the latest anti-cybercrime law much attention has been given to social networking sites — including my attention.

As I read through (while constantly asking my soon to be lawyer friend to say it in normal people terms) the interpellation notes on the bill, I found myself wondering what was life before we all picked up alternate lives on the internet.

I’d like to think that most of us have become SIMS characters, roaming around the crazy cyber world often picking up several masks on the way.

With the internet easily available, uploading random stuff on Twitter (really, nobody wants to know what you and your boyfriend are having for breakfast– in bed, nevertheless) and picking up a hipster persona as we try to find the best angles for our Curly Fries (milk tea, coffee, roses you received etc etc).

I really have nothing against technology, i’m really all for it (really Skype is greatest thing ever invented!) but it seems like as our choices for social media grows, the gap between our real life persona and our internet persona is widening as well.

The internet and social media gives a person a grander stage to project who they think they are and while i’m all for self-improvement, hypocrisy is not something that I can easily understand or deal with.

The other day, my brother and I were discussing about how much of a traitor the internet is.

As I looked back on past blog entries, tweets and pictures, I came to realize that the person who wrote and uploaded those things a good seven years ago is no longer the same person typing this blog entry today. I’d also like to think that my 31 year old self would also shake her head over what I’m writing right now.

But again, not the point.

In a way, it’s good to see milestones as to how far we’ve come or how we have matured (if we have).

However, the internet betrays us in a way that it only shows the image we wish to project and not the real person we are (although I don’t understand why there should be a difference).

I curse Google simply because with one click a person you have recently met could easily know things about you that you won’t really be comfortable sharing with someone you just met. The judgement that follows may not be a pretty one and could be highly unreliable.

Because no matter how we try, our social media profiles will never tell another person how kind we truly are, could never reflect the light in our eyes and could never echo our laughter. Getting to know each other by engaging ourselves through social media creates a pretense from the get-go and I’d rather get to know someone outside of it. Besides 140 words is not enough to explain how I’m feeling any given moment, they are mere snippets of how I feel that may or may not change within the day.

But in truth, again, I know there shouldn’t be a gap. I should only tweet what I would say in real life and I should only make comments that I can actually say in real life as well.

It’s safe to say that I do not understand per verbatim the interpellation of the law nor will I attempt to make myself appear smart. I could only comment on it based on a normal person whose life has been infilirated by social media since 2004 (or was it 2003?).

Truth is, I’m all for protecting children from bullies who are only strong because they’re protected by the computer. I don’t think children should suffer from backlash on the internet and cause major damage in the future. Traces will always remain on the internet long after the feuding ends. I’m also against sex trafficking on the internet and basically against anything that harms a child.

But I’m also for freedom of speech. The main reason I’ve kept this blog for as long as I have is because it has always been an outlet. And children need an outlet. Children need to be able to explore and share their thoughts but not at the expense of other kids.

I know that bill is not strictly for children but its effect on children who are still developing who they are is more vast as compared to a sixty plus year old senator who probably had it worse in the business he was in prior to politics.

But again, that’s just me and I believe that there are gray areas.

There are days when I absolutely love that I know what’s happening to my friends in a click, but there are days when I absolutely detest it and how I long for the days of getting to know people in real time: talking on the phone for hours or having conversations that transition from dusk to dawn.

The authentic way of getting to know someone and creating friendships is something that I miss and maybe I’ll just disappear from the cyber world completely.

But not today.

I find myself having too much to say to no one in particular.

I’m sure I’ll get back to those days soon.

It may be a bit outdated, but one thing it isn’t is fake and the memories are not delegated to likes or RTs.

And you know what? It’s something refreshing to look forward to.