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Gretchen Ho: Use digital platforms to inform and inspire

Kapamilya TV host and former volleyball player Gretchen Ho says that instead of spreading negativity, we can use our digital platforms to share the good news.
Kapamilya TV host and former volleyball player Gretchen Ho says that instead of spreading negativity, we can use our digital platforms to share the good news.

Social media should bring us together, not tear us apart. It’s time for us to take action and use our digital platforms as a powerful force for good.

“I’ve seen so much good ever since the quarantine started. The only problem is, good news doesn’t get as magnified as the bad. I’ve made it my mission to use my social media pages for spreading all of these good stories. It’s good that we all have a chance to be heard using our own platforms,” Kapamilya TV host and former volleyball player Gretchen Ho told Digital Life Asia.

Avoiding negativity

Gretchen Ho says we should use digital platforms responsibly

As part of this mission, Ho launched her Woman In Action website in April to uplift the spirits of people during this pandemic, and provide them a platform for telling their stories.

“I wanted to do something special for my 30th birthday, and launching my brand ‘Woman In Action’ came to mind. I wanted a place where I could engage with people with my stories, and also allow them to share theirs. It just so happened to have the perfect timing given the coronavirus, and people needing an outlet for their stories. I think it helps a lot to share your story, good or bad, and just allow people to empathize with you. It also helps to read other people’s stories so you know you’re not going through anything alone,” she said.

As toxic as social media has been over the past few years, it has become worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With people becoming even more emotional and spending more time online because they can’t leave their homes, it is very tempting to lash out or wallow in negativity. In fact, this has even resulted in social media becoming an even bigger breeding ground for fake news.

The good with the bad

Social media itself, however, is not to blame. We are the ones who decide how we will use digital platforms. And we can choose to inform and inspire.

“I love social media because I get updated about the news and all the interesting stories out there. My number one is Twitter because I get to feed my brain with information. I also use social media to find out more about other people’s lives and use that for better face-to-face interactions. But I just remind myself that social media is a complement to my actual life. I also get to reach more people via my platforms and stand up for what I believe in with the influence that I have. Social media is fun because you get to experiment, play, and be creative. There’s really a lot of space for that. There’s also a lot of space for making mistakes, apparently, and I’ve had my fair share of bashers and trolls, but it’s just like life — you gotta take the good with the bad.

Saying no to toxic positivity

Combating negativity, however, does not mean falling prey to toxic positivity.

“Toxic positivity happens when you don’t acknowledge reality for what it is. You can’t pretend to be happy when you’re not. You have to face your sadness and your loneliness and allow it to sit for a while. The challenge is to find the light amidst the darkness, and to find hope despite reasons for despair. For me, I filter my social media feed according to those accounts that I want to listen to. I like following people who are not just positive, but also pragmatic and constructive,” Ho said.

Like any tool, digital platforms are only as good and bad as the people who use them. It’s up to us to use them responsibly and take advantage of these wonderful digital tools.

“There are just so many possibilities with this new virtual world that we’re breaking into. We were headed there, anyway. It just accelerated 10 times because of the ‘new normal’ that we’re in. But just like anything, technology can also be used for bad intentions. We should be careful, first and foremost with our own accounts, and the way we use it. We should also be careful about whose voices we let into our lives. The good news is, we have control over these decisions,” she said.

Woman In Action

While Ho only recently launched her site and “Woman In Action” branding, being a woman in action has given her a sense of purpose all these years.

“I embraced the brand ‘Woman In Action’ maybe two years into the media industry? I put that first as my Instagram profile description, actually. Since I was doing so many things, I wanted to encapsulate it into a phrase. I found the common denominator –action.

“I also wanted to embrace the mindset of acting and doing, because we may have dreams and visions, but nothing gets done unless we execute. It was a constant reminder for me to get down to work when I wanted something to happen. Seeing the words ‘Woman In Action’ inspires me to bring my thoughts to life. In fact, in my room, I have this lightboard with the words. When I wake up and see it, it reminds of the person I want to be. I think embracing that has really helped me transform into who I am today. I’m still constantly evolving, though,” she said.

One day at a time

While helping uplift the spirits of people during this pandemic, what does Ho do to boost her own morale and cope with the quarantine?

“I journal a lot nowadays. I miss it. I’m happy I’ve found the energy and time again. I also sit down outside, have a cup of coffee, enjoy the silence, and appreciate nature. Baka tumatanda na ako hahaha joke. Whenever I’m outside I remember my grade school and high school days because I used to play outdoors a lot. I’m seeing this as a time for me to do everything I’ve wanted but never had the time to. If I were to advise people one thing, it’s be kind to yourself as we go through all these changes. Don’t rush it if you haven’t found the answers to your questions. Take this COVID crisis one day at a time,” she said.

A better world is possible

Is Ho optimistic that we can build a better post-pandemic world?

“I think what is happening now is that people have more time to be with themselves and their families as we stay on lockdown. We also have more time to think about the consequences of our actions on other people, as well as Planet Earth. We’re going back to the basics. It’s nice because life has slowed down a bit, and kids are, in a way, better parented.

“We’re now seeing what’s really essential to our lifestyles. There are lessons to learn for everyone and everyone is forced to change. Am I optimistic that we can create a better post-pandemic world? I can’t speak for all, but I’m determined to do everything I can, with the influence and power that I have, to make it better,” she said.

At the end of the day, it’s up to all of us to choose a better world.

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  1. Pingback:Power Mac Center, Gretchen Ho launch 'Pay it Forward' - Digital Life Asia

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