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Oct. 8th, 2011

(no subject)

The theory on Male Gaze's main argument is that media presents women in the way that is appealing to men. This is especially true when it comes to music videos. A lot of the popular music videos nowadays include women scantically clad, hanging around the background, and seductively looking into the camera. What's disturbing is that even music videos of female artists have that. Although it's still wrong, I kind of understand how men would like their videos to have those type of women on their videos, given that it is what they would want to see on a music video. But why would women themselves want that kind of portrayal of females in music videos?

Take this particular Destiny's Child music video, for example.

It's quite ironic how the lyrics talk about women standing up for themselves and "surviving" even without the men who [probably] did them wrong and yet the way the music videos is shot, it's actually still submissive to the what the male gaze wants. Call it art for art's sake, but truth be told, I remember watching that music video as a little girl and thinking that that's how a woman should dress and look like. And with the number of music videos coming out now showing women in that light, it shouldn't be shocking to see how girls and suffering from eating disorders in their attempts to look that way.

Which brings me to Adele.

I can only hope that she IS the future of the music industry. Her songs and music videos alike are honest and sincere. Her music videos aren't even that flashy - they usually just show her in her natural look and they let her music speak for itself. I think it's great that music videos are becoming a distinct form of art but people, women especially, should remember that music by itself is powerful enough.

Oct. 2nd, 2011

(no subject)

One of my the reasons why I'm really enjoying our discussions on Media Theories is that I get to blog about my favorite shows. Last week I blogged about Friends. This week, my blog entry will be about Modern Family, another one of my ultimate favorites. Like Friends, I can watch the same episode over and over again and still laugh every single time. Modern Family was the first thing that came to mind when we got to the topic of Counter Hegemony. Let me explain why.

Modern Family revolves around three related families.
1. Claire, Phil, Haley, Alex, & Luke
2. Jay, Gloria, & Manny
3. Mitchel, Cameron, & Lily

Jay is the father of Claire and Mitchell and the three of them have very different and unique families. What makes the show really interesting is that all three go against the typical portrayal of families in media.

1. Claire's family is supposedly ideal American family. Claire and Phil are happily married, Haley is one of the popular girls in her school, Alex is a straigh-A model student, and Luke is nothing short of adorable. But behind all the pretension, their household is actually quite chaotic. Claire and Phil struggle between raising their children and being their friends. There's always the tug-of-war between being the good cop and the bad cop. Because of this imbalance, their children always go through some kind of mishap which has other people, even Mitchel, question their parenting abilities. Phil's character also digresses from the typical portrayal of a father in media. He's silly, somewhat childish, and has a slight hint of ADHD. Claire, despite being a housewife, plays the character of the "big man" in the house. She has a unique and slightly manipulative technique in raising her kids and she's strict with them, especially Haley, because she was once "the bad girl" in her younger years and she doesn't want her children to make the same mistakes.

2. Jay and Gloria are each other's second spouses. Manny is Gloria's son from her previous marriage. Gloria fits the typical image of a gold-digger. She's young, beautiful, and is blessed with big... "assets." Jay is a lot older than her which makes people skeptical over their marriage. What makes their marriage different from other combinations of "old-guy-younger-woman" is that they are genuinely in love. Gloria has a very feisty personality and Jay is the only man she's met that can actually keep up with her. Manny is also a unique character from the show. He's probably around 10 years old but he acts way beyond a 10-year-old's level of thinking. While his cousin Luke, who's the same age as him, worries about what the funniest video on youtube is, Manny, a sappy romancer, writes poems for his crush(es) and drinks coffee like an old guy.

3. Cameron, Mitchell, and Lily, are probably the most unique family not just in the series but in the entire history of television. Cameron and Mitchell are a gay couple. Lily is their adopted Asian baby. There have been a lot of gay couples on tv and mentions of gay couples adopting a baby, but I don't think there's ever been a series that actually shows how their daily life goes. It's always a controversial issue but the series shows that it functions the same way most families do.

What makes this series a counter hegemony is that it questions the proposed family structure of media. They show that a family is not strictly limited to a mom and a dad and the perfect children. Even with their seemingly dysfunctional situations, one thing is common between them - LOVE. They prove that even if you have two dads, one old dad, or one strict mom, all that matters is that love comes above all.

