Young Filipinos these days are called the “Selfie Generation” for their extreme penchant for social media—posting almost every aspect of their lives in the World Wide Web. Recent TV reports, however, have experts speaking that excessive use of the Internet will most likely bring harm to children and teenagers one way or another.
Take for example the two “pabebe” girls who are now the subject of jokes after starring in a viral video where they obnoxiously act child-like believing it makes them cute. Then there was also the very disturbing private video of 12-year-old ABS-CBN talent Andrea Brillantes, which was leaked all over the Net. Most recently, the supposed suicide note of Julia Louise Buencamino also surfaced in social networking sites shortly after she passed away on July 7.
As the new endorser of a local smartphone brand, 23-year-old Enrique Gil of ABS-CBN is fully aware of the ill effects of the Internet on individuals, especially to those who are in show business like him.
“Sinasabi ko lagi, kung may fans, may haters. Hindi mawawala ‘yon. Hindi maiiwasan ‘yon eh. Kaya kung ako sa inyo, just don’t go on social media,” he said during his contract signing with Cloudfone at Romulo Café in Quezon City.
He continued, “At minsan, may mga taong sobrang na-a-affect sa social media. Kaya ako, I check Twitter but not so much. Kapag minsan may mga hindi magagandang salita—[I think to myself] ‘Seryoso? Ang sama naman nito’—I do not read na lang.”
It’s a different case for his love teammate Liza Soberano. Enrique shared that when they are together, he notices how the usually bubbly Liza suddenly becomes gloomy. Whenever he asks her why, the only response he gets is “Kasi yong comment dito [because of this comment here]” pertaining to the bashing she must have read about her.
Together, Liza and Enrique are considered the “breakthrough loveteam” of ABS-CBN for 2015 having starred in the top-rating teleserye Forevermore, and the box-office hit Just the Way You Are.
“Para sa akin, iwasan na lang magbasa. At kapag alam mo na hindi totoo, [then]it’s just a waste of time [to take it seriously],” he said firmly.
Despite all the downsides to social networking, Enrique still believes that there are many advantages to having a reliable smartphone. He shared he uses two, his affordable Cloudfone and his expensive iPhone.
“I use my Cloudfone for a lot of things—text and calls, apps, for work. Ito ang phone ni Xander sa Forevermore!” So useful is his Cloudfone, according to Enrique, that often times, he only uses his other gadgets for downloading and listening to music.
For the hunky celebrity, there is no denying how smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of the everyday life of the hypersocial youth. More especially for a celebrity like him.
Asked what he posts in his social media accounts, the young actor replied, “I post a lot about my life. I just don’t like ‘yong mga tsismis. I started using Instagram last year kasi hindi talaga ako mahilig. Pero sabi ko, it’s nice to know what people are doing. And they want to know what I’m doing. [Then] I kind of got into it. Para sa akin it’s more of connecting with the fans.”
Always one to set limitation in social media, he quickly added, “But not too much! Because other people just bring all their pain out there. Maybe it helps them, pero para sa akin, [I choose] to keep it to myself.”
So what would he like to say to young Filipinos facing tough times because of the Internet? “Face it,” were his words of advice.
“Face it. I mean, you think that’s the end of the road but you face it. After that, that’s when you become stronger,” he wisely ended.