Is the “Aldub” phenomenon still fresh this year? Well, there are Twitter trends. But those aside, it cannot be denied that the accidental love team between Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza was one of the hottest stories the previous year. Every Filipino gets hooked on Eat Bulaga’s most trending hook. From jeepney drivers to college, “Aldub” was an inescapable trend. Even I felt the surging phenomenon that I became vocal about it, under the guise of “studying” its cultural implication. So, whenever a non-conformist spoke against it, I frankly argue back in efforts to justify its run.
Now, I am not saying that the Älden-Yayadub phenomenon is a bad thing to follow up on. The classic case of justifying its social impact being the “best” is where things can get overboard. A social implication has an audience. The bigger the audience, the more chances it will increase. And the more it increases, the more it becomes a harmless trend. The more open it gets, the more it creates a bandwagon effect.
For those unfamiliar, the bandwagon effect is a social behavior wherein an individual or a group of people follow what other people are doing, regardless of its moral, cultural, intellectual and social implications. In our country, the bandwagon effect is pretty much apparent in every area of living. From business to entertainment to Internet trends, bandwagon applies in topical areas of the Philippines. And of course, this effect applies to politics.
Generally, the bandwagon effect is an efficient way to take hold of an audience and to assure that the majority inclines to the selling point. Industry players regard this as a “cash cow” to ultimately win the trust of the target audience. This is the reason why bandwagon effect applies everywhere in the Philippine context. Nothing bad to seek a large audience and make it grow, right?
Well, here is the thing about bandwagon effect: it is leading a mass of people to the “absolute thing”. So, regardless if the trend is moral or immoral, there will be a large audience to get attracted to. And it is non-dismissive for other audiences to follow the trend. If I say “trend”, I mean any trend, whether Internet memes, teleseryes or celebrities. Again, trends are not bad; it is defining trends as the “absolute”.
The bandwagon effect is pretty much an advantage for this elections. If a majority of the population has their hearts won by a candidate, pretty much others will follow. With all the strategies for candidates to win the votes of the people, it is still crucial to win the majority’s win. Among this “majority” is the masses, which take much subject to a candidate’s TV ads. True, the masses embody the definite Filipino. And in any instance that a candidate proved the definition of a worthy candidates, the mass celebrates and others follow suit. This is not always helpful.
Now, we do not want a spoonfed nation, where its citizens swallow everything that is fed to them, regardless if it is safe or harmful. Just like “AlDub” (an already outdated reference, by the way), we need to be aware of the implications of trends as this maybe the general stand of our society. It starts on us if we believe in the flow of the bandwagon. For elections, our definite choices should always come from us, not growing trends that others find amusing. A take home from this, a bigger audience does not always mean a better audience.