social media

The Power of Social Media in Education

Ever since its inception, the Internet has become an intricate part of life where persons depend on its access for daily activities such as shopping, social networking, education, banking, home security and other related activities. Among these, social networking, which seems to be the major attraction of the Internet, can be seen as a blessing and curse. Notably in education, social networking is seen as a positive indicator of advancement in education and its practices. However, we cannot deny the negative influences that can accompany it, which seems be a distracter for many students today.

Students frequently familiarize themselves with computers as they navigate these social networks. They gain valuable skills on an instrument that has become indispensable in the world they reside as students and the one, which they will enter upon completion of their studies. Also, it encourages networking with a variety of people, which can be viewed as a necessary skill in the business environment. This is also the case for teachers and administrators. With the existence of social blogs, Twitter and Facebook, teachers are able to share and record through various mediums, methods of instruction as well as teaching theories and practices in real-time. Furthermore, many are able to expand on techniques for learning and also interact with students on a consistent basis outside of the classroom.

On the contrary, the rise in social media and advancements in other interactive communicative technologies have produced negative impacts in and outside of the classroom. While social media can be seen as a positive tool for education, this tool has the potential to hinder student performance, social growth, and communication skills. Similarly, it can affect a teacher’s overall efficiency in several ways. To what do we owe a decline in academic performance as a result of its impact? What are the social ramifications of social media? What factors are directly responsible for the inability to educate students effectively? How are teachers affected by social media both in and out of the classroom?

For most, access to the Internet for educational purposes would be seen as a great resource for information; however, for students, the Internet poses many problematic factors in academic performance. In general, children who spend more time online find it harder to concentrate resulting in shorter attention spans. Students who rely solely on social media for information rather than researching other resources are likely to experience difficulty focusing on learning and information retention. It significantly affects study habits as students are attempting to multitask and end up becoming easily distracted because they are too busy tweeting and/or posting messages to Facebook in lieu of completing assignments.

Advancements in and excessive access to technology are direct factors on how social media has affected the student in and out of the classroom. Today, students spend most of their time on these networks via mobile devices. Some schools prohibit the use of these devices however; many of them sneak them into school. They use these devices to record videos; take photos of themselves and others, search the Internet, tweet and log on to Facebook, thus making it difficult to concentrate during instruction time. These activities also seek to inhibit effective instruction. In addition to this many of these activities have led to many problems in the school and community for example, fights, harassment, law suits etc. Excessive, unproductive time spent on social networks can therefore be very unhealthy, thus having a negative effect on teens and children. We can then argue that teaching/learning, is in direct competition with Social Media, when they should be partners in educating students.

The use of social networks has also significantly decreased the use of proper grammar and syntax in writing. Students have found it difficult to differentiate between the proper use of language as a result of abbreviated writing and shortened forms of word formulation. Many slang terms have become common in written class assignments. These terms IDK (I don’t know), SMH (shaking my head), BTW (by the way), YW (you’re welcome), TNX (thanks), IMO/IMHO (in my opinion/in my humble opinion) just to name a few, have crept up in students writing so much so that they are unable to understand the differences between the right and wrong way of spelling correctly. Teachers see the decline in proper writing in capitalization, punctuation, and subject-verb agreements, to name a few. Students are so immersed in poor grammar usage while online that they rely heavily on computer devices to autocorrect their mistakes resulting in the decline of their command over the use of English language. Subsequently creating a conflict in grammar usage.

Another key point not to be overlooked is the effect of social media on face-to-face communication. Clearly, if students spend more time on social networks then we can agree that they spend less time socializing in person. Lack of face-to-face interpersonal interactions can be directly linked to lack of social skills and etiquette. We learn important behaviors and emotional cues from close personal contact that cannot be learned online. As a result some students never learn to read body signals and other nonverbal cues, like tone and inflection. Social networking sites should not be seen as a replacement for personal contact but a valuable addition that can create a well rounded socially adjusted individual.

Today many students have become less social with one another preferring to interact online and live a virtual world based on false personas made easily accessible by social networking sites. This of course can have a lasting effect on the family unit, where effective face-to-face communication is essential in maintaining healthy relationships. Can we then cast some of the blame of today’s social ills and break down in family structure on social media? Often times, we go to restaurants, or other public spaces and everyone is busy on a device, thus very little face- to- face communication is going on. The question is how can we create a balance? How do we compete with this valuable tool we call the Internet whilst still maintaining healthy relationships?

Social media/networking affects both students and teachers alike. For instance, cyber-bullying can be seen as the leading negative proponent of social media. Many times violence in schools has started via a social networking site. Teachers are also affected by cyber-bullying. The perpetrators are sometimes students and/or parents. This abuse can be very damaging for a teacher as it decreases overall efficiency and confidence in the classroom. Teachers experience climbing levels of emotion stemming from being sad to becoming angry over online harassment. The experience can be humiliating and embarrassing. Defamation of character is quite common in the cyber world and continues to affect both teachers and students alike.