Sep. 23rd, 2011

(no subject)

This week in our comm class, our teacher (hello, sir Beaver) managed to trick us into a media deprivation day wherein we'd have to go for an entire day without a form of media we're most dependent on. At first, he asked us to write down on small sheet of paper the form of media and then later revealed to the class the point of the activity. 
On my piece of paper, I wrote down 'internet' because I rely heavily on this on a day-to-day basis. When the point of the activity was revealed to us I immediately wanted to snatch the paper out of sir Beaver's hands and change my answer to 'television' since I barely use it anyway. But of  course, since I knew I couldn't do that (or maybe I could have....) I just accepted my fate whilst feeling bad about it. But then, luckily, a ray of sunshine came upon me when I remembered what I had originally planned on writing down: Friends. As in the TV series.

Just exactly how dependent am I on watching Friends? Well, I can't go on a day without watching at least one episode of Friends and I can't go to sleep without the faint sound of Friends in the background. I don't know exactly when I got addicted to the TV show because ever since I can remember, Friends has already been a part of my life. I remember going into my older sister's room to watch Friends with her after a long and tiring afternoon of playing with my real-life friends. 236 is the approximate number of episodes that comprise the ten series of Friends. And I swear to God that I have seen all 236 episodes more than once and even until now, Ross, Rachel, Monice, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe can still manage to make me laugh. I can go on and on and on about Friends but I guess I have to cut it short and make a segway to the theory of Uses and Gratifications.
This week, I realized from our discussion on Uses and Gratifications Theory that this theory can actually explain my addiction the Friends. The core proposition of this theory is that "people actively seek out specific media and specific content to satisfy particular needs." 
Friends is exactly the specific media, and has exactly the specific content that I want and/or need. There are so many sitcoms that have come and gone over the years, but it's still Friends that I seek even until now. What makes Friends different from other series is that the friendship the characters have with each other is so real and genuine. It's not too dramatic and not too perfect. They have all had ups and downs but in the end, the kind of friendship they have is the kind you wish you can have in real life. 
I know this perception of the show is unique to me because if everyone feels this way about Friends, the 2012 prophecy probably would've come true sooner from the riots caused by the people against the ones who cancelled the series. 
This actually explained as well in the theory. It claims that audiences are not homogenous. Since we aren't homogenous, we all have different needs and wants in media. I think this is how variety is created in media. Producers are always on their feet trying to create new movies, shows, music, videogames, and etc. to cater to the different tastes of the audience. 
As much I would want Friends to play on every channel on television, and the theme song "I'll be there for you" to get played in every radiostation, it would be extremely unfair because it doesn't satisfy the needs and wants of everyone. 

(I don't claim ownership over photos.)

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Sep. 10th, 2011

(no subject)

When a link of this website: http://fyeahateneoblueeagle.tumblr.com/ first came to me, I was instantly hooked. Even though I've only been in Ateneo for less than two years, I was already able to relate to some of the posts in the website. This is because at the start of my stay I already had the notion that I had to immerse myself in the Ateneo culture to understand the general nuance of my college life. Reading the posts in the website is a great way to understand the Ateneo culture because through seeing how students themselves understand what being an Atenean for them is, by extension, it is already understanding the university's culture because the Organizational Culture Theory says that culture is something that an organization IS and not just something an organization has.

As previously said, culture is an innate part of an organization, however, it is further concretized by the members' communication.  Everyday interaction with each other creates and gives a better realization of certain aspects of an organization's culture. This is why I found the posts in the website amusing and funny. I knew that the posts there were true for me but knowing that other people thought the same about it too further verified my thought that is something that is somewhat universal to Ateneans and a definite part of the Atenean culture. 

Below are only a few of my favorite posts: 



Sep. 2nd, 2011

(no subject)

Ever since I was a little tribal girl, (sorry, i just needed an excuse to squeeze in this picture) 

I always identified myself as a "knoller" because of the school I came from. I was only three years old when my parents enrolled me in Child Study Center, the preschool of Miriam, and then I moved to the grade school and high school sector eventually. For around 14 years of my life I had basically the same routine of waking up at 6 am, putting on my pastel-colored uniform in CSC and then brown and green uniform in grade school and high school, spending hours with pretty much the same people, and then I would go home by 3:30 PM. I celebrated the same events on the same days year after year after year and so on.  

Whenever my college friends and I spot girls wearing the Miriam College uniform, I am usually asked the same question: "Why didn't you go to Miriam for college?"

Adaptive Structuration Theory talks about how an organization's environment is created through a constantly repeated process of reinforcing certain rules and behaviors. My stay in Miriam has made me an agent in structuration because I lived out the values of truth, justice, peace, and integrity of creation, that were taught to me ever since day 1 as well as other written and implied rules that were set for us. It's not those values that I grew tired of, on the contrary I think it's one of the best things I picked up from my stay. 

