Playing a character so addicted to social media is something Sue Ramirez had a hard time adjusting to.
She is the lead star of “Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wi-Fi,” a movie written and directed by Jun Robles Lana which is one of the official entries in this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP). The movie will be shown from Aug. 15 to 21.
“I found it difficult to relate to my character in the movie. Norma, my character in this movie, is so addicted to social media, something I am definitely not,” she said in Filipino.
Norma is addicted to social media activities. Her Instagram account is crawling with such posts. But then she experienced bleeding of the nose and then diagnosed with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS). The doctor’s order? Avoid the use of gadgets and, heaven forbid, Wi-Fi.
Sue feels the movie’s message is for millennials to realize personal communication is better than online chats.
“EHS or Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome exists but medical professionals don’t call it a disease. That, actually, is being questioned in the movie. There are several cases of EHS. There’s one 14-year-old teenager who has had the syndrome. She committed suicide because she got depressed over the fact that using her cell phone undermines her health.”
“I think that’s the biggest lesson the movie shares: that we are so busy connecting online that we forget to connect personally to people.”
While she’s certainly also into online communication like everyone else her age, Sue stressed she turns off her gadget or puts it away during family gatherings.
“I also use my cell phone but when I’m outside, when we dine in a resto, I don’t use my phone to take selfies.”
Sue feels she can live without a cell phone for a week or even up to a month.
“It would be a beautiful experience to shy away from gadgets for a change. I think I can pull it off, not to have social media interaction for that long,” she said.
Asked to weigh in on the pros and cons of social media, Sue rattled off some points.
“Pro, it makes us connect to the people who are far away from us. Cons, of course, we are so attached to our social media accounts and cell phones that we fail to communicate personally. The bigger problem is we are so connected online yet we’re not communicating in person anymore. Sometimes, over dinner, a family is busy tinkering with their cell phones.”
Source of squabble?
For Sue, social media could cause division.
“Actually, through social media, we are able to express our opinions and read about other people’s ideas. But doing so, we sometimes encounter fights on that platform too. Now, instead of fighting over our differences, why don’t we look for a common ground? Let’s resolve to end the chaos in cyberspace.”
She cited the case of her “Ang Babaeng Allergic Sa Wi-Fi” leading man Jameson Blake, whom netizens bashed when he took to social media his request for free cover photo for his accounts in exchange for a shout out from him. Jamesone was lambasted online by netizens over that.
Sue thinks there was just misunderstanding.
“I think he was misinterpreted. There was just a case of misunderstanding but I’m sure Jameson didn’t mean to offend anybody. Maybe it was a case of wrong choice of words and misunderstanding.”