THIS quarantine that has lasted way too long has afforded people more time to be active, to different degrees, on a variety of social media platforms. I will not bewail the ills of spending an inordinate amount of our waking hours online. To some extent, we are all guilty of that and we don’t need our smartphones to keep track of our screen time usage. Our stiff necks and carpal tunnel-related pain can tell us when we’ve been hunched over too long, or our fingers molded into the shape of our gadget, thank you very much.
However it is a reality of the 21st century and dating “back” to the latter part of the 20th, that we rely on social media to keep abreast with what’s happening in the world around us, whether it be in the political realm, in local and international news, or staying up to date with old and new friends and their children, pets, plants, and choice of food.
To satisfy all these needs to be in the loop and to be informed, Facebook would be at the top of many Filipinos’ list. And Facebook friends, whether they be real-life or online-only “friends,” participate at a high level of engagement, almost as much to make their presence felt as to show appreciation for what they see. Facebook comments sections are active and buzzing, and Facebook comments sections are also a goldmine for some really strange opinions, thoughts and even behaviors.
The phrase that young kids like to use, TLDR (“Too Long, Didn’t Read”) can be adapted for the following comment etiquette points:
Too Lazy? Don’t React.
If you are not inclined to read through the entire common thread (applicable to those where there are less than 50 comments), don’t send off a comment without knowing about what came before. Especially when you have a question, check to see if it hasn’t already been answered by original poster.
Too Late? Don’t Resurrect.
More often than not, a Facebook post is made in the heat of the moment— original poster is excited, happy, upset, scared, worried about something. If you’ve arrived very late to the party, maybe 5 days or more, it’s probably better to just read and move on. Your present reaction may not necessarily match the original poster’s emotions anymore.
Think Long, Don’t Ramble.
Your reaction to the original post may be visceral, or may call up a remote childhood memory. But refrain from going on and on and on and on in the comment section because no matter if your intention is to show how much you can relate, it’s still kind of a form of sabotage of the original poster’s entry.
By all means, engage, because that’s what original posters want. But stay in your lane and if you really feel compelled to share a personal experience, Messenger might be the better venue for it. Also, it’s not always about you. So when you come across something that admonishes the reader, don’t assume that you’ve done something wrong and the poster is talking about you. Maybe it’s just an observation of general behavior.
What’s that other phrase? “Bato bato sa langit, ang tamaan, guilty”