The Divide

Today the social media "divide" still grows unabated

For the past few months I have noticed an upswing in the amount of vitriol in the comments or posts section on Facebook and other social media platforms.  It started during the campaign season for the elections and continued or grew even worse thereafter. Today the social media “divide” still grows unabated. I have never seen social media so “polarized” as it is today. Many pundits now point to this phenomenon as evidence of the growing divide in Philippine society.  Some say that there is now a division along socio-economic classes. Some say the line is now drawn between the so-called well-to-do social netizens from “elite” schools and the rest of society. Some say the line is between the right and the left allied with the center.  Some say it is between the yellow versus the blue and red. Finally, some say it is between the people from the provinces versus the city dwellers.  
Whatever or wherever the line is, it is clear that the amount of snide and spiteful remarks have grown in leaps and bounds. I have seen friends “block” or “unfriend” each other or post brickbats against each other directly or indirectly.  I have seen normally quiet and friendly people suddenly engaged in heated debates or throw massive amounts of tirades at each other.  I am saddened by the fact that some of my own friends have directed their ire towards me for allegedly being part of the problem and of having been part of the political campaign they see as cause of this perceived “malady.” A lot of blogs, columns and shows have suddenly sounded an alarm over this so-called divide that allegedly threatens to rend our country asunder.

Have we truly become a divided nation because of politics?  Have we finally been broken by the machinations of political strategists and managers? The short answer according to some is … NO. No one group or event can create this kind of schism so deep. This so-called divide has been with us for a long time. We will never have a unified view on anything. That would be boring and the Philippines will never ever be boring. We are not even the only nation with this problem. Even the US has it red and blue states which has clearly been evidenced by its own recent election. We are not disintegrating. We will not cease to be. One day we will all be good friends again. One day we will have other issues to debate. So let’s stop worrying about this divide ... Just Saying.

About the Author
Gilbert Lauengco is a lawyer and current Chief FInance Officer and Member of the Board of Director of Manila Economic and Cultural Office (the Philippine representative office in Taiwan) . He is also a lecturer at the Ateneo School of Management and a political and local government consultant of several local and national government entities. He was a former City Administrator and has held several positions in government. He has been part of and headed political campaigns in both the national and local level. A self-proclaimed geek, travel nut and social media addict, he has several other blogs on several other topics.
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