Bianca Gonzalez: Be the Twitter user you want to follow
MANILA, Philippines – Media personality Bianca Gonzalez is known equally for her television presence as her following on Twitter.
Among the most followed media personalites on local media – with close to two million followers – Gonzalez joined other resource speakers at the “Social Good Summit” held in Makati on Saturday, September 22.
Reflecting on her prolific Twitter presence since 2009, Gonzalez offered the audience a dose of optimism.
“You…have all the means to do good things,” she told the crowd of nearly 500, and went on to share her 10 Twitter Rules:
1. Post online what you can say in real life
For Internet users who relentlessly bullied Chris Lao for his viral equivalent of a “blonde moment,” Gonzalez asked whether those same attackers would be as willing to be as vicious in person. Doubtful, she answered.
2. On bashers: ignore them or just be nice
Not everyone will be your friend. Cut your losses, and move on. Don’t fuel the fire by trying to convert your haters because there will always be people out there who will try to bring you down.
Gonzalez said, "I like reading bashers' tweets, I think, because it grounds me but... it can't be all good. There is something to be said that's not good. Pero 'yun, sana constructive na lang. Huwag 'yung parang sinisira mo ang pagkatao ng tao." (I wish they were constructive and not meant to just destroy the character of people.)
3. It won’t hurt to retweet
Use the power of social media connectivity for good. Gonzalez cited the example of the viral photo of Lola Aurelia Matias, who donned a sign of her missing partner while sitting on the sidewalk. Over 50,000 online shares later, they were reunited.
4. Be sure to credit what you re-tweet
“Very simple – if you won't do it on your academic paper... don't do it also online,” said Gonzalez. 140 characters might be short, but it's worth crediting the original contributor. Give back what you take.
5. Be careful before re-tweeting
Make sure whatever you re-tweet is accurate “unless it's tweeted by a reputable news source.” Check out links before giving in to impulse and hitting the re-tweet button. Gonzalez cautioned against tweeters who have been “killed” online for their misinformation and careless re-tweeting.
6. Make friends but do not trust blindly
Despite the free-world appeal of online accessibility, Gonzalez warned of the temptation to plagiarize. Be informed about what you post, she advised.This goes hand in hand with being more skeptical of everything you see. In the era of Photoshop, be critical.
7. Be constructive, not destructive
Raising the recent example of Sinotto’s online embarrassment at the Twitter campaign accusing him of plagiarism, Gonzalez reminded the audience to be mindful of their online behavior. Even politicians have hearts.
8. When big news breaks, be sensitive
With communication instantly available for online commentary, be mindful of your words. Be conscious of what's going on in your community, online and offline. Gonzalez used the example of the recent flooding disaster, and said, "There were even Tweets like, 'Grabe, lakas ng ulan, hassle, closed ang gym.'" Use the tool, don't be one.
9. Keep vanity in moderation
“If you’re going to retweet one compliment about you…I’m all for it,” Gonzalez said. But don’t flood people with your vanity. Inherently, Twitter is a tool for vanity because you gain a following based on what you post. Just like the doctor’s orders, all things in moderation.
10. Live in the present
Gonzalez reminded the audience that the most important presence is not of your online following but the one you give others in person. Turn off your cell phones when you’re with people you care about, respect the value of the analog world. Her last words: “Enjoy the Eiffel tower, before you tweet it!”
Inspired by Ashton Kutcher and Larry King’s race to one million Twitter followers, Gonzalez joined the social media platform in 2009. Gonzalez throws her heavyweight online influence to champion causes such as youth empowerment for Unicef Philippines. - Rappler.com
Watch more: The Social Good Summit in Manila