Social Media obviously affects all of us in some way or the other whether positively or negatively. Technology will continue to evolve, therefore; it is imperative that parents, teacher’s administrators and students all join hands together in encouraging positive, productive, effective, safe and responsible use of this valuable tool. The long-term effects of misuse can be very dangerous to progress in education and social development.

Posted by Anwar in SEO, 0 comments

How Social Media Marketing Can Boost Your SEO Efforts

Social media has the potential to bring about dramatic improvements in your SEO efforts. However, it is important to understand how activities on social channels can have an impact on your ranking. Search engines use links shared on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. as ranking signal. One important thing to consider at this point is that social media is not a direct ranking factor.

Increasing number of people are carrying out more and more of their daily communication on the internet, particularly social media which is a great way of sharing and obtaining information. People love to consume interesting content on social media. If you create amazing content and share it on relevant social platforms, it is likely to get popular. As a result, your rankings will experience a boost. Following are 3 of the ways social media can help you with your SEO efforts:

1. Generate links

First of all, you must create and post shareable and engaging content on platforms relevant to your industry. The more share you generate on social media, the more likely that people will see your content and link to it. Few years ago, marketers took it as granted that Facebook shares were a great ranking signal and, therefore, they put considerable emphasis on generating more and more shares. It was not really the number of shares that search engines took as indirect ranking factor, but the links that Facebook shares can generate. Which means you need to focus on creating high-quality content and sharing it on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. to get links from other websites.

2. Build presence

In today’s competitive environment, it is crucial to not only produce great products but also market them in an effective manner. As a business manager, you must stay proactive and reach your audience wherever they are in the world. You can’t find a better place than Facebook where you can have the chance to connect with 2 billion active users. Build your audience through social media marketing and earn customers trust. Social media helps you promote your brand and get it in front of potential customers who wouldn’t have otherwise found you. Once you earn more share of clicks in Google from a rapidly growing audience, you will be ranked higher.

3. Make good use of YouTube

We know YouTube is the second most-searched search engine where people can find plenty of incredible content and solutions to their problems. If used properly, YouTube marketing can have a positive impact on your SEO performance. If you create enticing content to promote your brand, it can leads to more links, just like Facebook. Videos can rank organically in search. The best technique is to create how-to videos that can help your audience solve problems.

Google+ is also a very useful platform where posts are ranked almost instantly. People who are logged in to Google+ receive personalized Google results.

To make a real difference to your existing ranking in SERPs, you have to create a sound social media marketing strategy while focus on creating great content.

Posted by Anwar in SEO, 0 comments

Social Media: Can Someone Be Addicted To Social Media?

Nowadays, it is not uncommon too see someone who is glued to their Smartphone, and this is something that can take place in just about every context. So, if one was to go into a public area, they are likely to see people of all ages looking down at their device.

Tuned Out

When this happens, someone can be completely oblivious when it comes to what is taking place around them. As a result of this, it can be normal for them to walk into people, objects, and they might even cross a road at the wrong moment.

And, if one was to use public transport, it is likely to be the same. Nevertheless, what will be different is that it will be a lot safer for their attention to be consumed by the piece of technology in front of them.

Out of the Present Moment

It could then be said that while their body will be in the company of others, their mind will be somewhere else. One way of looking at this would be to say that there is nothing interesting about walking around public places or being on a bus or a train, for instance.

At the same time, if is used to being plugged into a device like this it is not going to be a surprise for them to have this outlook. Everyday life might no longer be stimulating enough for them.

An Escape

So when someone places their attention on their device, they can avoid what is going on around them. In addition to this, it can allow them to avoid what is taking place within them.

There is also a strong chance that by using their device for as long as they have, they find it hard to not use it. With this in mind, what motivates them to use the device is partly going to relate to the attachment that they have formed to it.

A New Problem

What this shows is that not just a case of one trying to get away from existing feelings, they will be trying to get away from new feelings that arise when they don’t use their device. This can show that one has become dependent on it.

Using this device allows them to settle down, so if they don’t use it they will probably get withdrawal symptoms. Still, this is not just going to be about the device itself.

Social Media

When someone uses their device, they are likely to have a number of different apps that will have a positive effect on their mood. And simply hearing a sound from their Smartphone can have similar effect.

This sound can mean that they have received a comment, ‘like’, or a message from one of their ‘friends’ or ‘followers’. The reason for this is that one is going to get a rush of dopamine each time this happens, and this is the brain chemical that is associated with pleasure.

The Main Reason

Taking this into account, it could be said that the device and the apps that someone uses are just a means to an end. That is, of course, unless someone only uses their phone from time to time.

But when they spend a lot of their life using their device, it can show that they have become hooked to the brain chemical that is released when they use it. When this chemical is released, they will feel happy.

A Poor Substitute

The reason why someone would be consumed by their device is then not because of how fulfilling it is to use it; it is the result of the chemicals that their brain releases when they use it. But as one is only speaking to people over a screen and is not around real people, it is not as though socialising online is going to be a fulfilling experience per se.