Towards the end of high school, I went through a phase that I know is common to a lot of teenagers - identity crisis. I think I became so integrated into the community of my school that I felt like my only role was attributed to them and that I only knew myself as a member of that community.

One of the collective effects of Adaptive Structuration is the formation of the organization's identity. My being an agent in the structuration probably explains why the way I identified myself reflected my school's identity as well. This isn't entirely a bad thing because there's absolutely nothing wrong with the said identity. However, and this goes for all cases, I think that when an organization's identity is so strong it has a tendency to overpower the individual's identity. 

Actually, I think the whole idea of structuration is quite paradoxical because if the organization shapes the behavior of the members and the members shape the structure of the organization, where does the entire process begin? I guess it's probably the same as asking which one between the chicken and the egg came first. 

Anyway, to answer the question I get asked a lot: I didn't go to Miriam for college because I wanted to explore another side of me that is independent from the environment and organization I have been accustomed to for the past 14 years. 

Aug. 27th, 2011


Our brief discussion on Adaptive Structuration Theory last Friday reminded me of a particular math19 class we had last year. In the midst of talking about integrals in calculus, our math professor suddenly went a bit off-track and started discussing the importance of rules not just in math, but in life as well. She said that it was imperative that we have rules to keep things in order. In our comm class' discussion last Friday, I think the rules mentioned in Adaptive Structuration Theory provides the same function as well.

Adaptive Structuration Theory focuses on structuration within the context of organizations as "a process wherein organizational members 'create and recreate' the organizational environment through the use of rules and resources." The rules mentioned aren't exactly set in stone, they are merely implied and created as time progresses.

A simple example would be my schedule right now in college. Last Friday, we also talk about the differences in our high school and college lives and we all agreed when someone said that the schedule in college is more flexible and less structured. However, I think it's completely the same as high school. In high school, a schedule was set for us to follow everyday. The only difference with the schedule now is that we were the ones who personally made them, but just like in high school, we stick to that schedule quite religiously. Or at least, I do.

Each group has its own set of implied rules and used resources that contribute to structuration of certain systems. Because of structuration though, sometimes things can get a little bit too mundane and repetitive. However, it is something that every organization needs. Spontaneity may be fun but too much of it can be destructive. Rules are still needed to make sure that everything is in place and that the group is functioning properly.

Just think of it as assembling a car. Each part has to go to a certain spot. You can't put the steering wheel in the back of the car and you certainly can't put the wheels on the roof. Otherwise, not only would it look ridiculous, but it would also get you nowhere. It would just stay put on one spot when it's supposed to be moving forward.

Aug. 20th, 2011

The Fam Bam

Just a few hours ago, due to certain circumstances, I suddenly got the urge to look at old family pictures. The timing was perfect because in the midst of laughing at my older siblings' ridiculous hair styles circa '90 and gushing at how cute we looked, I suddenly got the inspiration for this week's blog.

Last Wednesday in class, the examples we used for the lesson on Groupthink mostly revolved around organizations. My realization just now is that one area where Groupthink is actually prominent is within families. 

Before I begin tackling Groupthink within the context of a family, let me first give you a (hopefully) brief background on my family just so you'll understand where I'm coming from.

THIS is my family. 

I know we look plenty in the picture but we're still actually incomplete there. Haha. All-in-all we are 16 in the family. My dad, mom, Kuya Chibs + Ate Len, Ate Chelli + Kuya Butch, Kuya Chino + Sella, Paul, Charmina, and my nieces and nephews, Chloe, Sachi, Cheiz, Batchy, Chives, and Banchy comprise the family. 

The first three that came were Kuya Chibs (34) , Ate Chelli (33), and Kuya Chino (31). They are considered as the "first batch." Eight years after Kuya Chino was born, my parents had three more children. Paul (23), Charmina (20), and I make up the "second batch." 

So, this is where Groupthink enters. 

A long time ago, when elephant pants were still the cool thing, and apple and blackberry were just mere fruits, it was just us eight; mom, dad, Kuya Chibs, Ate Chelli, Kuya Chino, Paul, Charmina, and me. We were all still living in just one house and everyday was as chaotic as Forever 21 on sale. Us kids would play silly cooking games with play-dough while the older ones were busy doing something that I never really figured out even until now. But every dinner time, we would all drop what we were doing and gather around the dinner table. 

