January 16, 2021

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What social media says about you

Since I was a child I have had the opportunity to live closely with different cultures. From all of them, I always learn something. But there is no one in the world who loves more than mine. I am very proud of the side of the world where I was born, being Puerto Rican is a blessing for me. We are like a family, we are happy when one of us triumphs in the world, we are super creative, in essence happy and partying, but well given to service. And our hearts overflow to our brothers when we experience some tragedy.

When I’m in another country, I need my island, that’s why I use the media and social networks to find out how things are. I am very excited to see and read when positive things happen. That makes me feel close to home, to people that, above any other in the world, I long to bring happiness. However, sometimes one also sees and reads negative expressions or comments that are made, largely without thinking about how much harm it can cause others.

Freedom of expression is one of the rights that we protect the most, because it guarantees us the power to speak up, express our opinions and express ourselves freely. That freedom brings with it the duty to be responsible with every word we write and say. For this reason, it is important that before publishing a comment on social networks, we think about whether that comment shows the world who you are, and if that is what you want others to see about you. Because no matter what you write, or who you mention, or what you say, your comment will always talk about you.

Words, whether written or verbal, have the power to inspire, but also to destroy. There are some people who can withstand unsubstantiated and personal attacks, but there are others who can waver from unfair and disproportionate attacks. We have seen it many times, children who succumb to attacks and hurt themselves. How we address others, be they artists, leaders, athletes, or other people, whether we know them or not, will create a chain reaction that we do not have the power to control. This reaction not only affects who your comment is directed to, but also their family, friends, and yes, perhaps your family, and without anticipating it, you too. It is a form of violence that we must be aware of and avoid promoting.

I cannot finish this column without expressing my concern with the issue of violence in our country. Violence has no gender, we agree, but we can also agree that it is women who feel most vulnerable on the street, and that is a reality. Let’s see this reality with empathy, support yourself with the claim out loud, and don’t see it as a way to minimize our concern for all those who are victims of it. I only ask that the violence end, that all the missing persons on our island return home safe and sound, that our children live happily and free from abuse, and that we do not have to live in fear, or in silence, or in resignation.

I say goodbye appealing to understanding, respect and love as a method of solving our problems; what violence, anger and hatred causes is destruction for the one who gives it and for the one who receives it. Life provides us with the option to choose the right path and to fight to move forward. Let’s do it together and we will live in a better Puerto Rico.

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