As part of its month-long efforts for Safer Internet Day, PLDT and Smart, through its Better Today program, collaborated with Mental Health PH, through its #UsapTayo program. The Twitter Conversations focused on #UsapangSafety, to be better digital citizens. To date, the #UsapTayo collaboration has garnered over 8.6 million impressions on Twitter.
The conversations on Twitter Spaces featured Sangguniang Kabataan youth leaders Councilor Levy Orcales from Baguio City, Cynth Nietes from Butuan City, Genise Delos Reyes and Christine Dizon from Tarlac City. Dr. Jake Villanueva, a Psychiatry Resident from the National Center for Mental Health, also joined the conversation.
When it comes to navigating the Internet space, SK Butuan Federation President Nietes shared that being safe online means that we understand and recognize how we’re using the Internet and how it affects us and the way we relate to other people. “Being better on the Internet means that we respect each other. We must set boundaries online, especially when we engage other people. The Internet is just like a public space where you’re not alone. You must empathize with what others are going through. When we respect each other, we are making the Internet a safe space where it can be an instrument of empowering people,” Nietes said.
For Dr. Villanueva, the Internet is a double-edged sword and a powerful platform to communicate with others. “Ultimately, the Internet can be a healthy platform to start meaningful conversations online. A safe space on the Internet is where you can be yourself, where you can share your thoughts, feelings and experiences without being discriminated [against], abused, or harassed. It makes you feel empowered,” Villanueva said.
#UsapTayo is a regular tweet-chat about mental health, happening every zeroes (10th, 20th, 30th) of the month that aims to zero the suicide cases and stigma against mental health.
Better Today is a key part of PLDT and Smart’s continuing commitment to help the Philippines contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly UNSDG #3 that stands for good health and well-being, and UNSDG #16 that stands against abuse, violence, and exploitation of children. For collaborations and conversations on wellness, safe spaces, and changemaking in the digital space, follow @BetterTodayPH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.