Social media, you may not think it but it might be the key to a more efficient way of learning

Social media is thought of by educators, parents and sometimes even students as a distraction or nuisance to their education and learning process, but it is actually another helpful advantage and resource to the new generations way of learning. Over 66% of all adults aged 16 and over have a profile on at least one social media website (BBC Active, 2010), since young people in particular communicate and interact with social media regularly, making it a perfect vehicle for learning. Social media has made it easier to connect the younger generation to other young people, so they can discuss and share opinions on things like classwork and group projects. Social media can also aid students learning by making their assessing and analyzing skills better just by scrolling through social media sites. Schools have even started using social media as way of sharing and teaching information, Google classrooms is an example of that.

Social media reshaping the way we educate, allowing students to make connections with world and others with the press of a button. According to a Professor Christine Greenhow from the university of Maryland “When kids feel connected and have a strong sense of belonging to the school community, they do better in school.” She goes on to say that, “They persist in school at higher rates and achieve at higher rates.” This can aid students in furthering their education by being connected with peers via Facebook Messenger group chats. These can help students instantly connect with classmates, allowing them to ask questions, share information about topics learned in class and help others further their knowledge. Additionally, using group chats can help young people with their education by teaching them to work as a team, collaborate on projects, lead discussions and assist other students. These are all positive aspects that can be explored using different communication forums like group chats. When young people make connections with others using social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook or twitter, these skills in making connections can help them later in life. Skills such as connecting with others and staying connected are useful in today’s job market. Social media is training this generation for these skills and preparing them for the obstacles in the job market that require those skill sets. Another way to connect with peers and classmates is some students use hashtags for individual courses to discuss and share opinions on the course. This causes others to write a post about their opinion on the topic and use the hashtag so others can see their point of view and discuss.

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Another way social media changes the process of learning for, young people is by developing their skill of rapidly assessing information found on various social media platforms. Social media has enhanced the younger generations ability to analyse and retain information. Young people are constantly scrolling through feeds such as Twitter, which contains a lot of writing and information. They look through and locate what’s relevant to them and skim posts for important information. For educational purposes, this skill can then benefit their studies, making it easier for them to find relevant information in reading materials and quickly skim worksheets to find key points. In addition, when, young person writes a comment for a social media account such as a comment on a Youtube video, it was found that they were more thoughtful about what they were writing due to the fact that their peers would see their comment. It is also shown that their grammar and punctuation were shown more attention. Without realizing it they are improving the learning skills and skills useful for writing essays just by thoughtful word choice and punctuation. This just shows that the younger generation is finding ways to use social media as a learning tool to help better their writing and punctuation skills.

Modern Keyboard With Colored Social Network Buttons.

Lastly, social media has transformed the learning experience in the school system. Even though many schools condemn students for using social media during school hours, most schools have hopped on the bandwagon of social media by using black board and google classrooms both of which are types of social media accounts. Dictionnary.com describes social media as being “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” This is exactly what google classroom does, letting students interact with teachers by leaving comments or questions about the classwork posted. Teachers can also upload information about the course and notes and PowerPoints taught in class. Google classroom has made learning much easier for this generation’s youth because it uses a learning tool that students can relate to, since they already use social media in their day to day lives. This way students can use a learning tool and be more motivated to do schoolwork and share their assignments on Google classroom.

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Social media is a useful learning tool for todays generation. Young people can share information with their peers, they can sharpen their skills of writing and analyzing and they can even use it for school purposes to post their assignments. Even though there is much criticism about social media, the reality is that teenagers are constantly using it and if it can help their education in the long run then it is really such a bad thing?

References:

1. Educational publishers. (2010). How social media is changing education . Available: http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/Howsocialmediaischangingeducation.aspx. Last accessed 14 November, 2016.
2. Lindsay Oberst. (2011). 2011 Research data shows social media sites can improve students’ education. Available: http://jjie.org/2011-research-study-by-university-of-maryland-social-media-sites-can-improve-education-of-studentsnew-research-study-shows-social-media-sites-can-improve-education-of-students/20929/. Last accessed 14, November 2016.
3. eff Dunn. (July 11, 2011). The 10 best and worst ways social media impacts education. Available: http://www.edudemic.com/social-media-education/. Last accessed 13 November, 2016.
4. Lisa Neilson. (3/20/2015). 7 ways social media has a role in education.Available: http://www.techlearning.com/blogentry/9084. Last accessed 14 November, 2016 .
5. Dictionary.com. (2005). Social media. Available: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/social-media. Last accessed 14, November 2016.
6. Lynn, O’brien. (April 4, 2012). Six ways to use social media in education. Available: https://cit.duke.edu/blog/2012/04/six-ways-to-use-social-media-in-education/. Last accessed 13 November, 2016.

