Facebook Encounters

by Jan Geronimo on September 6, 2010

Guest Post By Gerson Garcia

With more than half a billion people worldwide converging on Facebook, this social networking giant is indubitably the largest online hub for people doing all sorts of things from playing online games to taking quizzes and rekindling relationships forgotten by time and distance.

It has been only lately that I have become more active on Facebook because of its strong impact on one’s online presence (especially for my blogs) and its power to bridge the distance with friends.

But Facebook is also full of surprises for me lately.  Because of the diversity of people and perspectives, this online hub can also easily become an arena  for gladiators and their pet ideas.

Many weeks ago, I had my very first Facebook verbal match with someone I don’t know in Facebook; actually on a friend’s page.  Yes, I survived the encounter although I rather wished it’s a worthy gladiator I tangled with and not by all indications a bitchy and presumptuous pugilist.

The story.

Well, my friend posted his thoughts on  about the  recent State of the Nation Address of Philippine President Aquino and someone posted a link saying that people should read and visit the article that castigates the SONA speech which my friend by the way finds full of illogical and unfounded accusations.  The owner of the page warned the guy that he is once again spamming the page for the nth time.

Being enthusiastic enough, I joined in the fray and commented that as far as I could remember, never have cynics and pessimists built or furthered a society or a nation but had rather the opposite effect; only dreamers move nations and societies forward.  The one who posted the link went back  and told me to shut up and said that I need to read first another article (and he posted a link again) in order for me to have the “right to speak up.”

What the?!

And the verbal tussle went on with me saying that no one in his right frame of mind should first impose to another person the thought of reading a commentary in order to have the right or freedom to speak up especially on a democratic society where the plurality of ideas is the cornerstone of such a society; and freedom is an inherent right of everyone.  To make the very long story short:  the guy got the rare trophy and distinction of being  the only second person to be banned from that popular Facebook Page.  Sweet revenge.

I am no online war-freak if that is what you think; Facebook I realize can  also be a very good tool to help others reconnect especially with close friends you have not talked with  for many years.

Past 12 midnight and I got the very rare opportunity of seeing one of my closest friends go online.  Ah, green light!

“Ding, dong!”

I haven’t talked with this friend for many years.

And he immediately responded:  “Hey.  Can I talk to you?”

“Of course. What about?  Gurlzzz?  LOL!”

And then my friend opened up to me.  He is into a very difficult situation, so difficult that after the conversation/chat I thought I had lost all my energy.  He confided to me, I listened and made him feel I truly  understand him.

It was like an online counseling session.  I have not helped him solve his problem and issues, but that was not the goal.  At the very least I hoped I had done enough to make him feel he is not alone on a journey that continues to leave on scars he could not yet accept.

We ended up signing out at past 3 AM.

Facebook can make or break us; can give you new perspectives and at the same time be a rare channel to give a helping a hand if you are open to the opportunities.  But Facebook can also be abused.

Just like a friend who only days ago posted an angry Facebook status update how he discovered most recently that some people he thought were friends had  spread lies about his wife on the social networking giant.

It is also a gold mine for discoveries.  Just like my mother who sat with me to look at some Facebook friends when she visited me here in Cavite.  And lo and behold, we saw some photos of my youngest sister during one drinking spree with friends!  Kabam, she then texted my sister who was left in the province and I did not dare speculate what happened next.

Being careful is still the key and being a responsible user is the rule when using Facebook.  In a virtual border-less world, sanity, common sense and respect in the midst of opposing views and most oftentimes compromised privacy should still prevail. Unless we still need to seek first the approval of self proclaimed experts or read a stupid article just to have the right to speak up our mind or post status messages on our FB wall.

Ah, memorable.

Off to you now folks.  Any memorable encounters on Facebook?  Feel free to share them here.

About the AuthorGerson Garcia also known as Elmot writes commentaries on socio-political issues and blogging at Pinoy Sounding Board in his signature breezy, irreverent writing style.  He also owns a blog about  celebrities in Showbiz Renegade, a must read for me when I’m in dire need of sating my strange appetite for showbiz  updates (read: scandals, shenanigans and wardrobe malfunctions).    You can also find Gerson holding court in Twitter as   @elmot when he’s not mocking politicians and celebrities in his blogs.

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  • Its Seems you have under depth knowledge about using the Facebook
  • Leo
    Its interesting story but funny I enjoyed thoroughly
  • Kannajune
    Except more info for this topics!!!
  • Roy
    I just had the weirdest fb encounter recently, the details of which I won't divulge hahaha! Although I knew of the existence of such, I was really surprised to actually experience it... well, almost. Fortunately, my better judgment prevailed hahaha...

    I am just not sure the next it happens though ;)
  • The way you are sharing that encounter cloaked in secrecy tickles my imagination, wahahah
  • Roy
    I forgot to mentioned, whatever it is that you have imagined bro... it is not further from truth hahaha!

    But like what I said, my better judgment prevailed, so I can assure you, my hands are clean hehehe!
  • Roy
    hahaha! I'm sure! :)
  • Well written post Elmot. It's good to see another guest post on Jan's blog to keep it "breathing".

    I laughed hard when I got to the part of how you and your mom caught your little sister on a drinking spree. Maybe you can share that on Facebook Stories. LOL Baka naman nagmana lang sya sa kuya nya? Hehe

    @Jan - How are you doing my friend? It's been a looooong time since you blogged. Everything okay? If there's anything I can do, just let me know. :)
  • Not everything is okay, but the good thing is that not everything is bad either. Thanks for always being there for me.
  • Thanks Jayps! Hehhehe!...well, my mom got so excited seated beside me browsing over Facebook and she caught the unexpected, with hard evidence to back her up, ehehehe!

    Clean living na si Kuya...wahahha! kung iinum man, for sure I will not leave a trail...LOL

  • Yes Elmot, I got a number of encounters in FB too. It is true that it somehow bridges friends to at least have a communication. It is overwhelming getting to see my grade school and high school classmates and know how they are now.

    On the contrary, I've got a rare encounter with a friend, LOL! He removed/blocked me from his FB. And why? I care not to tell :))
  • And...seeing your crush on FB once again is one of the most usual story I have heard too...ehehe!

    Well, there are indeed FB stories and encounters that are better left unspoken in the open...ehehehe
  • Did it matter that your so called friend blocked you in Facebook? See, I bet he doesn't deserve you. And this therefore means you're free to tell us the whole story. :)
  • Ha ha ha.. Actually Jan, it really doesn't matter to me. I don't even visit
    his page nor comment on his posts. Probably, the main reason why he removed
    me from his FB is that he does not want to see my posts :P
  • Roy
    hahaha! why am I not surprised, bro? hehe... I know you're no war freak, but I am definitely sure you won't take things sitting down hehe...

    aahh... facebook, I have lot of stories on that social site, both told and untold hehe... it even became a means of communication between me and the kids lol!

    suffice it to say, it's a great medium to learn a lot about different things... even on the things you do not want to have anything to do it :)

  • Heheheh! That guy pissed me off really, how dare he say that I should read first an article he has written in order for me to have the right to speak up...

    I agree, there are lots of things in Facebook that one will learn and do even if they are not really necessary, just for the fun of it, or maybe just to be updated with what's hot nowadays in the online world. :D
  • Thanks a lot for writing for my blog, Elmot.

    Your story about your little sister's adventure made me laugh. Daig pa ng Facebook ang tsismosa sa kanto, no? Di kaya na setup si little sister ni big brother?
  • Wahahaha! Gulat Nanay ko eh....aba may red horse na hawak sa photo. Hehehhe!

    Nayari si sis ko ni Big Bro...whahaha
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