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Living Abroad

Solidarity Part II

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Technology has redefined the way our society is run. Instead of laughing, we often “lol” or “rofl.” Smiles are replaced by :). The word “friend” now extends to any number of people we come in contact with on Facebook.

People separated by great distances, even by mountains and seas find it easy and inexpensive to stay in touch – even to work together towards common goals. Information technology has the potential to bring generations of diverse people together – breaking down all sorts of cultural walls separating them, but that also means an upheaval like the world has never known.

As such, the coming of the computer age produces many challenges – and opportunities. It lays tremendous command at the finger-tips of anybody with internet access – to broadcast their thoughts on a global scale. It magnifies the weight – and the intent of statements made – because it can be viewed and perceived in many ways by so many others. More than ever, it is important that we be thoughtful about everything we say, especially those we put online.

Numerous cases of Internet bullying and malpractices show the downside of this modern cyber space technology. The Internet goes through barriers – all sorts of barriers – even the ones we put up to protect ourselves.

More subtle is the potential for the damage to the fiber of our society are, the adult public figures that put down others in order to hoist themselves to a position of higher authority. The very people who should be serving as our role models oftentimes behave in ways we should not want to emulate. Good and effective communication and problem-solving skills are overshadowed by child-like discourse.

I hope that as I learn to harness the power of words and computer technology that I remember that there are certain responsibilities that come with it. While freedom of speech is my unalienable right – while I have been given the opportunity to have some voice to reach out to a wider audience – while I won’t be silent on issues that are of concern to me, I don’t want to intentionally alienate people, create rips or disharmony.

The question I hope I won’t forget to ask myself is – what is the point of any of my criticisms or angry rants? Do I offer alternatives on how to do things better? Am I just filling the internet with negative thoughts that I cannot take back, and sending out ripples to disturb the relative peace and calm?

I hope that I become a good student and learner first and foremost, before passing on any judgment on anything or anyone. I hope that I can be a part of the solution – or help bring those to light.

Technology provides us with the chance to enhance many things in this world. NaFFAA has the opportunity to turn it into something that promote great causes, to encourage community involvement and develop leadership skills of its young membership. My titos and titas can provide us guidance and support from great distances as we venture and explore the adult world.

As with any tools of the trade, computer systems will only reflect human intentions. Let’s maximize it to promote unity, positive community involvement, to look after our Fil-Am Family, and protect all of our basic human rights.


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