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Social Media: The Way Foward

Social media in this world has become much more than just a trend in society but instead, very much an important part of it. It has become a more essential form of communicating over the years and has eclipsed many other ways of communicating like phone calls or letters. It has for this generation made it more common for the average person to talk with someone more over the internet as opposed to in real life. This is because of the accessibility and immediacy that it brings users to the whole world around them.The freedom that social media can grant someone in terms of expressing their views or bringing widespread attention to a cause or issue is revolutionary and a phenomenon that is great and useful for many reasons.

The amount of people signing up for social media or logging into their social media accounts on a daily basis is by far in the hundreds of millions. The exposure to information on these social media sites that people have can be staggering. Social media is the best form of media to spread information fast. The information on many peoples timelines are very current and often times updates every minute to get report on developing stories better than any media source. 50% of people receive breaking news through social media as opposed to other media outlets and is becoming one of the top news sources in the world. (Marino,2012) The new age of social media becoming the prime news source has made many media reporters and editors use social media to send their news to a wider audience.  With so much information being available at anyone’s disposal social media has the potential to have great influence over peoples perceptions and decision just like any other media source. The main difference between traditional media sources and social media is how much you can be directly involved in it. You can participate in surveys based on current issues or events or express your feelings through a post that can be shared and read by people across the world. You feel apart of whats happening and can decide on your stance based somewhat on your friends and family activity.

The most important part of social media and what it is mostly based on is the social aspect of it. Social media is the best way to facilitate or organize meetings or events and can help you communicate with friends fast and conveniently or maybe meet up and make new friends. Creating an event on a social media website such as Facebook can enable you to invite a small or large group of people on your friends list to a party or a event quite simply through a couple clicks of a mouse. You can set up the date, place and add in certain requirements for the event. You can also add people you have only met on the website and have a chance to met them in person and become better friends with them. Finding like minded people on social media websites is quite easy too with the ability to have your tastes and interests made public to others or getting into contact with people that like and show interests in the same topics as you.  It is also the best platform to message your friends and family, discussing what ever you want and with as many people you want simultaneously. Sharing post or interest on a large, public scale can seem daunting to some and those people will decide to keep their feelings on certain things to themselves. With social media you can share posts on this large scale but it can seem not as worrying as in real life and this can be shown by the fact that it makes us less shy (29%) and more confident (20%) (CommonSenseMedia, 2012). This is because doing so online can make it easier to share feelings as you won’t feel as exposed or vulnerable as if you had a physical audience in front of you. The online identity gives many users the confidence and support of people that real life doesn’t offer.

Sharing original work on these sites can also often times change peoples lives. YouTube is a platform in which you can share videos to showcase talent in film making or animation among other things. Many viewers are able to offer instant feedback on their work and show support by liking or commentating on their video. By making videos on YouTube and getting continued support on it you can kick start a career in your passions which may be making YouTube videos themselves and getting money through AdSense (which is also beneficial to major companies) or get noticed for your creative work and be offered a position as part of a creative team on a project. A prime example of success of YouTube is Felix Kjellberg or better known as his YouTube username Pewdiepie. Felix is the biggest star on YouTube with a staggering  49.1 million subscribes at the time of writing this. According to COED Felix’s estimated worth is $61 million and his earnings since 2010 has been estimated at $124 million. These are opportunities that have set many people up in their lives when they had no ways of truly showcasing their talents.

The use of social media today has shown many benefits to users and given many advantages to the progression of society today. The extended use of social media will only connect us together more and help us create friendships and get informed on the current issues more easily.

 

Reference

Common Sense Media, “Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives,” http://www.commonsensemedia.org, 2012

Kristin Marino, “Social Media: The New News Source,”http://www.schools.com/visuals/social-media-news_rename.html , Apr. 16, 2012

Michelle Dong, “Pewdiepie net worth 2016: How Much Is Pewdiepie Worth Right Now,” http://coed.com/2016/04/04/pewdiepie-net-worth-how-much-is-pewdiepie-worth-money-youtube-star-felix-arvid-ulf-kjellberg/, May. 9, 2016

Is Social Media The Reason?

Everybody knows what social media is the majority have social media. Media has been around since newspapers were invented but social media is much more interactive. People are able to talk to each other when miles away from each other. You may be thinking now well people have always been able to through telephones but the cool thing about social media is you are actually able to see their face and what they are doing and still hear them through social media like Skype and through the many apps that social media provides such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. what is believed of social media to do is use slang and teenagers have always been accused of ruining the English language because of slang. Slang are words that have been shortened to make reading information quicker and writing it quicker and by definition slang “is a type of language consisting of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing.” (Oxford Dictionaries | English, 2016) Slang is used in all sorts of social media, Facebook, twitter, snapchat and even “professional” emails. When posting things or sending a short message slang is easier to read and quicker to respond.

