Christopher Lao: A Victim of Social Media

Christopher Lao rose to fame when an incident of him driving his car through the flood was shot and televised by the GMA 7 night news, 24 Oras. (video is found here)  As you can see in the video, he braved the flood without knowing that his car would float because of it’s depth and current. He was, then, pushed out of the flood by bystanders who took pity on him. When he was interviewed by the news reporter, He said that, “I shouldve been informed,” and that “They [referring to the MMDAs] shouldve already blocked the roads.

Christopher Lao right after the incident

The video then went on to be posted in the popular video-sharing website, YouTube. Garnering hundreds of thousands of views and countless degrading remarks on Mr. Lao as, both, a driver and a person. This stirred issues and birthed many Facebook Pages remarking on his “stupidity” and “arrogance”.

“Christopher Lao” even trended in Twitter Philippines. Filipinos were tweeting personally degrading and offensive remarks like these, to mention a few:

Twitter users react to the Christopher Lao incident

Facebook pages sprouted like mushrooms over an hour after the video was posted online. And garnered thousands and thousands of likes from Facebook users.

I can’t tell you that I didn’t “enjoy” the video, I can’t tell you that I didn’t laugh at him, I can’t tell you that I didn’t make fun of him, because I did. I commented and posted and shared the same stuff as the rest of the Philippines did. But then one of my Google+ friends posted this on his/her page:

G+ Friend's Post after the Chris Lao issue sprouted

And that really was a bullet to my heart. It was a direct hit to my actions and reactions toward Chris Lao. My friend reminded me of Jesus’ own words towards the Pharisees when they were about to stone a woman caught in the act of adultery, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:1-11)

And I, my dear friends, am not without sin. Sin being the term used here to describe the mistakes Mr. Lao made. My friend’s post just made me realize how much a Mr. Lao I am, and in her own words, “I should be glad I don’t have a camera man following me 24/7..”

When I, usually, make a mistake or when I’m put in an awful situation because of my own doing, I tend to blame others, I tend to always point the finger, when the finger should be pointed to me. My dear readers, my dear friends, let us not be like Pharisees, always claiming to be without sin. Let us be more like Jesus, let us live a life of love and acceptance towards people who are unfortunate enough to be put in the same situation as Mr. Lao.

We are lucky that we don’t have a camera man following us everywhere, anywhere, always. Because then the world would really see how much we are the same as Mr. Lao. Our imperfections, mistakes and wrong choices would be magnified and shown to the whole world. Media has a way of blowing things up. If it’s as small as an ant, when media comes, it can make it look as big as an elephant.

Whenever we feel like mocking someone or saying something bad about them (specially on the internet), let us remember the words of Jesus himself, “Those who have no sin be the first to throw the stone.


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