Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

Autograph or Selfie?

A celebrity comes and people flock to him. This time, instead of pen and paper, the flock is armed with cameras. If you were to meet your favorite celebrity, what would you do, ask him to write a message for you and sign his name, or take a selfie with him that you can post on social media?

New technology means new behavior. The tools that we use everyday change the way we think, feel, and act. The internet and the smartphone has erased the word patience from everyday vocabulary. Everything runs in an instant. We expect people to reply immediately. We immediately check our new Facebook posts for reactions. That is why we feel that the world runs on octane and everything should catch up to fiber optic speed. People are often frustrated and restless. Smartphone and social media addition is fast becoming a global pandemic. Instant gratification takes on high tech mode. Everyone fixed and imprisoned in the world of their phones’ and computers’ LCD screens.

The question really brings us to a realization. Celebrities are as old as human civilization itself. We love to be connected, especially to the powerful and the famous. But how is this need expressed today? Autographs require people to pause and think before writing down a message. A written word is more tangible. It conveys ideas that are not easily discerned from the outward. It speaks of an exchange and an encounter of persons. A selfie has more impact. Pictures always speak louder than words. It is a piece of the now forever frozen in history. It presents me boxed in with you in a frame and that frame holds us together forever.

Life is all about connections. We can use any tool and technology available just to be connected. This runs true in all of our relationships, be it in the context of a family meal, an outing with friends, or inside the church. Even prayer and communication with God makes use of tools. The need to be connected is part of our human nature, one that everyone is athirst of. We just have to make sure that the connection is more important than the tool used.

What behavior are you more likely to exhibit? Your choice reflects your own values in life. Some could even ask for an autograph, then take a selfie.


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