Hey m8, hru 2day wanna hang 2day?

Hey im on my way 2wrk soz.

Lol all g mbl8r TTYL :-P.

This is an example of a quick and very short message between two people. Slang has always been around but like everything it evolves. As well as the English language changing and media changing slang has also changed. This is what I call 21st century slang, and with social media it makes it a lot easier to use. When putting a quick post up instead of writing a full paragraph you are able to shorten the words and the sentences. With all this new social media and new way of English my question is who is using this social media slang the most.

Most people believe that teenagers are the reason why people use slang teenagers are the reason slang exists because we are too lazy to write a proper sentence and for a long time it has always been that way. Some of that might be true but how I see it is that most of us teenagers don’t use as much slang as people think we do. There have been many articles to support this one being “times of India” wrote an article also highlighting that teenagers are not running the English language by using slang. “Very commonly, people think that teenagers are ruining language because they are texting or using shorthand or slang,” said Mary Kohn, assistant professor of English at Kansas State University in the US. “In fact, teenagers may not be causing language change the way that we typically think,” Kohn noted. (The Times of India, 2016) I don’t know about you but how many times have you been talking or texting or reading a post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and your parents or career have written LOL or something like ROFL. Because of social media it has let everyone of all ages use slang. Social media means that parents connect with their children in a different way to how they used to. Which could mean that parents communicating in a different way through social media means they feel the need to use slang.

Social media has caused for people to use slang a lot more then we used to but that is not a bad thing. The English language has always been changing for many years and evolving to the needs of its users. Children at schools are still taught the proper English but that does not mean that they cannot go onto social media and use slang. Children should be taught to leave unprofessional language out of the professional work. “Language changes for several reasons. First, it changes because the needs of its speakers change. New technologies, new products, and new experiences require new words to refer to them clearly and efficiently.” (Anon, 2016). I am not the only one who believes that language change is good but as of anything there will always be the people who disagree. Therefore, social media today has caused us to use slang more then we used to but it is perfectly normal for this to happen to the English language. It is not the teenagers fault it is simply the way it works. Technology changing and us humans evolving is perfectly normal and how it is supposed to be.

Social media today is lots of people around the world connecting from people who live in japan communicating with people who live in Australia through ways then just being able to hear each other. It is an amazing new world around us because we are able to see all the new trends straight away and all the news around the world straight away but what social media is doing is influencing the English language. Although we see what it is doing and how it is creating the slang the only reason we do not do anything about it is because the English language is forever changing and always will. Slang may stop one day as it slowly is but the English language will change in ways we never knew in many many years.

 

References

Linguisticsociety.org. (2016). Is English Changing? | Linguistic Society of America. [online] Available at: http://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/english-changing [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Millennial CEO. (2016). How Social Media Has Changed How We Communicate. [online] Available at: http://millennialceo.com/social-media-changed-communicate/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

The Times of India. (2016). Teenagers not ruining the English language: Study – Times of India. [online] Available at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/books/features/Teenagers-not-ruining-the-English-language-Study/articleshow/50591637.cms [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Social Media… Is the glass half full or half empty?

Social Media is a very broad topic when one thinks about it. It connects us to people half way around the world and you can find any answer in a matter of minutes but there are also bad things about it as well, it can affect your attention spam, our overall psychology and how we socialise with other people.

Before I go deeper into the topic, I have to admit this can go both ways, some people might like my opinions while others will hate it but without a doubt we can’t say that social media is all one big good thing.

That being said, lets see what social media has changed in our every day lives for good and bad:

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The upside of Social Media

Meeting and Connecting

Social media if seen as an industry can be very helpful in many ways, you can ask people half way around the world for an answer that you may not know, there are a lot of willing people that will help you out as long as you don’t use them towards your advantage.

Meeting new people is also a big one who knows you might even find the love of your life on there someday. Having online friends has a lot of benefits to it, you can ask them for opinions and advise and even if you travel and you’re close enough with some of them you might be able to stay at their house without paying for a hotel. It keeps some businesses afloat and helps expand them, makes customer experiences easier to record and makes the overall experience of using company better.

Informative Media

News is everywhere, on every little corner of social media, if you look closely on the sides of your screen on sites such as Facebook and Twitter you can see ads for informative Media. All the information you need for the whole week you can find in no longer than five minutes.

