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THE VIEW FROM RIZAL
Gov. Jun Ynares, M.D.
February 19, 2012
After Lolo Sisong paid me his first visit for 2012 the other week, it was public speaking guru Archie Inlong‟s turn to make his first drop-by for 2012 last week. Immediately, I called Archie‟s attention to a report which reached my office early this month. “I was informed that your profile on Facebook has been missing,” I told the master trainer. He gave a hearty laugh as he put down the big mug of coffee I served him – caffeine serving number one for 2012. “Was it hacked?” I asked. “No,” he replied, still laughing. “So, why is it missing?” I asked again. “I deactivated my Facebook profile,” he answered. “Why?” I asked again. “Facebook fatigue,” he answered, turning serious. “Is there such a thing?” I asked, really curious. “Yes,” he answered. “I heard about it before but did not realize that it could be real until it hit me,” Archie explained. According to him, Facebook fatigue was on the rise since last year. As a result, a lot of the habitués of the popular social networking site have been deactivating their profiles. “How did you know the fatigue had hit you?” I asked Archie, a self-confessed Rizaleño-by-choice. “I just woke up one day to find out that I did not want to check my profile and felt good that I did not have to,” he answered. “Before that, I started to feel bored looking at the updates, disinterested in the comments, and was “liking” and “sharing” items on my friends‟ profiles as a matter of routine,” he added. “How did you feel after you pressed the „deactivate‟ button?” I asked some more. “Two things,” Archie answered. “One, liberated; two, enlightened,” he went on. “Liberated, because I felt I had gotten rid of an addiction,” Archie added.
“Enlightened, because I was able to step back and ask myself why I had become pathetically attached to it,” he said. “So, what have you realized?” I probed. Archie gave an interesting answer. He said, “I realized that as a person who is „Facebook-attached‟, I have become a „virtual kibitzer‟,” Archie explained. “What does that mean – virtual kibitzer?” I asked. “It meant that I had no real life of my own and was instead feeding off from what my friends posted in their profiles and photo albums,” Archie said. “My view of life and perspective of issues were also being shaped by the shout-outs and the posts of my friends,” he added. “In short, became contented watching others live life and forgot to live mine,” Archie admitted. “What happened after you deactivated your profile?” I asked again. “Well, I spent the time treating friends out to coffee and dinner,” Archie answered. “I resumed my reading habit and is now midway imbibing the wisdom of my new favorite author,” he continued. “I started to enjoy out of town trips and rediscovering culinary delights by sampling the real thing instead of just looking at the photos of food posted by my Facebook friends,” Archie moved on. “In short, I got my life back,” he underscored. “Will you ever get back to Facebook?” I asked, curious again. “Yes, I will,” Archie answered. “But it will be different the next time – I will make sure I keep living a real life, not a virtual one borrowed from virtual friends in the virtual world of social networks,” he added. “So, what does „living‟ a „real life‟ mean?” I probed again. “Three things,” Archie answered. “I will borrow my answer from author Stephen Covey – it means „learning, loving and leaving a legacy‟,” he explained. “By directly and physically interacting with real people in a real world in real life settings, I am able to learn from them, to affirm them and leave my mark in their lives,” he continued. “Those things have to be done actively ; pressing the „like‟ button on the Facebook profile is not a substitute to those three things,” Archie added, gulping what was left of his first serving of coffee in my office.
Speaking of “direct interaction with real people”, scholars of the Rizal provincial government, past and present, will be holding their first-ever grand reunion on April 28 this year. Again, the date is April 28, 2012. Venue: the Rizal Provincial Capitol grounds in Antipolo, Rizal. We expect a good percentage of the 7,000 or more Rizal scholars to attend the event which will showcase a job fair, a concert and a recognition evening for our scholars who have lived up to their tradition of “giving back.” If you know someone who was once a Rizal provincial scholar, please inform him or her about the forthcoming grand reunion slated on the 28th of April. And please share the information in your Facebook profiles. Unlike Archie, most of them would not have been hit by Facebook fatigue. At least, not until they hold their grand reunion. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
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