One specific meal comes to mind when I think about Groupthink. 

I was around 6 or 7 that time, I think. I was in a major chorizo phase where all I would eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner was chorizo. (note: I also went through a bacon phase.) One dinner time, my mom noticed I wasn't eating much so she asked me if I wanted something else. Since there wasn't chorizo on the table, I told her I wanted that. However, Ate Chelli told her that the food was enough and that I had to eat whatever was on the table. Not wanting to make her mad, I just agreed and sadly ate my food. After that, I remember going to the bathroom to cry since I was too young to get the rationale behind it. 

I know it's a petty situation, but that can actually show the concept of Groupthink. 

According to Irving Janis, Groupthink is "a mode of thinking  that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' strivings for unanimity overrride their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.

In the dinner scenario, since no one backed me up on my request for chorizo and my sister blatantly rejected it, I just went along with it to avoid any trouble. They were all fine with what was served on the table so even though I had something else in mind, I just decided to eventually disregard it. I think a contributing factor was the structural characteristic of our family. Since I am the youngest and I was only 6 or 7 years old that time, I guess my sister thought she had more right in dictating what we would have for dinner since it was her whom the maid would follow. Another one is the high cohesiveness of our family. I didn't want to do anything to disrupt the harmony because I hated seeing fights in the house. 

I think this happens to a lot of familes. Not exactly the chorizo thing, but the older members' dominance over decision-making processes. When parents or older siblings make the decision, usually, no one questions it. Aside from having the means to actually execute the decision, I think another reason why the other family members, especially the younger ones, just go with it is because of the level of respect the latter ones have for their Ates and Kuyas. Personally speaking, I look up to them and I respect their decisions because I've seen how they made the right choices in life. But even with that said, I don't think that that's enough reason for their way to be the ONLY way. 

Yes it might be the right decision, but only for them. It's imperative that even in a family, members find their own sense of individualism. Groupthink would only be a hindrance to each one's uniqueness. For large families like mine, I think that Groupthink only serves as an advantage in the early stages of the children for them to get adapted to the values of the family. But as the children grow older, the parents and older siblings should be confident enough to let the children make their own decisions knowing they have already been equipped with good guidance. 

Fortunately, that's exactly what happened in my case and I am absolutely proud to say I am part of my family. :) Also, I am happy to say I got over my chorizo phase.  

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Jul. 20th, 2011

Love at First.... Soiree?

This week while we were discussing the laws of interpersonal interaction, I felt an insuppressible reaction to smile because of the memories brought back by the topic. Soirees.

In exclusive schools for girls and boys, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of excitement after the announcement of a soirée with a class from another school. There’s the ecstatic anticipation as you daydream during boring algebra classes about how your future love story will unfold on the day of the soiree. I don’t know if this was how others imagined it, but this is how I did:

3:30 PM – Arrive at the universal meet-up place: McDonald’s Katipunan.
3:35 PM – Go to the ladies room with classmates and fix each other’s hair and the basic make-up combination of powder, eyeliner, and lip gloss.
4:00 PM – Take Girl A’s van to LGV/Xavierville/Any-other-gated-village-within-the-area
4:20 PM – Arrive in Boy B’s house and go straight to the garage where the chairs and tables are set up
4:25 PM – Eye contact with Mr. Perfect
4:25 – 4:45 PM – Everyone awkwardly waits for someone to speak up and begin with the “program”
4:45 PM – After Mr. Congeniality finally decides to speak up, the “speed-date” commences.
4:45 - 4:55 PM – Talk to a few guys and charm them with my wit and personality
4:55 PM – Finally get my turn to talk to Mr. Perfect and the conversation goes amazingly! We talk, we laugh, we find out we have a lot in common, and we exchange numbers… FIREWORKS!
5:00 PM – Classmates, upon seeing evident sparks surrounding me and Mr. Perfect, begin teasing us, and we are eventually presented with the Perfect Couple award.
6 months later – We become boy friend-girl friend.
15 years later – We get married in the ballroom area of a 5-star hotel.
40 years later – We sit on our beach house’s front porch and tell our grandkids about our perfect love story which started at a silly little soiree.
Ever after – We live happily.

