Social Media A Nus Undergraduate Responsibility Producer:Da Xuan [Oct 28 2013]
l Social media definition and classification l How to promote environment project using social media? l Social media regulations in China and Singapore l Social media cause harm to independent thinking l Editor’s note
Definition and Classification
Social media is a new way to communicate. In contrast with
traditional media such as newspaper or radio, social media enables all the users to interact instantly and generate information, owing to the Web 2.0 technology that was developed about a decade ago. For students at the National University of Singapore (NUS), social media plays an important role in both their social and academic life. To widen their social circles, NUS undergraduates make use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They post photos and updates of their life and share interesting videos, stories or their favorite books and movies. By exchanging such information and sharing mutual interest, they can find new friends as well as keep in touch with old friends. Information spread really fast through a chain of sharing. Thus, some campus activities are organized using social media platforms and the outcomes have usually been successful. In NUS, social media is also used to enhance learning. According to Centre for the Development of Teaching and Learning, a blog site called Wiki let users from NUS write blogs, comment on each other and share academic resources, especially for group working. It changes the traditional way where students in most time learn individually. In Wiki, students share their work and help each other tackle problems. It increases students’ learning efficiency and improves communication. To sum up, social media gives NUS undergraduates a new method to communicate in both interpersonal relationship and in academic area. Students now have more interaction with others and the awareness of good cooperation increases.
How to promote
Student interest groups devoted to
promoting the environmentally friendly actions in NUS should consider using social media. It can raise the profile of the group or organization and more students will be encouraged to join the activities that are publicized using social media. A good example is the Earth Hour Organization. Their success in using social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram win them official support from Jamaica’s government in 2011,
Environment Project according to “Social media helped promote Jamaica’s first Earth Hour”. Facebook is an ideal platform given its immense popularity among undergraduates in Singapore and its remarkable ability to connect. Here is how one can achieve the goal of promoting pro-‐environment behavior. It is important to start by having a Facebook account with an attractive design. It does not mean to have as many unnecessary decorations as possible.
Instead, a simple and clean one with emphasis on the topic will be much better. Second, update frequently and interact actively to get more attention. Try to avoid preaching and make the content appealing. It’s important to show enthusiasm because it can persuade others to help the environment. Further interaction, like responding to comments and questions, may turn momentary curiosity to participation.
Third, use Wiki to complement previous efforts on Facebook, as all NUS students have access to Wiki. Post blogs about experiences of those activities or start a discussion on wiki to attract classmates or project partners. Based on the experience of interest groups dedicated to promoting environmental causes through social media, the steps described above will very likely work for any one with a similar purpose in mind.
Using social Media?
Social Media Regulations in China and Singapore
China and Singapore are both
racial riot like the one in 1964. Like China, Singapore is determined to preserve social stability. According to Fann Sim (2012), in 2012 a Chinese scholar from NUS was expelled from his scholarship because he posted insulting remarks about Singaporeans without any qualification in his microblog. Such irresponsible behavior caused a lot of unhappiness and anger in society and both Chinese and Singaporeans suffered. Issues like this can go viral easily on the social media and the development will soon go beyond the student’s own control. Social media is powerful both in good ways and bad ways. As NUS undergraduates and responsible citizens, we have to take responsibility for our behaviors online.
famous for their strict regulations on social media and are both sometimes criticized for suppressing free speech by the West. Regulations in China focus on controlling potential challenges from politically ambitious organizations, such as Falungong. Thus the political censorship on the Internet is harsh. A number of certain political words cannot be posted because they are listed as “sensitive words”, including “Falungong”, “Tiananmen Square Protests”, ”corruption” and even “police”. The ruling party takes a cautious attitude towards social media because growing discontent may be fanned out of control online and may escalate to severe turmoil. The government in Singapore is cautious because it wants to avoid another
Social media Cause harm to Independent Thinking The immediacy of social media can bring harm to independent thinking. Information acquiring today is very different from what it was in the past. According to Titterton G. (2009), CNN and BBC now rely on ordinary people who are at the scene besides official or trusted sources to provide timely updates. People get immediate and flooding information from Facebook or twitter. Such fast pace leaves
them little time to dwell on one piece of information and in fact, they don’t care if it is true or not any more because the next wave of information keeps coming. Many people stop questioning, stop seeking truth and stop thinking critically. Getting Information has never been so easy and quick that people just grab and swallow it. People become extremely credulous when they quit 1 2 3 4
thought about it independently. They just followed others blindly but their power pushed the US government to take actions that should have had further discussion. In conclusion, the immediacy of social media provides such an easy way to obtain information that people become too lazy to think. Their dependence on ready answers and information will eventually harm their independent thinking abilities.
thinking. This also results in herd mentality. A good example lies in viral campaigns, like Kony 2012 from Consumerism Trumps Education: The Kony 2012 Campaign. When the video went viral online, billions of people became the campaign’s fanatical advocates overnight for reasons they were actually not clear about. They had little knowledge about the context of the issue and had hardly
Editor’s notes Communication through social media cannot be effective if its users do not behave in a responsible manner. Responsibility does not only mean to obey basic rules and follow etiquette, but also means to take action actively. Social media is a very powerful tool. Good ideas get chance to spread while pernicious influences can be magnified for hundreds of times. As NUS undergraduates, it is our responsibility not to use social media for harm but to benefit the world. We have to be polite and respectful. Our language should not cause offence. We should not disseminate untrue facts or rumors. The consequences of these irresponsible online behaviors can be serious for it is well known that there are strict laws against offensive remarks related to race and religion. On the other hand, by observing the rules of appropriate use, we can benefit from the exchange of ideas through social media platforms such as Wiki which is designed to enhance our learning. Using social media to promote environment project on campus can bring significant positive influences to our life. We cannot simply define social media as good or bad. It is the trend of era, which we are not able to change, but what we can do is to use social media safely and responsibly. References • Author unknown (2011). Correspondence: “Social media helped promote Jamaica’s first Earth Hour”Retrieved from http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/2011/05/15/correspondence-‐soci al-‐media-‐helped-‐promote-‐jamaica’s-‐first-‐earth-‐hour/ • Fann Sim (2012). NUS student Sun Xu punished for 'dogs' comment. Retrieved from http://sg.news.yahoo.com/chinese-‐scholar-‐sun-‐xu-‐s-‐scholarship-‐termin ated.html • Titterton G. (2009). The Immediacy and Power of Social Media. Retrieved from http://www.intelligentpositioning.com/blog/2009/06/the-‐immediacy-‐a nd-‐power-‐of-‐social-‐media/ • Author unknown (2012). Consumerism Trumps Education: The Kony 2012 Campaign http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mikaela-‐luttrellrowland/consumerism-‐ trumps-‐educat_b_1337067.html