What Shook me More Than Japan’s Aftershock

The world was literally, figuratively AND seriously shaken by the news that an 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s capital, Tokyo 2:46 PM of Friday, March 11. Following that massive  quake were several aftershocks which eventually unleashed a 13-foot tsunami. And as everyone stayed glued on news channels delivering blow-by-blow coverage of the disaster, the cyber-world was as hyped as much as the real world. Everybody started sending off their prayers for Japan as it was left devastated by those natural calamities. Micro-blogging site, Twitter was ‘flooded’ by posts meant to send prayers for the safety and fast recovery of Japan, thus making the hashtag #prayforjapan top the trending topics worldwide. Along with this hash was #tsunamiwhich also managed to make it to Twitter’s TT worldwide.

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In this modern age, everyone can get information in just a blink of an eye or a single click via the internet. Along the perks the internet brings with regards to information dissemination was the fact that not everybody is capable of using their so-called edit buttons while posting stuff online.

My father has been working in Japan for decades now. My father’s younger sister and her five children also lives there. Imagine the fear I felt upon reading the bad news about Japan post after post on my Twitter feed.

The first thing I did was message my father via his Facebook to check on him. I am starting to worry because almost an hour passed and he was yet t0 reply. I started to panic a little so I started to look for some information online about the affected areas using my mobile web browser. Still, I failed to get any concrete information on whether my father is situated somewhere safe or not.

This is not the first time that I experienced following an event via social networking sites, but it is the first time that someone close to me was somehow near the place of the calamity.

With adrenalin and blood pressure shooting within my system, I can’t help but be pissed by some insensitive posts on social networking sites. Remember the Quirino bus hostage tragedy (August 23, 2010)? I was really bothered by how a lot of people started posting stuff as if they can do any better than those policemen on duty. I mean, you can say this and that but you really can’t do anything because we are just sitting comfortably in front of our televisions trying to sound smarter than the people risking their lives on the field. Add to that those posts about the offender, Mr. Mendoza. A lot of people started referring to him as if he has never done anything good in his entire existence. I am not expecting everyone to have broader minds when it comes to stuff like that, but come on, it’s just so irrational and insensitive. Also in that same night, everybody started tweeting about Venus Raj, that she should save our country’s image via her bid for the Ms. Universe crown. (That’s another story that I’d rather not talk about) I was affected then. But with this Japan thing, I think I was a bit more sensitive because someone dear to me might be in danger. Imagine how pissed I am by tweets suggesting that this might be the start of the end of the world. You know, nobody can dictate what others should or should not post on their personal accounts but I am expecting others to be considerate about how others feel, at the very least. People posting stuff that they think make them sound smarter also got into my nerves earlier. People saying we should to this, we should do that, yadda, yadda. If you can’t help but post something, you better make it helpful. Just retweet informative posts, we don’t need quotations. Believe me. And one more thing. I find posts with smileys, or ‘frowneys’ if you may, a bit insincere. Really. Because it’s lame.

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I’m not saying that I am the most sensitive person when it comes to posting stuff online. I am just saying this in a point of view of someone who knows someone who is somehow involved in an unfortunate event. See, anyone in this situation gets a little bit more sensitive than the usual. All I’m saying is that everyone should be more considerate on posting stuff online.

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I would like to send my sincerest prayers for everyone’s safety and for the fast recovery of Japan from this misfortune. Thank God because my tatay, my Tita Del and her children are all safe and are far from the affected areas of Japan. I am hoping that everyone with relatives in Japan has contacted their loved ones. Let us also pray for the souls of our Japanese brothers who died in this calamity.