September 1, 2021 (3:59 PM)

4 min read


ALLOW YOURSELF TO THINK. ISFO, in its fourth episode, highlighted the inculcation of critical thinking upon the disclosure of information on social media, streamed via Facebook and YouTube, August 27. Photo credits to Leah Genny Altizo

Addressing multifaceted issues arising from social media use in relation to the recent release of the Ateneo de Davao University’s Social Media Policy, Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO) TV Episode 4 entitled “To Post or Not To Post: Usapang Responsible Use of Social Media”, centered on conversations about safety online and being an appropriate netizen. 

The Social Media Policy aimed to guide the University community in “providing safe spaces for self-expression, fostering respect for persons and institutions, advancing truth-based individual formation and social transformation, and promoting healthy Interpersonal relationships through a culture of dialogue.”

Social media for social good

Dun Oliver Abiera, Founder and Executive Director of Yabong Philippines, emphasized the importance of “social media for social good.”

“We understand, we talk about social media, and we also take creativity out of it. But what has been different with social media for social good is that we also understand the bad in social media,” he said.

Content creator Angel Dillera-Co So encouraged social media users to fact check first.

“We are usually bombarded with so many information on Facebook. Everyone can be an information giver on social media, but we forget fact-checking,” she said.

Meanwhile, Abiera pointed out the importance of teaching critical thinking skills to create a “positive persona.”

“When you think before you click before you share something, or when you engage in social media, there’s a lot of things that we can cut off in terms of the problems that we are experiencing on social media [such as] eliminate the problem of cyberbullying.”

“Allow yourself to think before you actually engage in healthy discourse or if those arguments are really healthy,” he added.

For Abiera, the ability to step back and think before sharing is one of the best ways to create a “positive persona” in social media.

“It’s not about being fake or holding back what you’re passionate about, like politics, social advocacies, or social issues. But sometimes we are trying to get through our voice so much that we become a noise instead of being a voice,” he said.

Leadership through social media

Fr. Ulysses Cabayao, S.J., Assistant to the Academic Vice President for Online Education, talked about how social media can be used to be of service to other people through inspirational leadership.

He said that people begin to inspire others by “sharing their talents” and “affirming values.”

“In social media, we think it’s very private; it’s not. You also have other people who are watching us then they begin to be inspired by us and that is why people follow us because they are inspired by us. And that exactly is what leadership is,” he said.

He expounded that “leadership is not just to occupy a leadership or power” position because “leadership for us is inspirational leadership.”

“You inspire people to go in a certain direction to do certain actions by the very life and values that you live,” he said. 

Being a netizen

Giving meaning to the term “netizen,” Cabayao stated two definitions, someone who is on the internet or a person that responsibly uses the internet to create a positive environment on the web. 

“This is what it means to be a netizen to contribute to the nurturing of the net as something where people will have access to information which could reduce inequalities, could solve social problems, and so on,” he said.

Cabayao mentioned how he views social media as a medium in which we interact nowadays.

“Social media is becoming that medium where people find it necessary to express themselves,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Glaizza Mae del Mundo, one of the episode hosts, also expressed her thoughts on the university’s Social Media Policy.

“That’s why I would really like to highlight the university’s social media use policy because it is really timely, especially to our students and the employees because everyone in Ateneo is really in line with social media, and I’m sure everyone is also a part of social media,” she said. 

The event was held live via Facebook and YouTube last August 27.

End the silence of the gagged!

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