Life was less complicated when social networking sites were not that popular in the Philippines. When cell phones were only used for sending text messages and for making calls. When Filipinos had separate accounts for sending emails and for chatting (instant-messaging). When photos were rarely shared online because they were kept in photo albums and scrap books at home. And most importantly, when the definition of the word “friend” was limited to someone they really knew, not just someone they met virtually. But all of these became permanent part of history when social networks began invading our country. Friendster started it in early 2000 and Facebook continued it until today.
Philippines is currently tagged as the “Social Networking Capital of the World” (Rusell, 2011). No wonder almost all Filipinos who have access to the internet have Facebook account. In fact, Imelda Marcos, Gloria-Macapagal-Arroyo, Loren Legarda and Miriam-Defensor Santiago are among those who are on Facebook (Pe, 2009). Even President Benigno “Noynoy” Aguino III is connected to it.
Facebook was rolled out in 2004, but Filipinos started to be addicted to it starting 2009 (Rodriguez, 2011). Since then, this social network became part of their daily lives. They used it for almost all reasons, from the most trivial to the most crucial ones. Truth be told, significant numbers of Filipinos go online just to access Facebook. In fact, most of them created an email address just to register for it.
Filipino use Facebook not just for recreation. Politicians use it to garner more votes. Businesses use it to gain more customers. And universities use it to attract more students. Facebook is also used to promote social awareness. Charter Change and RH Bill are among the national issues that have been discussed through it. Facebook is also used to express dissatisfaction to the government. In fact, President Aquino’s account received plenty of negative comments during the Quirino Grandstand Massacre that captured the world’s interest.
Undeniably, our nation has been captivated with Facebook. What will happen if it cease to exist? Can we survive? Or it will be replace by a more advance socila networking site?
Pe, R. (2009). Hooked on the phenomenon that is social networking. Philippine Daily Inquirer
Rodriguez, W. M. (2011). Adik sa facebook. Quezon City, Philippines: PSICOM Publishing Inc.
Russel, J. (2011, may 15). Philippines named social networking capital of the world. Retrieved from http://asiancorrespondent.com/54475/philippines-named-the-social-networking-capital-of-the-world-indonesia-malaysia-amongst-top-10/