How Social Media and Cellular Phones Defeated Vandalism

Simple things that you see while you spend your time, say on your way to work or while you religiously wait for your kid at school together with mommies with the same duties makes you realize little things in life that were common back in the days and today seems to be of non-existent. This is what I have pondered on today. Vandalism.

My husband and I was on our way to Tagaytay to settle things about our Social Security. We rode the bus and a painted note on the wall of the bus caught my attention. “No Vandalism”.

Vandalism is s imply the act of writing or painting messages, drawings and images into places where you shouldn’t be placing them like walls, the walls on the buss, in a public toilet or even your chairs and tables at school.

I suddenly recalled the time when I was still in college. I would see plenty of vandalism inside. The walls would be decorated with cryptic messages, “John loves Jane”, lines, design and symbols. Some even posts messages to bully a specific person at school. Expressing one’s hidden feelings is mostly released in the silent walls of these public places, most of the time when people are not looking.

I also remembered the time when the student organization petitioned to have a “Freedom Wall” at school. The wall would simply function as an area where people can write and draw stuff, a place where they can express their hidden feelings minus the possible charges of vandalism.

Nowadays, we do not see a lot of this in public areas anymore.

After seeing the “No Vandalism” sign on the bus, my eyes wandered and realized that the walls and the seats of the bus are indeed vandalism free. It suddenly came to me that vandalism is not a big deal as it was back in the days.

Realization struck. Thanks to social media and the many platforms where the young and the not-so-young can freely express themselves, incidences of vandalism have decreased or have been completely eliminated in most areas.

Expressing suppressed feelings have been more convenient and “techy” nowadays. You can easily post your heart out any time you want with your smartphones, anywhere at any time of the day. Cyber-bullying exists. You can declare and express your love for a certain person online. You can blog your feelings and opinions about things inside and outside your life. Freedom of expression has gone global and advance. Thanks to the internet and the launch of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and many more, there are many ways and places where you can write what you feel, draw what you love, reveal your secrets and post almost everything that you want, without actually using a pen or a pail of paint. Vandalism has become digital.

Whether this is a good thing or not, I could not generally conclude. But seeing white clean walls in public areas free of hate, guilt and unblended colors while you walk by the streets or ride on a bus is a much pleasant atmosphere for me. Hail social media for keeping these places aesthetically pleasing and clean!

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