Bridging the Gap Between Overseas Filipino Workers and Their Families through Social Media

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 12:00 PM
Room: 413
Distributed Paper
Cristine OCENAR , Social Weather Stations, Quezon City, Philippines
Gianne Sheena SABIO , Social Weather Stations, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
The National Statistics Office (NSO) estimates 2.220 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) working abroad at anytime during the period of April to September 2012.  The study aims to analyze how the advent of social media influences in communicating among families with OFW members.

The birth of modern technology and its advancements, in this day and age, bridges the proximity between families who are separated in an attempt to improve their quality of life.  It is argued that there are inherent tensions in this process since communicating with their families becomes a challenge.  A specific purpose of communicating with their families through social media and internet is a factor that needs to be identified.

Using data from the quarterly surveys of Social Weather Stations among Filipino adults, the study seeks to address the following questions: (1) What platforms of social media do migrant workers use to communicate with their families in the Philippines? (2) How often do migrant workers communicate with their families in the Philippines? (3) What challenges do families encounter when communicating with their families using social media? (4) How does mediated communication affect the dynamics of family relationships? (5) If a member of the family is non-digitally-literate, how then do they communicate with one another?

Here, utilizing empirical research and Filipino familial theory is analyzed to explain the benefits and disadvantages of communicating among families with migrant workers through social media.