Hundreds of comments, thousands of shares, top reads for the last 7 days, top 5 reads in the last 30 days, who would’ve imagined that a simple story about a high school student’s experience bagging in a SM supermarket immersion would generate this much attention.
What started out as my friends just thanking me for using their picture quickly escalated in a matter of days into the talk of the down. I was honestly surprised as my parents were telling me how much shares it was generating. At the start, I was also shocked that my article was actually getting comments. Then, on one night, my friend just messaged me to check out the Carlos Celdran post and the rest is history. Suddenly, overnight, my article became the top reads of not only the day but also the week.
(The article is seen here: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/131783/my-stint-as-an-sm-grocery-bagger)
Social media has truly transformed the way we live our lives. In a matter of days, my SM immersion article had gotten so much attention that my friends would talk about comments that I never even heard of. For instance, just the other day, when we were debating about education, my friend found a way to use my SM immersion article as an example.
Humbling and Lesson Filled Experience
It’s honestly been a really humbling and at the same time, lesson-filled experience. It showed me that there will always be people who disagree with you. There will be people who will berate, criticize and find fault in every word of yours. Yet for every hater, there are just as many or even more supporters.
I also realized that there will always be trolls and people who will hide behind anonymous usernames. Honestly, it’s much easier to understand and respect the opinion of someone when they don’t hide behind an anonymous username. It’s really sad how some people just want to provoke others by giving senseless hate comments that doesn’t really lead to any discussion. I guess this is the reality of life and we just have to let them be or better yet, imagine that they don’t exist.
What I found particularly annoying and enraging was how people would attack Xavier School as a whole. Xavier School may have its flaws but at the end of the day, what school or person doesn’t?
Proud to be Xaverian!
Xavier School has given us students so much opportunities that have only helped us grow in the long run. Truth be told, this experience just made me even prouder to be a Xaverian especially when the Xavier community started defending Xavier. The bonds and connections Xavierians have are simply amazing and this whole experience was a testament to it!
Like a lot of my teachers and school administrators have said during the past week, this is a challenge to us Xaverians to prove all the haters wrong, to show them that we truly are men for others. At the same time, we shouldn’t allow all these harsh criticisms stop us from pursuing our dreams and really make a difference in this world.
Maybe the silver lining truly is that we can still do more to help make not only the lives of our fellow Filipinos better but also the culture of our country as a whole. The response to my article has really got me thinking as to what more I can do to help make our country a better place.
Sometimes we have to simply stick to our beliefs but at the same time we must also be willing to be open. There are always two or more sides to an issue and people will always have different views. Every person may perceive things in a different way and this is what makes the world so beautiful.
In a way, I actually found it really cool how everyone was talking about an article I wrote. In a democratic country, we have freedom of speech and it is only when we exercise this freedom of speech are the full ideas heard. At the same time, this was also a reminder to me that sometimes, we should know our limits and there are times when it is right anymore to just directly and intentionally attack others.
A Dream Come True
Having my article used by our school director during our batch-mass homily and also having my article mentioned during a general assembly by our school principal was really awe-inspiring and surreal. It just goes to show how much impact a simple article can make.
It was also really comforting seeing how my teachers, classmates and friends would ask me if I was okay. Some of my friends were even jokingly saying that they could be my bodyguard if ever I needed one. No doubt, in a way, this experience made me even closer with all my friends!
These types of moments are little wonders that really made this experience so surreal and heart-warming. It showed me that no matter how many haters are out there, there will always be people I can go back to and rely on. And this is what makes life worth living!
Thankful for the opportunity
I’m really fortunate to have been given the opportunity to write for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the top newspaper in the country. Not everyone gets this type of opportunity and I guess, getting all these comments is part of the job description. Like my class adviser told me last week when she first heard of the comments, “Those comments are part of the job description. This experience will only prepare you for the future if ever you become a journalist.”
They say that life hits us when least expected and without a doubt, I am now a firm believer in the fact that life truly is full of surprises. I really just wanted to share my experience with others and what I learned during my SM Immersion. All the attention it got and comments it received were things I never would’ve expected.
Even in my wildest dreams, I doubt I’d ever dream about this scenario but it happened. This is reality and this reality has taught me more than I could ever ask for.
To end, I’d just like to say that the SM Immersion was still an incredible experience where I got to experience what it was like to be an SM employee and at the same time, get a glimpse in the lives of the workers through our conversations. And no matter what others have said about the immersion, all I can say is that all the comments and remarks and the attention my article has gotten has only made the experience even more meaningful and memorable for me!
This truly is a reminder of how interconnected and at the same time, how different everyone in the world is and why it’s vital that we remain true to our core values and fight for what we believe in while still remaining humane and open minded!