It is fair to say that we cannot protect our students from all the negative influences of social media—but we can choose to teach them how to respond to all the negativity around our society. We can rather teach them to be positive.
It is not true that this current administration is making things worse for our society. In the past, the same degree of negativity must have pervaded in our country—only that now we have the social media to make us aware of just about anything negative or sad about our own realities.
I believe that social media magnifies criminality, corruption, and violence, among other negativities, because these things are what the public wants to know and are curious about.
What is bad and controversial is always popular. Sex sells; violence sells; it’s all about what the media wants to profit from.
On our part, we can choose to divert their attention from all these by first acknowledging them but also teaching them positive values.
In our lessons, we can accentuate the positive, the good in human affairs. We can choose to use materials that allow them to see the good in people.
For example, in disasters and calamities, typhoons, and earthquakes, we can use stories about resilience—those who survived the odds despite their difficulty. If we do this, students will be taught how to look at these challenges positively and move beyond despair but more importantly, hope for the better.
Nowadays, stories about corruption abound everywhere—from government agencies to private sector to even local government units.
Let us teach students that these are the social realities, yes, but let us also teach them that not everyone in our society is corrupt. There are people who are still good at heart. There are those who still practice virtues in their life and in their work.
Let us acknowledge these realities, too, and therefore inspire students that what is portrayed and depicted badly in social media must also dictate our lives.