bridging or widening the gap?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

“WE learn 10 percent from what we read, 15 percent from what we hear, but 75 percent of what we experience.” – Global Village in Action

IN A well-lighted living room that depicts a familiar Filipino home, an old woman is sitting in a hammock chair; head’s down and looking at her laptop computer.

She is surrounded by young people, two were on their late teens, the boy watching his laptop computer, and the girl put her headphones on her head and appears to be using an iPod-like device. Then there are two children whose ages can be around eight to 10 sharing an electronic tablet.


Then on the overall picture, a large slogan boastfully printed, tweaking a familiar phrase: “The family that Facebooks together, stays together,” then at the lower left of the picture has the logo of the Internet DSL provider with an additional phrase that says that a home is somehow better if there is a WiFi connection.

Obviously, this is the marketing strategy the Internet provider pitched to the public with the use of advertisements, on newspapers or print media, to be exact.

But looking back at the idealistic picture and the slogan, there’s a shade of oddity in between its message. Physically, the models may appear to be a family in the picture, may hold true to the phrase “stays together,” but is it?

The Internet has made a tremendous wave of wonders as far as communication technology and information dissemination is concerned.

Despite the country having the slowest Internet speed in Asia, still the Filipino nation remains an avid fan of the Internet especially in the social media.

But has it bridged the modes?

Imagine a real Filipino home having the power of an Internet connection, and each family members have their own WiFi-capable devices or computers to connect to the Internet, they may stay in one place inside the house, and they may be physically “together,” but are they mentally and spiritually bonded as a family?

These were some of the reflective thoughts, but of course, it’s a different story when it comes to families who were separated apart by geographical distance. When one has to leave the country and work overseas, it can be a tormenting loneliness to feel that a love one was away.

But at least today, it somehow lessens the lonesome feeling because of the Internet.

The Internet can connect and even disconnect people.

It can be a catalyst of social change and generate actions especially if the use is purposive.

Then again, the Internet can be abused, in so many ways–victimizing women and children.

Sometimes it’s better to be reminded that the Internet has become part of the mass media – it can also influence – that is why it is important that we should validate every information on what we read online to be accurate and factual.

Most importantly, if majority of the family members are Internet savvy, there has to be discussions in whatever each members encountered online.

That way, families can survive and surpass the modern age of information overload.

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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 23, 2014.


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