Facebook Crackdown Hits Guimaras

Nephew Sharwin

Call me “Old School.” I am a crusty old expat at age 63. In the Fifties, when I was growing up in a sleepy small town in Central Illinois, the latest high tech gadget in our household was a black-and-white television set. We got five channels from St. Louis on that old wooden box: KSD, the NBC affiliate, KTVI, offering programming from ABC, KMOX, backed by CBS, and independent station, KPLR, which featured one of my personal favorites, The Three Stooges,  and the Public Television station, KETC, which I rarely watched at the time since Mr. Rogers creeped me out. 

But now, decades later, as I enjoy my golden retirement years, we are bombarded by gizmos like the cell phone, iPhones, tablets, the Apple Watch, big screen 3D and UHD television sets, all hooked up to Al Gore’s Internet, and all connected to the monster called “social media.” But in our household, a Facebook crackdown hits Guimaras, our home province.

I left Facebook a couple of months ago. I still have a Twitter account but haven’t used it for months. I would shut it down if I could remember my password. I don’t have Instagram, never did, but still have an active account on LinkedIn but don’t use it and I’m too lazy to deactivate it.

Of course, all blogging gurus state emphatically that it is essential to be on all the social media sites if you want your blog to thrive. I go against that advice. I’m basically anti-social. I will talk to people and my asawa will tell you I talk too much, but when it comes to social media, I can’t get too excited about it.

I occasionally throw out a post or two on this website but a couple of months ago my internet service from Globe severely slowed down. I called Globe and was on hold for an hour before I spoke to a manager who in a robotic voice could only repeat their “Fair Use Policy” policy mantra.

Though I pay 999 pesos a month for a postpaid plan with so-called “Unlimited Service.” I do not download movies or tv shows from the internet and rarely download anything from YouTube.  Globe first implemented its fair use policy in 2010 covering prepaid calls, texts and data promos. The company enforced the policy for postpaid data plans a few months ago.

So when I reach 3GB of data for the month, my internet slows down to 2GB speeds, which is even slower than dial-up service I first had back in the States. It renders using my internet virtually useless. It can take an hour for me to check my emails and makes responding to any comments on Philippines Plus painstakingly slow. So if you find I do not respond to a comment in a timely fashion, chances are Globe has slowed me down.

In the past two months, around the middle of the month, the big slow down from Globe begins. Even if I turn on my computer at 3 or 4 am in the morning, my internet speeds are extremely slow. But then I discovered something which prompted my Facebook crackdown in Guimaras.

Our soon-to-be 16-year-old-nephew, Sherwin, who lives with us while his Mother works as a domestic helper in Kuwait, has been using the Wi-Fi connection to hook up to FB on his smart phone. After our nephew gives his 83-year-old Lolo (Grandfather) a shower in the morning (not a pleasant sight, I assure you), he hunkers down in his room and logs on to the giant social media network, pissing away my 3GB monthly limit from Globe.Sherwin and Shaina smiling in Iloilo!

Sherwin with sister Shaina

Since Sherwin has graduated from high school last March, he has evidently had too much time on his hands, and unlike his “old school” uncle who spent his summers playing outdoors and reading (gasp!) books, our nephew has evidently become addicted to Facebook. But not any more.

I popped into Sherwin’s bedroom this morning, after Lolo’s morning shower and daily poop, which our nephew also monitors (don’t ask.)

There was Sherwin, smart phone in hand, reading messages from his Facebook account.

I made a remark. No profanity. But a loud remark and my asawa spoke to our nephew in the native language, Ilonggo.

Five minutes later, after some fuming, I went back to Sherwin’s room.

“Gimme that phone!” I exclaimed. “You can have it back when school starts again.” Sherwin plans to attend a local college in June.

It was handed over to me without protest.

Now I imagine taking away a teenager’s cellphone would result in an investigation from your local Child and Family Services but keep in mind, this is the Philippines, where teenagers, for the most part, still respect their elders, at least in our rural province.Sherwin and Shaina in Guimaras

Sherwin and Shaina, the younger days

Extreme measures on my part? Nope, not in my opinion. There’s plenty of other things our nephew could do aside from flopping around all day in his room on Facebook. Just call me “Old School,” if you like. But this crusty old expat can assure you that our nephew will not get that phone back until school starts.

And my asawa’s reaction? She said nothing and in that silence, I know she is backing me up 100%. If she disagrees with me on something, she makes her opinion well known. After all, she started working on the family rice farm at the age of seven and always had plenty of chores, such as chopping firewood and carrying water from the river, to keep her busy.

