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Archive for the ‘Communications and Technology’ Category

Two-faced Phenomenon

March 1, 2011 Leave a comment

It's the social media moment as reflected in this man's sunglasses. Photo credits: skuggen.com

Facebook is a phenomenon. Youtube is a giant. Twitter is the best thing invented since Kokocrunch. I have an account in almost all of the famous social networking sites, and is dreading the day that my mother would finally find the courage to make her own account.

We are in the world where social media is the talk of the town, and television is almost non-existent. Are we happy about this? Definitely. These sites made our lives simpler and enjoyable. They make us survive for the whole week of nothing to do because we are unemployed. And with the amount of entertainment they can give us, we can spend hours and hours staring at these flat-screened monitors, while our parents are screaming on top of their lungs because the electric bill doubled up for the past months.

Social media is the reason why keeping in touch with friends and even family members who are living away from you possible. Sharing your thoughts, opinions and other multimedia platforms is just like taking a walk in the park. We are entertained, informed and connected. All thanks to social media and its glories.

Ask Charice Pempengco, a Filipina singer who took the big U and S by storm, what made her famous and her answer will be instant—YouTube. Thanks to this video site and the millions of people patronizing it, Charice is now a star. Same applies to boy wonder and teen sensation Justin Bieber who, despite his minimal singing talents, is now touring the world because of his fame and fortune. The two of them are the walking proofs how powerful social media and its users can be—they can turn unknown people suddenly the talk of the town.

The advantages that can be benefited from this breakthrough invention are endless. It would take me more than three-pages of legal size bond paper before I can list down all of it, and frankly speaking, I am not in the mood to do it. But like anything created by men, this breakthrough do have ‘side-effects’.

Social media makes it easy to post information. This may sound a good thing, yes. ONLY if the information posted are reliable and accurate. But since everybody has access to social media, in this era, it is harder to distinguish who is saying the truth and who is just a mere user.

When the news that someone already brought home the 700 million pesos as jackpot prized in the Philippine Lotto, everybody is eager to unveil who is the lucky man. And after weeks of finding answers in the haystack, a tweet courtesy of a famous icon in the entertainment industry answered all the speculations. Only to find out the facts are not true. If this event happened years ago, it would be easy to apologize to the aggrieved person because the most that you can do is to email whoever is on your list of contacts. But in this generation, the damage is impossibly big. With the number of people, local and international, who are members of twitter, tweeting a single information can already reach thousands of people in just seconds. And no matter how many times that ICON apologizes, the damaged has been done.

The series of unfortunate events doesn’t stop there. Before the month of love ended, pictures of three Philippine National Police trainees wearing nothing but their birth clothes became an instant popular view in the facebook. The pictures, which shows only the portion of their bodies but with no heads can be the reason for their dismissal before they can even graduate. This situation is one example of how to ruin your life and career with the use of these famous sites. (Just this afternoon, one of the three admitted that he is the man behind the posting of the pictures in the site)

We are all enjoying the benefits of these social networking sites. Why wouldn’t we when with the use of them we can gain and connect with friends, shop online, be informed and be entertained. What we need is the wisdom on how to use these sites for our advantage and not for otherwise self-destructing reasons. If the latter is your goal and motive, then do it somewhere else and spare the 500 million members of facebook from your lunacies. We would rather spend our time watering our plants and building cities rather than hear your senseless whines.

I am an active member of social networking sites for almost 6 years now. And honestly the worst thing that they did to me is eat my time. But they haven’t succeeded in ruining my life yet because I never allow it to. What harm can they possibly give me, when I only use there advantages and set aside their dark sides. Like what I am doing here, posting my opinions so that people out there can take a glimpse of what is inside this crazy head of mine.

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Guilty Pleasures

February 24, 2011 1 comment

Illegal Distribution and Downloading of files can be as simple as this. Credits: poplicks.com

“I’m guilty. Shoot me strait in my forehead or force me to stand in the middle of the field while hired gunmen line up to give me my most deserved death. And I am close to 100% sure that most of you are guilty of the sin that I have also committed…”

Without a doubt, I am a certified music enthusiast and a movie addict. I listen to different genres of songs and appreciate even sound effects because the latter made my life easier when I was still in college cramming for the film we are about to pass. I watch A LOT of movies. Although I don’t go for the gory/violent/bloody type, when forced by friends, I watch them as well. When I don’t have anything to do, watching films in the computer is my great escape. I allot a small portion of my salary every month to watch movies in the cinema as well. Can’t seem to connect the two paragraphs? Then here is the bottom line number 1: downloading is the key.

