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December 28, 2006

Using the Cellphone for therapy

salamat docThe overwhelming response to the episode, “Positibo ang Pinoy” in ABS CBN “Salamat Dok” shows the wide coverage of the show not only in the Philippines but in the USA , Australia, Saudi Arabia or wherever the Filipino Channel is . Right after my 15 minute segment, I checked my phone and to my surprise saw 31 text messages and 21 missed calls. For the next two days, my phone received a barrage of “missed calls” and text messages. I lost count. It probably reached to over 100 messages and 50 missed calls. Basking in the cool morning breeze , the show was shot live in an outdoor scene. See, I never thought anyone would be watching a 6:00 AM show so I gave away my cellphone number freely . I have often done that in other TV shows and newspaper interviews. My cellphone number and The Compassionate Friends website flashed on the screen for bereaved parents who might want to join our support group. Though I got around 20 legitimate queries from bereaved family members, the rest of the inquiries probably misunderstood “The Compassionate Friends” purpose. Maybe they thought I was their compassionate friend. I can do only so much , really. Much as I want to help the world, I have a family to attend to and I need to focus on my mission to help bereaved families towards a positive resolution of grief.

Receiving a barrage of text messages and missed calls made me realize the value of the text messaging among cellphone users. Without revealing the content of the text messages, these are some of my observations.

1. [tag]Cellphone[/tag] text messaging is used as “talk-therapy” . Cellphone users unload their problems to someone who had been there. Knowing someone out there is listening comforts them. Even to acknowledge a simple “I understand” evokes a “Thank you so much” reply.

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