Firstly, this probably explains why I got such low marks in algebra during my freshman year in high school. Second, I’ve had been to a few soirées and all of them went according to my plan, but only up until 4:45 PM. The last soirées I went to was back in junior year. There were a couple soirées lined up for the year because prom was just around the corner but after attending the first one, I stopped. I just accepted the fact that speed-dating in soirées is simply not the time and place for me to fall head over heels with the perfect boy and have him feel the same about me. I absolutely hated those 5-minutes filled with boring questions followed by more boring answers even though it was mostly just awkward silence. I wanted to be charming and witty but it turned out to be such a difficult task when it seemed like I was just talking to dead air. I realized I was far too awkward to ever make a boy fall for me within just a few minutes or even hours.

For a while, my self-esteem went down because all my other classmates were going on dates while I was left feeling like a predestined awkward turtle (excuse me for the term but I can’t think of a more awkward animal than a turtle) for the rest of my life. Of course I eventually got over that petty adolescent crisis, but today, after learning about Laws of Interpersonal Interaction I feel much MUCH much better about it.

The reason for the awkward tension during those 5-minute speed-dates wasn’t my predestination as an “awkward turtle,” it can actually be explained by the different laws of Interpersonal Interaction. There is a combination of laws that can be applied in the situation, namely: reciprocal behavior, self-disclosure, and liking.

According to the law of Reciprocal behaviors, “high levels of uncertainty produce high rates of reciprocity.” This was extremely evident in our conversations because they usually just consisted of mirrored questions. There would be one person asking a question first and the other person would just reply with first, the answer, and then simply ask “you?”

Hmm.. Awkward.

In the law of Self-disclosure, it is said that “High levels of uncertainty cause decreases in the intimacy level of communication content.” Our conversational topics basically revolved only around one thing: school. Because we didn’t know much about each other yet, we made it a point not to stray from the safest topic. There was extra caution with the things we were saying because we didn’t want to hit a topic that was too personal and invasive.

Err.. Still awkward.

And lastly, because of the law of Liking, I now see why I never felt any remote attraction to the guys I met. “Increases in uncertainty levels produce decrease in liking.” Personally, I find it unattractive when people in general are so guarded. I know they probably just value privacy but in some extreme cases, the way I see it, they come off as arrogant. It’s almost as if they feel like they’re too good to be casually conversing with “ordinary” people. I guess this could also explain why sometimes Filipinos go “Hmph, ang sungit mo naman!” then walks away.

When just 2 minutes into the conversation you get turned off by the guy and you realize you still have to endure 3 more minutes of talking to him and pretending you do not dislike him… AWKWARD!

Now that I have a better understanding of uncertainty reduction, I realize that it doesn’t take 5-minutes to make Mr. Perfect fall for you, but those 5 minutes can be the first of numerous conversations that will make you realize why he is Mr. Perfect. Basically the Laws of Interpersonal Interaction says that “communicative behavior influences the reduction of uncertainty, and vice versa,” but you never really fully eradicate uncertainty, can you? But, maybe that’s a good thing. There can never be enough time in the world to be totally certain about a person; it’s probably better that way. The more you discover about the person the more you get to discover little details about them to love.


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Jul. 15th, 2011

(no subject)

This week in our com11 class, we had a very interesting discussion about cognitive dissonance which is the feeling of unease we get when placed in a situation wherein what we must do is dissonant. I must admit, even when I was just reading the selection for it, I was a bit skeptic as to its relevance to theories of communications. Eventually, I realized something. With roughly six billion people on earth, you are bound to meet more than a few people who do not share the same beliefs as you. As you interact with each other, there won't always be that perfect ground for communication where your fields of experiences overlap. And when you do meet these people who expect you to do something which is normal for them but dubious for you, it is up to you to interpret the factors of the situation to ease the discomfort. Cognitive dissonance is a part of the theories of communication because it is an inevitable feeling we get when communicating and interacting with others.

But anyway, that isn't really what I had intended for this blog entry.

If you do not already know, I am currently 18 years old. As a teenager, I know well that cognitive dissonance is usually caused by the social institutions we are part of such as school, the Church, family, and etc.. For the last example (family), I know this is especially true for kids my age since parents feel they know best (which they probably do, for the most part) and they think that this gives them the immediate right to give children instructions to follow even though these cause them cognitive dissonance.

In my case however, it's quite different.

It's actually friends who cause me cognitive dissonance.

No, this is not a Highschool Musical-esque blog entry where I wage a war against peer pressure and drugs, sex, and alcohol, then just randomly sneak in an audioclip of me singing and maybe a video of me with matching dance steps *cue confetti*.


This actually about faith.