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The Downside of Social Media

Internet Addiction

In the beginning, the creation of social media, was only used for contacting other people around the world, but now thanks to sites such as Facebook we see people getting obsessed around how many likes they are going to get on their profile picture this type of behaviour can become an addiction and its not laughing matter. I did a test on myself being on a computer the whole day and at the end trying to realise how much I was on different types of social media and the result really surprised me, on the clock it said I was on there for 8 whole hours while I thought I was on there for no more than four hours, this made me think how unproductive and time consuming social media can be, how much time people can actually spend on a computer without realising what time it is.

Answer this for me, when was the last time you didn’t have your phone by your side without having a empty kind of feeling or a feeling of being disconnected to say the least? When was the last time you didn’t feel uncomfortable when your phone had a low percentage? All these little bits and pieces can affect people in many ways, study shows that some Internet users are addicts to the Internet, showing signs of anger and discomfort if disconnected from social media for a long period of time. To be honest I see myself in a similar type of situation with the whole feeling discomfort without a phone and I think this type of percentage of people is getting higher every day.

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It is affecting the attention spam of people by lowering it by a couple of seconds, which doesn’t seem much but after a couple of tries to concentrate on something you can realise that it can get worse as time goes on. This can change the nature of the mind and create major issues in short-term thinking.

There is also the way social media replaced newspapers almost completely. With everything that is on our ‘’newsfeed’’ we cant even get the truth about what’s happening in the real world anymore and headlines of many different topics can be very misleading, even though internet can help us get all the answers we need, it can also give us wrong ones without you knowing it.

The Conclusion

Social media can be good and bad, it really just depends how you use it;

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As a user of social media and stating all the points before, the next thing that I’m going say might make me sound like a hypocrite but I do believe internet provides many more positives and negatives. There is always going to be excuses and different studies that can indicate that it does more bad than good but for now it’s a brilliant way to find out all the answers and stay connected to the people you care about, which in my case is very important because I’m not from Australia. The Internet in general is a brilliant innovation that keeps expanding and new practices are being applied daily, this gives us knowledge that could change the ‘’status quo’’ of us as a species to a better one.

If you use technology to the benefit for yourself and other people than I would say that you are on the right side but if you just use for watching videos or to glare at your phone all day I have news flash for you, you’re using it wrong and its not going to get you very far in life.

The Internet has a lot of potential to do well and benefit you in many ways; it all comes down to how you use it and how much you use it.

References:

  1. Social Media. 2015. Social media ups and downs. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.journalnow.com/social-media-ups-and-downs/article_4feca791-3a9c-5408-9aff-4755d75cdee9.html. [Accessed 16 November 2016]
  2. 3.  Collective Evolution. 2016. Notification Nation: The Ups & Downs of Your Addiction to Social Media – Collective Evolution. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/10/07/notification-nation-the-ups-downs-of-your-addiction-to-social-media/. [Accessed 16 November 2016]

4.  BBC News. 2010. The ups and downs of social networks. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj1zKTkvazQAhWCUbwKHQaTAl4QFghHMAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com%2Fnews%2Ftechnology-10719042&usg=AFQjCNFRmo0J99QpoZmBMwW4oWe3nq2lLA&sig2=4fWEFHXz_yHS2xP2D_-VVQ. [Accessed 16 November 2016].

5.  Karen Petersen. 2014. Ups and Downs of Social Media. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141020132054-59453187-ups-and-downs-of-social-media. [Accessed 16 November 2016].

Social media, the new generation

The Internet is arguably one of the greatest inventions in the twenty first century. Social media has taken over the Internet and has been made useful in many different ways. Social media has the power to connect each and everyone and has the power to entertain us. Websites like Facebook and Twitter are just one of the many different types of media’s. Social media can take form as a bookmarking sites, social news, Microblogging and the first and most obvious Social networks. All these media’s serve individually as a source of information and creativity. They open up a new horizon to the Internet that is connecting and establishing new jobs for many teens, young adults and even middle aged to senior citizens. I’m going to tell you about the lovely world of social media and how its development has changed the world as we know it.

 

Websites like Pintrest and Delicious are popular social bookmarking sites that centralise on users viewing photos, videos or other web documents and sharing them amongst followers to let other users to view upon.

 

Social news websites are sites that share and provide national and international news; example websites are Reddit and Digg. Both provide a broader access to news articles, videos and other picture that you wouldn’t normally find on the local news.

 

Microblogging is a type of social that allows its users to make short text updates or small articles. These updates can be personal, controversial or just beliefs amongst subscribers.

