As a Filipino millennial, I am blessed to be born on this generation. A generation that is not just empowered by technology, but also living at a time where the prior means are still existing and available despite its near defunctness. I have a few pen pals from around the world and technology introduced me to other people who are also interested in learning about other cultures just like I am, and at the same time fascinated with the traditional style of mailing and correspondence. Also, I still enjoy reading newspapers through the traditional early morning printed copies but also checks on news sites for the freshest happenings in and out of the country.
But despite the benefits that we get from social media and how technology brings us closer not just to our loved ones but also to the infinite pool of knowledge that is just waiting to be clicked and accessed, there are detrimental effects that social media has towards netizens like almost all of us. One of which is addiction. Through the Internet Addiction Assessment online quiz that we took on SLE9 (Psychology Tools, 2019), the set of questions are very relevant not just to myself but also to every person nowadays. Usually, younger Filipinos are being pinpointed to internet usage but it goes to show that 99% of internet users in the Philippines have at least one social media account (Gonzales, 2019), that’s almost every single internet user in the country. Addiction can be traced to different sources but one of the most prevalent on these times is Internet Addiction because most individuals that suffer from it does not know that they have it or mostly in denial of it. It is a very serious case that causes not just broken relationships and unproductivity but even neurological complications and psychological disturbances (Cash, Rae, Steel, & Winkler, 2012).
As an educator, social media is a very powerful tool that can promote learning not just inside the classrooms but more so beyond it. The perfect example is the use of Facebook Groups in facilitating classroom announcements and even disseminating lecture notes and handouts from the teacher to the members of the class. SurveyMonkey.com is a powerful site that does not just help researchers gather survey data but also help teachers in creating online graded tests based on the teacher’s requirements (Survey Monkey, 1999). But with all these benefits, how can we balance these benefits against the dangers that social media and the internet in general has in store for our students? One innovation on DepEd’s K to 12 is the introduction and imposing of the Media and Information Literacy subject (Department of Education, 2013). This subject talks about not just the history and processes of media and information dissemination but when I was teaching this subject for a semester last year, it also has a certain topic about social media awareness. I was able to create activities with my students that helped them see the importance of the internet, what kinds of information they can extract from it and what are their responsibilities as a netizen.
Social media has enabled me personally to learn more about the society and the culture of people who are living in a world that is very different from mine. With the internet, I was able to get in touch with family and friends and even led me to knowing a few life-long friends through the years despite me never seeing them in person yet. With proper and responsible use, internet and social media can bring us a wide pool of benefits that can make our lives not just easier but better. That’s what we as educators should share to our students and what we as elder family members should promote and impose in our respective homes.
Cash, H., Rae, C., Steel, A., & Winkler, A. (2012, November). Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice. Retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480687/
Department of Education. (2013, December). K to 12 Senior High School Core Curriculum – Media and Information Literacy. Retrieved from Department of Education: https://www.deped.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SHS-Core_Media-and-Information-Literacy-CG.pdf
Gonzales, G. (2019, January 31). Filipinos spend most time online, on social media worldwide – report. Retrieved from Rappler: https://www.rappler.com/technology/news/222407-philippines-online-use-2019-hootsuite-we-are-social-report
Psychology Tools. (2019). Psychology Tools. Retrieved from Internet Addiction Assessment: https://psychology-tools.com/test/internet-addiction-assessment
Survey Monkey. (1999). Retrieved from About Us: Survey