Nalzaro: Uses and abuses of FB


AT FIRST, I was very hesitant to join the billions of people patronizing Facebook (FB). Though I am a public figure, being a tri-media personality, I still consider myself a private individual. Besides, I was using then an analog cellular phone and I had no personal computer, but only an office computer. But circumstances forced me to join the social media site because of my siblings (brothers and sisters) who are living in other places of the country and for easy communication.

So I opened my first account on my office computer. But I became non-active after a year upon knowing that it had intruded into my privacy. Imagine, I could see some of my pictures tagged by my FB friends in drinking sessions and other personal activities, which are not supposed to be made public.

So I was out of FB for a couple of months. But when I bought a smartphone and with the prodding, again of my siblings, friends, media colleagues and officemates, I was tempted to join FB again. So I am now an active FB user. But I only post and comment on significant matters like segments of my TV newscast and columns. I don’t even go live on FB in my radio program.

In view of the advent of new technology, especially social media, the world has now become a small community where people can communicate immediately with the use of gadgets. Facebook is now the most popular networking site of all time. It is provided for free and it has become the best medium and effective tool for communication. It can help you connect with your relatives, friends, classmates and loved ones, and allow you to make friends with even strangers from anywhere in the world. Imagine, imong mahimamat ang mga kabanay nimo nga wala pa nimo makaila, classmates, long-lost friends and mga ex-girlfriends. Bisan ang taga probinsya miapil na gud sa FB.

Facebook has billions of users around the world, and it is still growing rapidly. It competes with traditional or mainstream media as far as information dissemination is concerned. Every FB user considers himself a journalist nowadays. Some are doing broadcasting like legitimate ones in radio and television stations. Even legitimate media personalities are using FB to promote their programs, write-ups and blogs. Some bloggers are earning money from social media. However, unlike in mainstream media, some FB users are not observing ethics and there is a lack of “responsibility” in their write-ups.

Students nowadays use FB for group discussions. Business professionals also use it for business purposes by promoting products. While others use it just for fun and entertainment. But there are a lot of users who abuse it for personal gain and agenda. During the election period, politicians used social media as a platform to promote themselves and for campaigning. They even hire so-called “keyboard warriors” for their campaign and to destroy political opponents.

Many people use FB day and night without thinking of the many hours they have wasted on it, time they could have used to do important work. They posted even their personal activities and non-sense matters like the food they eat, newly acquired things and others. Ang uban pang lingaw-lingaw ra gyud, selfie, groupie and tiktok.

Recently, some active FB users have been alarmed about the proliferation of several dummy and fake accounts, many of them are vocal against the government, especially on the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2020. There were complaints from active and legitimate FB users that similar accounts using their names have been created by unknown individuals. They are afraid that the same account will be used for shenanigans like scam and anti-government comments. Even legitimate members of the local media have been alarmed because there are newly created accounts that use their names.

Well, it is possible that these dummy accounts could be used for bad intentions. I don’t know how the FB management controls this kind of abuse. If something goes wrong in that account, the name reflected there could be held liable. The advice of the PNP anti-cyber crime unit is to report to them any dummy and fake account so they can investigate. That’s the only thing we can do as of this time. But I hope FB can also do something about this so they can protect their legitimate subscribers.

FB is a useful and helpful tool but it becomes harmful if you begin to waste your valuable time on it. The loss of your precious time can lead to other problems like the dummy and fake accounts.