Let us accept facts and get these things right. In the Philippines, we earn minimum wage but would have to spend a lot, which leaves us with empty pockets after every fifteenth or thirtieth of the month. We work hard and enjoy less of what we worked hard for. However, all work and no play will make our lives a living hell—boring and as ghostly as Finn Garrett of the Last Invisible Boy. We need to have something to ease out our anxieties a bit. In my case, I found comfort and peace with music and movies. And since I have less money on my side, I would resort to illegal downloading of files so I can enjoy them. Bottom line number 2: I am a pirate.

Because of my desire to enjoy various talents and entertainment, I download songs and movies almost everyday if I have time. That is equivalent to 5 movies and 10 songs average per week. The proliferation of these files doesn’t stop here. I have friends and most of them are also busy and penniless to go to movie houses, so they would ask a file from me. I am (I guess) a generous girl who would want to share the blessings that I got from the torrent, of course I would share the files. And God knows who else are about to get a copy of that movie or song I shared with my friends.

I am not the only one inside the boat for I bet there are thousands and millions out there who are doing the same. But if 30 people can get a hold of the files that were downloaded, that means minus 30 people crossed out from possible watchers. 30 people crossed out from the list of music buyers. No wonder our local music and movie industry is dying. Bottom line number 3: Downloading is fast, but spreading the file is faster.

Illegal distribution of movie, music and other files are closely monitored in 1st world countries. No one can run away that far after they have downloaded a file for free and they would have to expect a group of people barging at his door hours after the crime was committed. Limewire, a downloading software which has been around for a long time, was not able to escape as well. Although I was one of the first who reacted when it was closed, I can’t help but admire the kind of system they have. Here in the Philippines, the Optical Media Board is scanning the whole place for DVD and CD sellers, but is not yet digging deep. Let us hope and pray for the best.

Half of me yearns for a tighter policy when it comes to downloading. But the pirate in me is protesting. So shoot me now, or forever hold your peace. Anyways, my internet connection is slow and I can’t download anything for now.

 

A Taste of Social Media Revolution

July 27, 2010 1 comment

“In case you are not aware, there is a phenomenon happening right now. You are very aware of it, yet, you do not recognize that it is slowly changing our ‘history’.”

We are going through Social Media Revolution— a turn of events that may be following the footsteps of the Industrial Revolution.

There are trillions of websites as of this moment, and luckily, I came across this page. The facts and figures presented are kind of large, and may seem unbelievable, but not impossible. And I admit, I am guilty of the crime because in a year’s time, I have registered myself to five different networking sites, have downloaded and uploaded at least 50 videos from YouTube, posted at least 7 blog entries in different blogsites, one of the first few people to poke their friends, updated my status and post comments almost every day and ‘tweeted’.

If there is a punishment intended for those ‘crimes’ committed, I’d probably be one of those who were sentenced for life imprisonment. Yes. I am over-reacting. But come to think of it, I think I am making a point here. There must be millions of disgruntled internet users like me out there to be able create big numbers such as the following:

  • Facebook added 100 million users in 9 months
  • There are over 200.000.000 Blogs. 54% of bloggers post content or tweet daily.
  • 500 million is the estimated number of Facebook users at the end of this year.

(thanks to http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com)

Not only that, YouTube is tagged as the second largest search engine in the world, if Facebook would be a country, it would be the world’s 4th largest country. Amazing.

It is also predicted that by the end of 2010, baby boomers will be outnumbered by Generation Y. That is how Social Media Revolution worked. It was only last year that people are so into Frienster (including me). Now, no one bothers to visit their account anymore because they are pre-occupied with planting virtual trees and milking virtual goats.

But I am sure, this phenomenon will only last for as long as we are attached to it. And once a new technology genius discovers a new internet craze, this will stop as fast as it started. For now, let us enjoy planting trees, uploading videos, updating status, and posting blogs. That’s what I am doing. 😀