Here we go again. Truly, today’s social media is the equivalent of the magazine-format of old, without the smell of printed paper. While practically everyone enjoys it for its daily Dopamine fix, it can likewise raise one’s blood pressure a level or two, especially when browsing about events relating to calamities.
I was watching a press conference between the lead agency on geological concerns and the members of the national press, people mainly from Manila, to get a more official update on the recent volcanic eruption in the northern part of the country where my late grandfather hailed from. Instead of vital info, throughout the whole affair, I got the impression that the intent focused more on trying to blame the said agency and the local government for lack of information dissemination and handling of the affair, although the eruption was still ongoing. As the proceedings rambled on, in the end, it had become clear: contrary to the press’ perceptions, standard procedures had been taken, and people had been evacuated prior, and lastly, it turned out that it had been the press all the while who had little monitoring of the goings-on at ground zero before the eruption. That is only the press.
In Facebook and IG, prophets of doom have predictably surfaced once more during this most-recent Taal eruption. As sure as ash fall, heralding the coming of the end of the world, is once again up in the air, so much that in terms of intensity, I would say Level 3, just to rhyme it up a bit. There even appeared lists of the recent volcanic disturbances happening around the Ring-of-Fire in the Pacific, in order to push their case. It makes one wonder, this were so, how come the people of Hawaii who live under the shadow of two of the most active volcanoes in the world appear nonchalant and aloha care-free through it all? Is it religion, or do they know something we do not?
Attempts at so-called relevant and intelligent convos likewise crowd the feeds. In some posts, animal rights advocates (perhaps moved by the well-documented animal rescues in the tragic Australian bush fires) have gone on the offensive, demanding why island inhabitants (composed mainly of poor farmers and fishermen) failed to include their livestock of goats and cows during the evacuation. Again, put the blame on the local units, because evacuation procedures insist that in case of eminent eruption: Save yourself first, leave everything behind. Animals may have surely been part of their priorities, but they had to tend to their families first, and bancas could only accommodate so much.
As an aside, running information on pyroclastic flow and other technical terms on the threads may make one sound techy and in-the-know but, including styrofoam in some in same mix really takes one’s breath away.
It’s a magazine, all right but on the whole, it is the culture of blame resplendent as the main theme of it all. Makes one think, if people were really as wise as they appeared, how about ditching blaming the next person and help out. There’s quite a lot of Dopamine in that too.