Being in an exclusive Catholic girls' school most of my life and being raised in a family where hearing Sunday mass is an imperative part of the day, I always thought that being a devout Catholic was something totally fine and not weird AT ALL. All of that changed when I entered college. I met people who didn't share the same belief as me; people who thought it was odd going to Church on birthdays, never skipping Sunday mass, praying the rosary during May and October, and other Catholic traditions. Especially now with the issues on RH Bill and the Divorce Bill, people have become more and more skeptic about the Catholic faith. It has somewhat become a joke: being part of a community that preaches love and equality for everyone, but doesn't exactly "walk the talk."

During discussions on RH Bill and the Divorce Bill, that's when I feel cognitive dissonance the most. There are times when I feel compelled to just agree with my friends' stance on it and how they bash the Church because arguement seems futile, even though deep inside I know that I will stay true to what I believe in. Actually, If you ask me about my stance, I am on the fence for both issues. It's simply far too complex.

What I do know for sure is the God I worship every Sunday and pray to everday is a loving and compassionate Creator who put us on this place with a plan in mind. I do believe that He works in mysterious ways and every blessing in disguise is God's way of presenting himself in our daily lives. I don't mind whether you agree or disagree with me because that has no effect on the way I perceive Him.

At the end of the day, I think that's what faith is all about. It's about believing despite all odds. Even with all the coping strategies available, sometimes you just have to stick to what you believe is true. No reward, big or small, can ever defeat knowing that you are being honest with yourself.

Jul. 9th, 2011

Silence means _____.

Non-verbal coding is the ultimate proof that communication is indeed everywhere. Even when we don't intend to communicate, our actions sometimes give us away.

This week in class, we learned about theories on non-verbal coding that were widely studied by Birdswhistell, Ekman, & Friesen. Basically, non-verbal coding is the absence of coherent words in a person's reaction or way of communication. It may come in the form of some sound, a facial expression, or a gesture.

As we progressed along with the topic, I couldn't help but think of the saying "Silence means yes." It's amazing how even with the absence of body movements and sounds, a seemingly simplistic state can contain so much perplexity.

But then, does silence really mean yes?

Using Ekman and Friesen's theory, we can analyze it. To start off, is its origin innate, species-constant, or variant? Because most of us were born with the ability to speak and this ability is one of the essential attributes humans have, I think we could eliminate innate and species-constant as the origin and settle with variant. This makes sense since silence may actually mean something in other cultures, example is respect perhaps. For the coding, I think silence is intrinsic because it could be a nondetachable part of what we are trying to say. And finally, for usage, it could be interactive, and informative. It could be interactive because silence usually renders a reaction of concern or bewilderment from those around you or whoever it is you are talking to. It could be informative as well because staying silent could give off what you are thinking or feeling about the situation you are in.

Sooooooooo, does silence really mean yes?
What makes the saying problematic is it is way too general.

I admit I am guilty of suddenly just being silent after somebody tells me something. However, my silence is not always rooted in affirmation. Here are certain examples:

person: are you hungry? do you want some food?
me: *silent*

In this scenario, I usually mean yes. I am merely just too shy to reveal my "katakawan."

person-i-hate: do you like me?
me: *silent*

When this happens, it is purely out of respect for a dignified human being that I remain silent as a sign of my disagreement.

person: are you mad?
me: *silent*

In this case, my silence means neither yes or no. When asked that question, another question goes into mind which is "Is this really worth fighting about or can I just let it go and avoid unnecessary arguments?" The answer for that mental question takes a long time to process which is why I end up with nothing to say.

With that said, obviously silence does not always mean yes. But even without the apparent incorrectness in the saying "Silence means yes," I still think it's ridiculous. I know it's something I, myself, am guilty off, but I do know it's really stupid (for lack of a better term) to just stay quiet. We were given the innate ability to communicate, verbally and non-verbally, so we should not be frugal when it comes to expressing our ideas and feelings.  

We were already given non-verbal coding to make our lives easier with the absence of words so we may as well take advantage of it. If you're too shy to blatantly say something, just use your gestures, body movements, or random noises to communicate what you want to say. Staying silent can mean numerous possible feelings which people can just assume you have. You owe it to yourself and to to others to clearly say what you mean to avoid any unnecessary confusion and problems.

So, here is how I would recreate the previous scenarios if in reality, I could.

person: person: are you hungry? do you want some food?
me: *smile widely*

person-i-hate: do you like me?
me: *subtle shake of the head from left to right*

person: are you mad?

me: *silent* - to be honest, i still do not know how to pick my battles.
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