In celebration of National Press Week, Asst. Prof. Joselito Delos Reyes, PhD of the Research Center for Culture, Arts, and Humanities (RCCAH), Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies (CCWLS), and Department of Literature lectured on the responsible use of Facebook and other online platforms on February 8, 2021 in a webinar hosted by Vibal Group.
Duality of man: The Real and the Virtual
According to Delos Reyes, most people today maintain two existences: one belonging in the real world, who deals with snail-paced gratifications, and the other who dwells in the virtual world and who instantly receives gratifications.
“Kailangan nating dumaan sa mabagal na proseso para ma-gratify. Samantala, sa virtual na mundo, instant. I-la-like, i-se-share, kukumustahin ka in real time. Magagawa mo, mako-control mo ang nais mong ipakita sa iba. Magagawa mo na ipakita ‘yung longing mo. Magagawa mong maiba ang pagkatao mo kesa sa iyong tunay na mag-iral,” Delos Reyes said. ”Iba tayo sa tunay na buhay […] nag-iiba tayo depende sa kung anong sitwasyon, o konteksto na pumapaloob,” he added.
Educators in social media
For educators, lessening the time spent on social media can lead to something good, according to Delos Reyes. He encouraged the educators to avoid sharing fake news and malicious links tantamount to misinformation because it will definitely affect his/her credibility.
“Pagdudahan mo ang lahat ng mga ise-share mong links,” he said. According to Delos Reyes, it is all right for the educators to receive negative feedbacks about themselves, and to experience misfortunes in life, except for being known, especially in the eyes of students, as a purveyor of misinformation in social media.
“We encourage intelligence. We give wisdom. We should be dispensing wisdom,” he said. “Kapag nasabihan kang […] medyo mahina sa pick-up lalo na sa paggamit ng social media, mahirap iyon kasi sasabihin nila, ‘Titser ka pa naman. Paano ka makakapagturo ng katalinuhan kung ito ay hindi mo magawa?’ Ganyan mapanghusga ang mundo at wala kang magagawa dahil lahat tayo ay fair game,” Delos Reyes said.
Moreover, Delos Reyes said educators must not resort to ranting, especially on work on social media. “If you can’t help it, mag-rant sa kawili-wiling paraan, yung may mapupulot na kaalaman,” he said. “Tandaan mo, lahat sila ay mayroong masasabi sa iyo at napakadali nang pag-quote sayo. Isang screengrab lang ang katapat,” he said. “Kung magwawala kayo sa (Facebook) tungkol sa mga institusyong kinabibilangan ninyo, may tsansang kayo mismo ay bahagi ng problema kung paanong bahagi ka rin ng solusyon,” he said.
Delos Reyes cited studies and news articles that showed Filipinos’ obsession with social media. “Nabago na ang dynamics ng paggamit natin sa social media at internet sa kabuuan,” he said.
“Bakit masarap gamitin ang social media, lalo ang Facebook?” he queried. According to him, aside from putting on virtual identity, social media can also be a social environment that induces dopamine. As such, garnering amounts of digital validation affected the user’s brain reward areas to release the happy hormones.
In fact, neuroscientists compared social media to drug addiction.
“Dopamine-producing areas in the brain are activated kasi mayroon tayong napapala. Mayroong instant gratification,” he said. “When an individual gets a notification, such as a like or mention, the brain receives a rush of dopamine and sends it along reward pathways, causing him or her to feel pleasure,” he said.
According to Delos Reyes, people talk about themselves in real life about 30%-40% of the time; while on social media, people talk about themselves 80% of the time. The positive validations, however, perpetuate such social media habit.
Delos Reyes is a faculty researcher of Research Center for Culture, Arts, and Humanities, and a resident fellow of the Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies.
He is also the Coordinator of the Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing program of Department of Literature of the Faculty of Arts and Letters. He is also the author of Troya: 12 Kuwento, Paubaya, iStatus Nation, and Finding Teo: Tula/Talambuhay.
Rewatch the lecture here: https://www.facebook.com/vibalgroup/videos/502481607401061/