[Blueboard] Social media

Office of the President [OP] president at ateneo.edu
Mon Dec 5 16:58:19 PHT 2016


​[image: Inline image 1]

5 December 2016



Memo to         :           The University Community



Subject            :           Social media





Social media is a double-edged sword. It nurtures friendships, facilitates
communication and debate; it allows us to learn new things and exposes us
to diverse ideas. At the other edge, social media can be deceptive and
manipulative, inaccurate, even shrill.



We would be doing our university and our profession a disservice if we
contributed to the increasingly rancorous online discord. Simply put,
decent people act decently whether they interact online or not. We do not
shed our inhibitions and dignity as educators and citizens when we log on
to our social media accounts.



Imposing absolute rules of conduct, however, would be foolish and I trust
your personal and collective capacities for discernment. Below are just
some guidelines, suggestions, on staying within the lane of responsible
expression. I am hopeful we can discern when a situation warrants crossing
these lanes.



1.      *Sharing*: be careful about sharing articles from unverified or
dubious sources. Such sources and outright falsehoods do not advance any
argument and are not in the public interest or even yours.

2.      *Hearsay*: discussing rumors and innuendo damages not only the
subject of the intrigue, but your own name and that of the University as
well.

3.      *Complexity*: don’t fall for easy or stereotypical answers. You
know life to be bigger than tweets and sound bites.

4.      *Self-inflation*: you may be truly sincere in what you are
advocating, but be critical and honest with yourself. Examine your motives.
Ask whether or not your post is a carefully curated construct of an
idealized self-image.

5.      *Trolls*: don’t feed them. You will find people online (and off)
who are only interested in shouting and burning instead of dialoguing and
building. When faced with these types, say your piece and end it there.



Our use of the internet should remind us that we are all situated in a web,
that strands link us to family, friends, colleagues, students,
acquaintances, strangers. Our online actions can strengthen the links of
this web of relationships or sever them irreparably.



Lastly, social media equates popularity with goodness or quality. What is
controversial garners shares, likes, tweets, infamy. What is loud and
popular does not necessarily lead to wisdom or the greater good. The Book
of Kings has Elijah looking for God in noisy and awesome events, e.g. a
mighty wind, an earthquake, a great fire. But the Lord was in none of
these. Instead, after all the drama, from the silence of a cave, there was
only a whisper, a still small voice.



Before joining the cacophony of online space, we do well to listen first to
that still small voice.



amdg,





Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ

President


*****************************************
Office of the President
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights,
Quezon City 1108
Philippines
Tel No: 63 (02) 426 6001
Fax No: 63 (02) 426 6079

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