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Social networking is one of the most wide now type of social media and is the first that comes to mind when thinking of social media. Social network sites are sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the popular amongst young adults, Snapchat. Social networking has changed the world as we see it the most. It has changed how we communicate, how we do business and how we entertain ourselves. Social Networking is one of the fastest growing networks of all time. It is a one of a kind innovation and its gives life to a whole new range of things that once, we could only dream of.

Social media has become so huge and so popular that it has become a product of advertisement and new businesses. For example all the social networking sites I said earlier they provide jobs for people across the globe; this is a huge step forward in solving the unemployment crisis. Advertisements on Facebook and YouTube have given jobs like Web designers and App developers; it gives jobs to creative innovators that help run build the websites. Facebook for example it can provide employers to reach out to the world to fill occupations. Since so many people around the world are on Facebook and most of them spend an insane number of hours on it businesses are using it has a marketing platform so it can connect with its consumers. Businesses also use YouTube provide similar jobs to its employees and can use it as a marketing platform. YouTube has also been able to make a website that has made creativity rewarding for “YouTubers”. Some “YouTubers” have been very successful off this website due to its broad acceptance of everyone and its ability to connect and entertain us. Making a living off YouTube has become more and more popular over the years. Some “YouTubers” almost spend all their time on social media; YouTube has turned into an organisation that is a marketing platform for other businesses. People like Felix Kjellberg (Pewdiepie) have found success on YouTube. This video blogger appeals to the public by producing videos that entertain and give joy to the audience. He has the most subscribers on YouTube and his channel is believed to make £10 million a year (Lunn, E. 2014) by just recording him playing video games by himself or with friends. Felix only makes 25% of that original cut. YouTubers make money by companies willing to pay content marketing to promote their business. This is displayed to the public by ads being played before videos and promotional videos within the webpage. YouTube makes its money by promoting and providing a popular website that companies can display their products on; similar to a billboard on the side of the road. Ultimately social media has helped the spread of the fast growing demand for jobs and occupations.

 

Social media has been able to do a variety of things that were once deemed unimaginable a few decades ago. Almost all American teens have a social media account, 76% of all teens use social media. Over half of all teens use Facebook and Instagram (Lenhart, A. 2015). In this day and era connecting with friends via social media is a critical skill that all teens must teach themselves over time. Websites like Facebook have the ability to connect and bring out the passionate relationships with other people. Today it is so much easier to make friends over the Internet; at just a click of a button you can know everything about someone. Being extremely outgoing is no longer the only way to meet new friends, having this information through your Facebook wall can skip the awkward and unnecessary small talk. Social media allows you to connect and build thoughtful and meaningful relationships with people you wouldn’t even image to.

 

 

It is thought out since the popularisation of social media that teenage and young adults’ grammar, spelling and punctuation skills have dropped significantly, but it continuous to ignore the way users explore the online world. As we are moving into a different generation of computers people are becoming more and more knowledgeable about the Internet and its endless supply of knowledge. Social media has made it easier to access information, provide information and communicate with reliable sources. It allows a greater understanding of your research and lets you communicate between students and teachers. In universities professors record and send out videos of their lectures, this allows students to further their knowledge of the work. Social platforms that do this are Google classrooms and Moodle. Moodle allows teachers at The University of Canberra and other universities in Australia to post lectures and information about the classes (What is Moodle. 2016). This is a very successful method of letting professors connect with their work. This ultimately brings knowledge and life to our future generations.

 

Social media in the twenty first century has taken us to a whole new world human have never been before. It has the ability to provide jobs and employment, the ability to connect people across the globe and the ability to further excel the education of students and users. Ultimately social media’s popularisation has helped people around the world socially as well as it has entertained us with funny, amusing or educational videos and photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

 

Eagan, Sophie (2015) 10 most popular social bookmarking websites [online]

https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/10-popular-social-bookmarking-websites-2015/ Accessed 11 Nov. 2016

 

Asad, Issa (2014) List of the Top 50 Social News Websites [online]

https://issaasad.org/list-top-50-social-news-websites/ Accessed 12 Nov. 2016

 

Gray, Michael (2009) 5 Microblogging Sites That Aren’t Twitter [online]

http://searchengineland.com/5-microblogging-sites-that-arent-twitter-23481 Accessed 12 Nov. 2016

 

Nations, Daniel (2015) what is Microblogging [online] https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-microblogging-3486200 Accessed 13 Nov. 2016

 

Grahl, Tim (2014) The 6 types of social media [online] http://timgrahl.com/the-6-types-of-social-media/ Accessed 13 Nov. 2016

 

Smith, Jacquelyn (2013) How social media can help you in your job [online]

