I don’t know what to make of the trending hashtag #Proudskwater when I first learned that this is hitting the ceiling of my Twitter box this morning.
For the uninformed, the hashtag is a combination of the English word, ‘proud’ and a Tagalized word, ‘squatter’ that became ‘skwater’. In other words, this hashtag means ‘proud to be a slum dweller.’
A Twitter search for the same revealed that tweeps were non-stop in comparing or contrasting what it means to be rich or poor as a kid.
Here’s a roundup of examples:
Rich Kid: Created by God. Poor Kid: Created by God. See? We’re all equal. Smile na. 🙂 #PROUDSKWATER
— P.A.L.A.B.O.Y (@jairusxavier04) October 31, 2013
Rich Kid : FERRERO ROCHER Poor Kid : FLAT TOPS #PROUDSKWATER
— kisha laron (@letmeKISHyou) October 31, 2013
Rich Kid: Skin Infection, Skin Allergy Poor Kid: Bun-i, An-an, Alipunga
— Naku! Sayang! (@Naku_Sayang) October 31, 2013
If I tell you that not all “skwater” talk,think and write that way… Will you please stop your existence? #PROUDSKWATER noToStereotype!
— Miko (@ohitsmiko) October 31, 2013
To find out what all these brouhaha means, I head over to Google; but what I found out confounded and confused me even more.
There are those who tweeted that this hashtag came from the One Direction fan base from the Philippines. Until that, there’s not a lot who volunteered a hefty explanation whatsoever why #ProudSkwater suddenly catched the attention of the Twitterverse from the Philippines.
For one, it revealed a lot of things about social media behavior of users, and of Filipinos in particular.
First, it tells us that even news without value or truths attached can spread just as quickly like a wildfire when it is posted online (And please don’t try Twitter when you experiment on your hoax).
Second, when there’s already thousands upon thousands of tweets about a mundane topic or subject, akin to creating a trending topic like #Proudskwater, unexpected turn of events tend to occur. And since just about anybody can join such Twitter party, discipline or direction cannot be expected.
To be specific, Filipinos can easily relate to the hashtag #ProudSkwater, than say, any other races who are now joining the bandwagon.
There are some who appreciated the Filipinos’ sense of humor and jovial spirit. Others decried and ranted of stereotyping, discrimination and hate about what it means growing up rich or poor. Raw and undisciplined conversations develop unruly debates, chaos and disorder. Worst, some feelings were hurt and offended in the process.
But whatever this means for everyone right now, the lessons learned are obvious: technology can be a powerful communication channel that can be converted based on the intention of purpose of a person using it.
Twitter, like other social networking platforms, can be helpful when sharing good news and positive advocacies because messages can be delivered real-time. But social media can also turn bad when used to spread or sow the seeds of evil. The Bible has already warned that “evil communications corrupt” and this is very true in social networking.
When tweeting, use it wisely with your heart.