“With about a dozen assorted ongoing conflicts in the news every day, and with the stories becoming more horrific, the level of sadness becomes unbearable. And what becomes of our planet when that sadness becomes apathy? Because we feel helpless. And we turn our heads and turn the page.”
TWO major news or subject matters in the American soil caught my attention over the weekend: 1. The survey that showed 51 percent of New Yorkers were afraid to take the subway as a mode of transportation these past two weeks; 2. The start of the January 6 House Committee hearing watched “live” by millions of Americans on June 9.
They were, however, eclipsed by the report on June 10 of the breaching at $5 of the regular unleaded gas’ average price per gallon, the first time in history.
As of this writing, average national prices rose to $5.004, according to the America Automobile Association (AAA), though that is reportedly not adjusted for inflation.
The milestone comes just as the peak summer driving season gets underway.
The record high, according to OPIS, an energy-data and analytics provider, comes as U.S. consumer inflation hit its highest level in 40 years and crude oil prices remain high.
Gas prices skyrocketed reportedly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, with traders, shippers and financiers shunning Russian oil supplies.
Oil inventories, which were already tight because of higher demand from economic reopening, have reportedly depleted even more, with no sign of relief ahead.
The rise in fuel costs is expected to persist throughout the busy summer driving season.
In order to avoid trouble in the social media, may I respectfully suggest the following:
1. BE HUMBLE. Refrain from feeling “sikat” (famous), special, and important. Let’s always plant our feet on the ground by showing that we belong. No one should be superior. “Ownership” of a Facebook account is not a special power or privilege. We are all at the beck and mercy of the Facebook administrator who has the authority to terminate our account if we misbehave.
2. DON’T EMBARRASS OTHERS. If we don’t like or don’t agree with the comments or posts of others especially on topics about religion and politics, let’s not embarrass them. All opinions matter. We must avoid provocative and insulting comments. Don’t do to others what we wouldn’t want others do unto us. Respect begets respect. We can’t win an argument if we use bullying tactics. We don’t have the exclusive franchise to humiliate others; if we do, expect a retaliation and a slanderous brawl.
3. BE NICE; BE DECENT. Let’s use the social media to foster camaraderie and win friends (especially those we haven’t met in person but were always commenting on our walls). Let’s avoid the use of expletives and hurting words, if possible. If we have nothing good to say or post, post or say nothing. Just in case we inadvertently forget to “like” good and kind comments, let’s always reply with a “thank you.”
4. NO CURSING, PLEASE. If we have a domestic spat with our partners, children, parents, officemates, employers, employees; if we disagree with our electric and phone bills, let’s not declare an Armageddon in the social media. Let’s protect the social media’s internal ecosystem with a quality and above-board interaction; let’s not poison the Facebook community with laser-laced profanities if we are galit sa mundo (mad at the universe).
5. DON’T GOSSIP; DON’T SOW INTRIGUE. Gossiping and sowing of intrigues are the No. 1 killers of friendship, goodwill, and peace of mind; the No. 1 promoters of feud, bedlam, deep-seated strife in the social media. Let’s altogether discard and detest them.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)