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/16/how-social-media-can-help-or-hurt-your-job-search/#22bc739224fd Accessed 13 Nov. 2016

 

Gupta, Priyanka (2015) Importance of social media in higher eduvation [online] http://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/2041-social-media-in-higher-education Accessed 13 Nov. 2016

 

 

Lunn, Emma (2014) How Pewdiepie makes £10million a year by playing video games on YouTube [online] https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/how-pewdiepie-makes-10million-a-year-by-playing-video-games-on-youtube-163306321.html Accessed 16 Nov. 2016

 

Alleger, Jason (2015) How much do YouTubers make? [online]

http://www.pennapowers.com/how-much-do-youtubers-make/ Accessed 16 Nov. 2016

 

What is Moodle? (2016) Learing Online [online]

http://learnonline.canberra.edu.au/mod/book/tool/print/index.php?id=759397 Accessed 16 Nov. 2016

 

The Greatest Tool of the 21st Century

 

The number, types and platforms of social media are ever increasing with new ones being created every day. Our lives are becoming more and more dependent on social media with just about every part of our lives affected from shopping for clothes, groceries and movie tickets to talking to one another, organising events and sharing photos. There are so many platforms to share our thoughts, feelings and images with your loved through things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, this has become the norm, especially for teenagers as it is all they have known. This is made even more accessible by the fact that much of this is free and accessible to all ages.

Social media means that sporting fans are able to connect with their favourite sports stars quickly, easily and for free. Fans are able to send a tweet to their favourite sporting star and receive a reply within minutes even if the sporting star is in another country. This is a lot more convenient and easy than sending a letter and waiting weeks if not months for a response. A tweet from a celebrity may not be the same as a personal greeting and handshake but it is a lot better than nothing. It is a lot easier for charities to get their names out there and organise events as well as easily receive endorsements from celebrities. I was on Instagram and saw Katy Perry make a post about an abortion charity in America and within only 2 hours of her posting it had received over 300,000 likes (Chen, J 2016). That’s 300,000 people who had thought acknowledged that charity which may have resulted in many making a donation. Because of social media charities are able to expand their potential contributors and with a simple “like” can help without even donating.

Social media also means that everyday people such as myself are able to communicate and share their ideas and opinions with a wider audience. I am able to share my opinion about social media, the benefits and the negatives for free. It also means that you are able to make a quick search and find answers on anything quickly and easily. There are blogs about anything and everything online. With the rise in social media many people have been able to make a career and living out of it. Many Youtubers are able to live off the money they make from filming, editing and posting videos online. There are youtubers with 10 million plus subscribers and millions of views, likes and comments per video. Even if you are not a Youtube sensation with millions of followers social media allows people to look for a job and promote themselves easily. There are multiple website dedicated to finding jobs most of which are accessible for free. People who are trying to make it in the modelling or acting world are able to create an online profile which clothing, film and modelling companies can look at and easily contact them through. This is a lot easier than have to buy expensive headshots and take them to a company. Justin Bieber the singing sensation actually started on social media he owes all his fame and 200 million dollars to Youtube, by posting videos of him singing he was recognised by Usher another singer who flew him to America and started his singing career (James, C 2015).

However as useful a tool that social media is there are dangers. People can become very unstuck when it comes to social media. Once someone posts and shares something it is out there, even if you delete it. Everyone can see your angry rants, unfortunate photos, photos you did not intend to share, including future employers, loved ones and even the police. I have seen post of people saying how fun their day was on Facebook right after they tell their boss they are sick and cannot make it into work, forgetting that they are friends on Facebook with their work colleagues. They are then surprised when their boss sees the post and sacks them.

People my age only know life with computers, mobile devices and social media. These tools are rarely further than a meter away from our hands at any given time. If we are without our phones for more than a couple hours people can find themselves feeling stressed and anxious. This is becoming a very unhealthy habit and will become more of an issue as time goes on. Children as young as 2 years are able to turn on, unlock and operate a phone before they were able to walk. We have lost the ability to communicate with our friends and family face to face or without our devices. Even though it is called social media we are all becoming more unsocial by using it.

A big issue that has come with social media is cyberbullying, it is almost impossible to escape bullying when it can happen to you at school, work and home. There are so many differents way to cyberbully beyond the standard direct message, people are able to hack accounts and send damaging messages, post embarrassing photos for the whole world to see as well as multiple others. It is recorded that more than 30% of young people have been cyberbullied in one way or another at some point in their life, and over 50% of those people do not tell their parents they are being bullied resulting in many having suicidal thoughts.

