FREEDOM OF SPEECH THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
By: Victor Acabo
There are many reasons why students love to spend time socializing on social media. One, social media gives them the freedom to write or express whatever they want. Two, they can make new friends, can connect and reconnect with friends in faraway place, and comment on the lives of other people. Three, they can create other identities and hide their true identity under a fancy account name, without fear of being charged or penalized for using aliases.
But these pros have their negative side, and these cons should be given attention and be resolved.
BIT International College is recently facing issues on its students’ use of social media such as Facebook. Students use Facebook to express their thoughts, emotions, concerns and issues about the school, but sometimes or if not often, it is used irresponsibly, leading to serious mistakes, misunderstandings, controversies, and if not, conflicts. Students voice out their opinions, calling it “their right to freedom of speech.”
But questions arise: Are students, by using social media in that manner, getting to resolve issues and problems, or on the contrary, worsened the situation?
Each one of us has the right to express our thoughts and opinions, but we should set boundaries, we should have limits, we should know what to post and when and how and why. May the means or venue be social of traditional media, we should be bounded by rules. There is no such thing as absolute freedom: doing or saying things at any time, in whatever manner we want, not taking into consideration whether they are proper or improper. We should not forget the principles and the values for and on which we stand. We have to be responsible for what we say and what we do. The kinds of actions we take and the kinds of information we share reflects our values as a person, our family, the community where we come from or the school that we represent.
Because of these serious controversies, the Supreme Student Government (SSG) has taken initiatives to minimize foul and vulgar expressions on social media, especially comments that destroy relationships. In its firm belief that “in Unity, there is Strength,” SSG hopes that through these initiatives, SSG can unify the school, the administration and the students to make the institution stronger.
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