Addicted to Change

A strange illness has swept over the Philippines. It infects young Filipinos from ages as young as 8 to 25 years old. Infected young people mostly complain of extreme fatigue, mood swings, bouts of depression, insomnia and frustration over one’s self.

According to scientists and neurologists, kids who are more exposed in social media, mobile phones and computer games, are more likely to catch the illness. Their diagnosis: Internet Addiction Disorder.

Filipino resiliency is an amazing sight to behold, especially this one…Photo courtesy of Phillip M. from

Last week, a group of highschool boys from Manila confessed of skipping classes for an early morning DOTA session in four days straight. In a separate case, a college student admits logging in to her Facebook account every five hours. By the time she is done, she’s too tired to study and do anything else. Scientists have found out that for every ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ in our social media accounts, a dose of dopamine jolts our brain, similar to the effects of cocaine in our system.

The symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder. Photo courtesy of

For the longest time, the internet has begun revolutionizing on how we see the world and how we use this as a tool for communication and gathering information. But as we become more dependent on its usage and spend more time online than in real life, isn’t it time to ask ourselves: Has the internet stopped becoming merely a tool and started controlling us?

Some experts have feared that this technology, useful as it may be, will cripple the youth of today and the new generation. With so much channels and gadgets available, there is no room for critical thinking and execution of actions anymore. With everything handed freely and easily for the consumption of our mind, is the youth prepared to inherit the country, and the world, without sacrificing too much?

Ain’t you guys better be studying? Photo courtesy of

With this kind of addiction taking over a nation, is there still hope for this generation? Is there still meaning behind the words of Filipino patriot Jose Rizal that the youth is the hope and future of society?

Thankfully, as a junior journalist working in a national broadsheet, I was able to find a group of different people ‘addicted’ to change the world using the internet and social media.

A young professional discovers a group of school children who have to swim across the sea just to get to their school in a different island. Deeply concerned, he used Facebook to reach out some donors who can help him build a boat for these children.

Jay Jaboneta and his Yellow Boat Project which flourishes from his call of help status in Facebook. Photo courtesy of

A youngster from Davao, Mindanao began promoting his hometown through his award-winning blog,

A screen-cap of Photo courtesy of

In preparation for the upcoming midterm elections, a group of university students launched “Tatak Botante” to foster vote education through a series of convocations broadcasted online.

“Ang Pagsusuri” is the senatorial convocation scheme of Tatak Botante launched by the University of the Philippines Student Council. Photo courtesy of Tatak Botante Facebook Page

In the same way, young members of ASEAN Community Facebook Page are constantly promoting the culture of Southeast Asian nations and fostering regional peace and economic stability in preparation for an economic community at 2015.

The banner photo of ASEAN Community Page. Photo Courtesy of ASEAN Community Facebook Page

The internet can be more than just a source of hormonal gratification. While most of the youth of today are influenced by the internet, others will go all their way to influence the world using it.

And their stories grow more and more.


About sentimentalfreak

Consistently inconsistent. Forever searching and wandering. 'Tis only writing that calms down her restless little soul.

Posted on March 30, 2013, in My country, reflections and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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