There is a new currency with the rise in social media ‘the like’ people value their self-worth depending on the amount of likes they get on their posts and photos. How popular you are and cool you are is all dependent on the amount of likes you get. Getting a lot of likes makes you feel confident and as if that like means they actually like you. I am the same, I admit it if a photo I post does not get many likes it will affect me in a negative way and I may even delete the photo. It is sad but it’s the truth the simple click of a button can make or break someone’s confidence.

I believe that over all the benefits that come with the increase in social media and technology outweighs the risk that come with it. As long as everyone thinks before they post and are careful about who they talk to social media is a very useful tool. Having the ability to talk to anyone anywhere in the world is such a crazy thing that our parents wouldn’t of even be able to imagine.

References

Bullying Statistics. (n.d.). Cyber Bullying Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

Chen, J. (2016). Katy Perry Donates $10,000 to Planned Parenthood. [online] Us Weekly. Available at: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/katy-perry-donates-10000-to-planned-parenthood-w450139 [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

James, C. (2015). 15 People Who Became Rich And Famous Thanks To Social Media. [online] TheTalko. Available at: http://www.thetalko.com/15-people-who-became-rich-and-famous-thanks-to-social-media/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

McMahon, D. (2015). Does social media kill communication skills?. [online] Des Moines Register. Available at: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/abetteriowa/2015/09/30/does-social-media-kill-communication-skills/73067760/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2016].

 

 

Welcome To The Dark Side…

darth-vader-face1 (Whalen, 2015)

Social media, a way to bring multitudes of cultures together through news, trends and even dating websites. It’s an all-knowing Wizard (subtle reference to The Wizard of Oz) behind a screen with unlimited knowledge. You want to know how to hide a dead body? Google’s got the answer! Is your dress too small? Buy a new one online! But is it really as good as we think it is? I mean sure, the Internet makes our lives easier in many different ways, but like all things, it has a dark side (subtle reference to Star Wars). It’s a place where likes decide your self worth, a place where privacy is nonexistent, a place where 60-year-old creeps can talk to 10-year-old children. So what exactly are you getting yourself into?

The Group Hangout

people-on-their-phones    (justinspireface, 2015)

The “social” in social media implies a sense of socialization when using the Internet. But let me ask you a question, how many of your Facebook friends do you actually know or see often? And when you get together with those friends are you talking face to face or are you on your phone? Most social gatherings today involve some kind of screen rather than stimulating conversation. The Internet has enabled society to be anti-social while allowing us to think the exact opposite. The ability to like, comment on pictures, and send friend requests, creates a sense of socialization, when in reality, we are alone in our bedroom. A 2012 study from the Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School found that 8% of people reported less face-to-face time with their family in 2000. That number rose to 32% in 2011. Another 47% of 18-34 year olds admitted to using social media or texting instead of talking to friends and family during meals (Procon, 2016). These trends lead to an anti-social society in countries with technology.

The Catfish

ejs0cfs (William, 2015)

I hate to break it to you but that 21-year-old supermodel you’re talking to on Tinder is actually a 45-year-old man living in his parents’ basement. This is most commonly known as catfishing, where by creating fake accounts, predators have the ability to manipulate and deceive young children and adults. In the online dating community, 42% of Americans know someone who has participated in this new phenomenon of online dating (D’Costa, 2014). 58% of those online daters know someone who has presented false information on their profile. After being contacted by people online, 28% of the participants have felt harassed and uncomfortable (D’Costa, 2014).

In the child predator community, children are meeting strangers online and “falling in love”. According to a 2013 study, 30% of teen girls admitted to meeting up with a stranger they met online. 10% of those encounters ended negatively (Willett, 2015). The victims of catfishing suffer not only from emotional devastation, but also physical harm and in some cases, death. Due to the increasing popularity of dating websites and apps, the statistics are only rising.

The Cyber Bully

cyber-bullying-finalcolor(kujamac, 2016)

Cyber bullying is a growing issue. The Internet is more readily available than it has ever been before. Once you post something, it’s up for the whole world to see and criticize. Kids are especially vulnerable to this bullying, in which anonymous perpetrators can pose as other people to terrorize them. 87% of today’s youth have witnessed cyber bullying (Teensafe, 2016) while 49.5% of students admitted to being victims of online bullying (ProCon, 2016). In a 2015 study, they found that adolescent girls are more likely to be cyber bullied (41%)  compared to boys (28%) (Patchin, 2015) .