Author: The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 19 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Shepherd called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people in the last two years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

20 thoughts on “Facebook Crackdown Hits Guimaras

  1. Dave, if you only want the kids to use the internet certain days/times, you can change the settings on your router so that their devices will only work on your router during the times that you want. It’s done through the MAC address, just search online for how to change the settings on your router.

    1. Well, Lance, I decided to cancel our Wi-Fi connection to his smart phone via the settings on his phone. I gave the phone back to him and if he wants to use the Wi-Fi feature he will have to go to one of the free Wi-Fi spots available in our town. He has a load on his phone for texting. I don’t care if he sends text messages, that money is coming out of his pocket.

        1. I don’t want to block his text messages, Lance. We don’t give Sherwin an allowance but he did receive some monetary gifts from us during his recent high school graduation and he used part of that money to buy a “load” to text his friends. But he’s free to hop on his new Schwinn bicycle (another recent gift) and hop over to a free Wi-Fi spot.

  2. Data caps are arriving in the US too for cable.

    But here’s the thing. 3GB in two weeks from email, blog posts, and Facebook?

    Nope. You need to have a look at what the kid is doing. There is more going on than FB.

    1. Yep, I agree, Owen. That’s why he won’t be using the Wi-Fi anymore from our house. The kid is going to be 16 in two weeks. I didn’t check his internet history on his phone but probably should have. He probably cleared it already anyway. Sherwin is going to college to become an IT tech.

  3. Dave,
    Cap’s on data kind of boggle my mind. We are lucky we have never had a problem with that. There just needs to be more competition and things would change.

    1. Well at 16, porn is an obvious suspicion, but to preserve him at least a chance at innocence there is also a good chance it is multiplayer gaming. Data eaters.

  4. Good job on taking the phone. Parents here need to limit there kids on phone time but then sometimes I believe the kids control the parents instead of the parents being in charge. ” Facebook and kids is just a fight or accident waiting to happen.”…

    1. I have to agree, Roger. It seems that the kids are running the household but I have to give kudos to the mother in Baltimore who slapped her son silly when she saw him throwing rocks at police during local demonstrations there.

  5. Dave, if I was in your shoes, I will deal with. My nephew the same way you deal with Sherwin. That disciplinary action is valid. I fully support it. The youth of today have so much time on their hands and they need face to face experiences in growing up not looking an Facebook all the time. Godbless.

    1. Thanks for the support, Rey. Rey, what is scary is that before we got our internet service here, I would go to the local internet cafe. Invariably they were full of young people and a quick glance at their user screens showed all were logged into Facebook.

      Yes, I am “Old School,” but I learned more from reading three or four books a week from our school library and even comic books, than I could have ever learned if video games and Facebook had been available. And the comic books? If there was a word I didn’t understand, I would look it up in a dictionary.

      1. Dave, I just returned from three weeks in Cebu City visiting my wife’s family. Of course I brought my laptop to keep up with the news from home. We had anywhere from 2 to 16 people in our room 24/7, and of course, I let them use my laptop. It was my observation that my laptop was used for nothing more than FB and games which frustrated me to no end. Granted, I use my computers for entertainment also, but to me, they are more of a useful tool to inform, educate and work. Needless to say, I ran cleanup utilities and virus scans multiple time per day or whenever I could muscle my way in. At the start of the third week, I would lock down the laptop whenever my wife and I would leave the room. I’m sure they were bored to death but I’d had enough.

        I also issued my own Cebu City mini ban on FB while there. We were all eating at Jollibee and I noticed my wife’s daughter using my cell phone. When I inquired what she was doing, she told me FB. Went through the roof on that and told all the nieces and nephews that my phone is “never” to be used for social media. Excessive cell phone usage in restaurants or other public places is a pet peeve of mine anyway.

        Maybe when we make our move to the Philippines, I can give you a run for the money in becoming the Phils “crustiest expat”. Really enjoy your site and have been a lurker for several years now.


        1. I feel your pain, Steve. I salute you for your own mini ban in Cebu City, one of my favorite places in the Philippines. There is absolutely no excuse for using FB or playing any online games while at a restaurant where quality time with family and friends should be the norm. The time people spend on Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites simply amazes me. As you stated, there are so many more useful things to accomplish online. To me, some folks simply use Facebook as a means to brag, akin to the embellished Christmas letters some families would enclose every year with their Christmas cards.

          Thanks so much for following the website, Steve. I sincerely appreciate hearing comments from newcomers and from those that have around for years, like yourself.

    1. Thanks for the article, Lance. I see that that the report came out last December. Haven’t heard any more about it. Hope that the DOJ pursues it and that this is not just “lip service” from the government.

Leave a Reply