sábado, 8 de janeiro de 2011


The world nowadays is advanced technologically. We are globally interconnected! Despite the fact that in the third world countries, it is too costly and not very much affordable to access internet but people still have great desire to do have it. The world is getting smaller in the sense that people are easily and instantly contact each other wherever they may be. People in far away distances may hear each others’ voices, send instants messages via telephone, SMS (Short Messages Service), chat trough various websites available such as Yahoo messenger, Google talk, Skype and many more. Moreover, what is amazing is that with the aid of webcam, people can now also see each other physically. That’s how technology works!

We are now in the world of “clicking”. Click down to the options, the needed information appears instantly. The students in today’s time can easily access information they need for their educational purposes since most of the information available online. There are numerous websites contain important database, documents, information, which are very helpful for us. It now depends on how diligent and effective people are to search for them, because most of the time we spend much time by accessing the social networks.

The social networks which available online are Hi5, Friendster, Tagged, Twitter, Facebook and many other more. They facilitate people to share information, photos, and videos to each other. These networks also consider as effective ways to influence society and therefore many political figures also have accounts in those social networks in order to share their views with the followers and like-minded. Some world leading political figures that have accounts in social networks are: Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuala and he is a vocal critic of capitalism. He has a fan page in Facebook and more than 68000 who like it. He does have also account in Twitter with more than 2000 followers. Next, Barrack Obama, the 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate and current President of the U.S.A. (United States of America). There are more than 17 million who like his fan page in Facebook.

In Timor-leste, Dr. Alkatiri also has a Facebook fan page with 471 people who like it and he has more than 5000 friends in his friends list while current PM Xanana Gusmão’s fan page is liked by 3714 people so far. With the increasing number of the accessibility of internet, the social networks especially Facebook has now become a tool to a certain political figures for their political advertisement. It is obviously noticed in their Facebook’s walls are full of issues concerning to day-to-day situation of the country and political activities. By and large, it makes people more aware and well-informed but it is also sometimes misleading, rhetoric and propagandistic.

The facebook was intentionally created by an American college student Mark Zuckerberg with his colleagues in the middle of the first decade of this 21st century. The name of this social service is taken from a colloquial term of a kind of book that is usually published in every beginning of academic year in United States as a tradition to facilitate students to get to know each other. It was then limited only to college students but later expanded worldwide.

Even if Facebook was created in 2004, the familiarity of this social service in Timor-Leste seems to be in last 1-2 years of first decade of the century. The number of Facebook users is increasing daily from different level of society involved such as High school and college students, Public servants, politicians, and others. As Facebook has drawn many users, it is now a concern of several entities because users are using not at a right time. For example; several public servants get online unto facebook during working hours. As a consequence, the current government of TL has come up with a policy to block referred website in public service offices in order to avoid its employees to get stick on it and neglect their jobs. Aside from that, there was an issue raised by TVTL – Televisão de Timor-Leste about facebook users in the National Parliament of Timor-leste, a second highest body of the country.

Unfortunately some members of parliament were not actively involved in the debate of plenary as they were busy “Facebooking”. As a result, they raised a wrong card, a card they didn’t really mean to raise. I supposed they were not playing Farmville or Cityville but if they did, it must be so humiliating. I can’t imagine a politician or member of parliament who uses Facebook while having a plenary session.

The referred social network has more advantages than its disadvantage. It depends on how a user uses it in the right place at a right time. It is beneficial because enables us to interact and to befriend. It also provides a room for some who like to discuss certain issues concerning the daily situation of the country with different people of different orientation, political and educational background. In this regards, it is an interesting thing ever. If this social network – “The Facebook” is looked at by the negative point of view, it is also a room where many people spend most of their time. A lot of students neglect their studies, assignments, projects and having much time accessing Facebook for social purposes. In countries where the cost of internet is low like the Philippines and Indonesia, it is more affordable and they can easily get access to internet and even connect to their places via several internet providers or get connected by using USB Modem.

According to Mark (2009, August 03) Farmville is now the most popular game on the Facebook platform which over 16.6 million monthly active users, and Slashkey’s Farm Town has skyrokect 40% in the last month as well to near 15 million monthly players. Honestly speaking, I am familiar with none of those games. So if someone asks me, I know nothing to tell him. There are several friends of mine and even my housemate who play such games especially Farmville. As I observe, it seems addictive and takes much of their time. Some even stay up and sleep late at night just to harvest those stuffs have been planted, because as it has time limit and has to be harvested as time indicated. There are also several cases related to FarmVille. As reported by The Inquisitr dated October 28, 2010, Florida Mam shakes baby to death for interrupting FarmVille game.

Facebook also provides chatting in its website. And socially speaking, it is helpful for everyone to communicate with others non-verbally but when it is misused it becomes destructive.

*Abrão J. Pereira
Veterinary Medicine student
BSU, Benguet, the Philippines

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