Cyber bullying can cause a decrease in self-image and in extreme cases lead to suicide. Middle school students who are victims of this bullying are twice as likely to commit suicide (ProCon, 2016). However, cyber bullying is increasing across all ages, not just teenagers and children. For adults, the bullying is most often found in the form of trolling (Adult, 2014). “In the late 1980s, Internet users adopted the word ‘troll’ to denote someone who intentionally disrupts online communities.” – Schwartz. An example is 24-year-old Louise Stalker, who started receiving death and rape threats on Facebook and her blog (Watkins, 2013). This unfortunate reality of social media is a danger to current and future generations.

Privacy? Never Heard of It.

online-privacy(Sugar, 2015)

Social Media, in a way, has caused the demise of privacy. Anyone can find your profile and learn about you through friend lists, people you follow, posts, etc. As I mentioned before, once you post something, it’s there forever. Most sites allow users to customize privacy settings on their account; however, these setting can be ineffective or difficult to use (Jung, 2016). 13 million Facebook users said they didn’t know about the privacy settings (ProCon, 2016). Another 28% admitted to sharing all their posts publicly (ProCon, 2016). This lack of privacy opens the door to hackers and even the police and government officials who can access your profile and search for illegal behavior. Furthermore, future employers can gain access to your social media accounts and depending on what you post, inhibit your chances of getting that job.

Just One More…

ahh-procrastination(Avery, 2014)

Have you ever watched a cat video when you should be doing work? If you said no then you’re lying to yourself. We’ve all been in the position where we have to watch just one more or just a quick log in to Facebook. Syed Noman Ali, author for Social Media Today wrote “Nucleus Research reported that Facebook shaves 1.5% off office productivity while Morse claimed that British companies lost $2.2 billion a year to the social phenomenon” (Snow, 2015). Logging into Facebook causes an influx of dopamine in our brain. Meaning, Facebook is scientifically proven to be addictive. You get a hit of pleasure when you get a message or read a post from your friends. Furthermore, Salary.com reported that 89% of respondents admitted to wasting time at work on social media (Snow, 2015).

As you can see, Social Media isn’t as fantastic as you think it is. The Internet ruins social gatherings, subjects young kids to child predators and cyber bullying, diminishes privacy, and promotes procrastination. But despite it all, we’re going to keep using it anyway.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Adult Cyber bullying — harassment in the information age (2014) Available at: https://nobullying.com/adult-cyber-bullying/ (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

D’Costa, K. (2014) Catfishing: The truth about deception online. Available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice/catfishing-the-truth-about-deception-online/ (Accessed: 14 November 2016).

Jung, B. (2016) ‘The negative effect of social media on society and individuals’, Small Business Chron.

justininspireface (2015) How to break the awkward silence in group hangouts. Available at: https://inspireyourfaceblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/how-to-break-the-awkward-silence-in-group-hangouts/ (Accessed: 16 November 2016).

kujamac (2016) Cyber-bullying: The new violence against women by women. Available at: https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/groups/sub-saharan-africa-group/posts/65258 (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

Patchin, J.W. (2015) Our latest research on cyberbullying among school students. Available at: http://cyberbullying.org/2015-data (Accessed: 11 November 2016).

ProCon (2016) Social networking ProCon.Org. Available at: http://socialnetworking.procon.org/ (Accessed: 9 November 2016).

Avery, R. (2014) 7 ways to stop Procrastinating starting tomorrow ». Available at: http://ryanavery.com/7-ways-stop-procrastinating-starting-tomorrow/ (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

Snow, S. (2015) Is social media bad for us? Available at: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/technology-data/sarah-snow/2015-07-01/social-media-bad-us (Accessed: 9 November 2016).

Sugar (2015) Online privacy? There’s no such thing! Available at: https://sugarcoatingsince91.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/online-privacy-theres-no-such-thing/ (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

Teensafe (2016) Cyberbullying facts and statistics. Available at: http://www.teensafe.com/blog/cyber-bullying-facts-and-statistics/ (Accessed: 12 November 2016).

WATKINS, E. (2013) Cyber bullying against adults: A victim’s story. Available at: http://www.news.com.au/technology/cyber-bullying-against-adults-a-victim8217s-story/story-e6frfro0-1226699354782 (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

Whalen, A. (2015) Star Wars needs a new Darth Vader, ‘rebels’ season 2 proves Disney must replace James Earl Jones. Available at: http://www.idigitaltimes.com/star-wars-needs-new-darth-vader-rebels-season-2-proves-disney-must-replace-james-earl-456793 (Accessed: 16 November 2016).

Willett, M. (2015) Here’s the truth about that viral catfishing stunt that three teens fell for. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/video-of-teen-girls-getting-catfished-goes-viral-2015-8 (Accessed: 15 November 2016).

William (2015) Williamnbwz’s soup. Available at: http://williamnbwz.soup.io/ (Accessed: 15 November 2016).