They say it’s the start of the apocalypse.

For the past few months, nature wrought its ire on unfortunate countries, leaving a path of destruction at its wake. Just recently, Japan experienced their strongest earthquake to date, registering 8.9 in the scale as coastal villages were also swept away by a 23-foot high tsunami. The great flood “Ondoy” became a thing of 2009. Apparently, Australia and Brazil have been getting their fair share of floodwaters touching roofs and overturning massive vehicles. Likewise, Mother Earth’s rage was as potent as those of her inhabitants. Some of them were, after all, busy staging a revolution.

The defacement of Egyptian treasures, such as the mummies inside the pyramids, sent waves of shock all over the world as households gaped on their television sets, watching the ongoing turmoil in full detail on CNN. OFWs working in Egypt were being sent home. The Internet was jam-packed with documentations of the people’s fight for change against the autocratic governance of President Hosni Mubarak. Even those not tuned in to their TV sets, including myself, were being updated by the minute via the microblogging website Twitter. However, social networking websites were banned in the revolting countries, with the Egyptian government jamming the Internet through censorship to avoid further intrusion from the outside.

Interestingly, social media in the Internet are now viewed as a threat to tyrants raring to extend their reign further. Twitter and Facebook were the tools to mobilizing people towards awareness, instilling the flame of nationalism even more so in their hearts. To the repressive government, the social media’s purpose of merely gaining friendly connections has breathed its last. To the modern-day tyrant, it was the ultimate enemy; the dragon no one could slay.

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Just a few weeks ago, my thesis mates and I were still struggling with our thesis on the effect of Twitter on mass mobilization. Testing the global phenomenon described by sociologists as the “Twitter Revolution” on a smaller scale, we surveyed a sample population of 200 Thomasians.

Our research yielded disappointing results. Despite how convinced we were that this “Twitter Revolution” has reached our shores, Twitter reliance did not generally institute mobilization into the respondents. In the case of our Thomasian respondents, it was a case-to-case basis, with those who did not depend on Twitter at all still being hugely aware of the nation’s issues with the added initiative of staging their own fight for change even more so than their Twitter-dependent counterparts.

Just as we were citing our recommendations to the study, the possibilities of further research on social media just unfolded before our eyes. Filipino students, particularly our respondents, were apparently misguided in the maximization of their social networking accounts. Yes, some of them insisted to have seen its purpose of inducing change with its wide reach, but one element was always lacking—the initiative to actually do so.

Due to the results of our thesis, I surmised that the medium is not always the message. In fact, it still bore down to the attitude of the person using what could’ve been a tool for change. Maybe those who staged revolutions backed by the Internet in Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya had the same blaze in their hearts as those who fought in the first EDSA. In this revolution of 1986, the radio had nothing to do with it. The wrath of Mother Nature may be uncontrollable, but thorough preparation can still save millions of lives. Mobilization was seen not merely as an effect. It was the answer.

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Hanap-buhay

Perhaps, the true apocalypse only starts where action ends.

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