Therefore, what one misses out on when they speak to their ‘friends’ over a screen, they make up for with the chemicals their brain releases. Then again, this is not quite accurate as speaking to people over a screen is not going to be the same as speaking to them in the real world, no matter how much dopamine their brain releases.

A Big Distraction

Through using their Smartphone to access different social media sites over a certain period of time, they will have created a pathway in their brain. As long as they get their dopamine hit they should be fine, it’s when they don’t that it can be difficult for them to handle.

It can be easy to focus purely on what happens when one doesn’t get the hit they need, but this would overlook what is likely to happen when one spends so much time on their Smartphone. The time they spend on this device could be used in a far more productive manner.

Final Thoughts

If they were to cut back on the amount of time they use their Smartphone, in order to use their time better, it is likely to be a challenge. It should get easier as time passes, though, and one will also be able to think about what they have achieved by changing their behaviour.

This is case of short-term pain, long term gain, or short-term gain, long-term pain. One could spend more time around others, read more (or simply start reading), or take up a new hobby, for instance.

Posted by Anwar in SEO, 0 comments

Benefits of Social Media: Why Is It Important?

Social media is being used for all sorts of purposes these days. Oh, you haven’t become part of it yet? Are you wondering what all the fuss is about? Read on to find out some of the advantages for you and your business when you become involved with the social media of today.

Keep Track of the Competition

You can join competitors Facebook pages or follow them on their Twitter or other social media accounts. This will allow you to see what is going on with them so you can formulate plans to get a leg up on them

Getting the Brand Established and Making Others Aware

YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are the three major social networks right now. Publicizing your brand on them will make people aware of your business. If you still need to create an online image for your business, the social media sites are where you should start today.

A More Personalized Approach to Pitching a Product

The social media allows you a more personalized approach for pitching a product. You can even engage customers in conversations and ask them how they like your product. Encourage them to give you feedback so that you can better know how to serve them.

Build More Customer Trust and Loyalty

Communicating with your customers in a more personal fashion makes them feel more like friends than just customers. This will make them have more trust in you and they will want to do business with you more than your competitors.

Helps Showcase Your Products

It is easier to showcase your products with social media. This brings attention to them much faster than other forms of promotion.

Listen to the Opinions of Your Customers

Social network websites are an effective method of listening in on the opinions your customers have on not only your products but also the company as a whole. Use these opinions constructively to improve your products to meet their desire or needs better.

Have More Effective Customer Service

You can use social media to give more effective customer service. This is a convenient way for your customers to ask questions and get the necessary answers. It is also cheaper than special phone setups and long distance charges.

In addition to the above things that social media does for your business it can do the following for you personally:

Develop Your Own Reputation

The social media sites are a good way to get your name known throughout the Internet and for you to discuss what you are interested in. This is the way to develop a reputation online, which is important for making business contacts or looking for a new place of employment.

The above are just some of the ways social media can be used to promote you and your business venture. It is so popular today that it would be to your advantage to make use of it.

Posted by Anwar in SEO, 0 comments

How to Set Your Social Media Goals For 2018

Social media specialists are all over the place and there are a lot of various opinions on what’s forward within the always altering panorama.

On this put up we will have a look at setting your targets based mostly on what you have performed thus far and the way you must modify it so that you’re getting probably the most out of your content material advertising.

In case you’ve by no means taken inventory of your social media or set targets, then that is the article for you.

It is essential to measure the successes and failures actually and to set your ego apart and admit that a few of what you probably did could have been wasted effort.

For tips about easy methods to enhance your social media attempt our article: Incorporate Content material Advertising and marketing into Twitter

1. Test Your Stories

Do you retain reviews? You positively ought to so you’ll be able to assess the efficacy of what you hung out placing on-line. A report can look any method you need however in the event you want path Smartsheet has a free social media report template to get you began.

Search for metrics like engagement as a substitute of impressions. With impressions and low clicks, you are doing extra hurt than good. Have a look at how your content material carried out and create classes for all of it.

This data is like your potential leads all telling you what they appreciated or did not. Take that into consideration when planning out 2018’s content material.

Every social media platform gives free analytics on the profile’s efficiency, so you’ll be able to see what you have shared that resonated and what fell flat. Search for patterns and subjects that present customers had constant curiosity in one thing you’ll be able to then repeat.

You possibly can even take the step of beginning paid promotion for your online business in the event you’re up for a problem!

2. Research Your Web site Analytics

Google Analytics is a good free instrument supplied by Google that’s important to planning your social media in 2018. Why? That is the place you learn how a lot of what you probably did truly drove visitors to your online business.

In case you do have it arrange, then examine your Acquisition part for Social after which Community Referrals. You can see the previous 12 months by deciding on the earlier 12 months because the date vary.

It will present you simply how many individuals have clicked in your social media posts and landed in your web site.

This may not matter with regards to what you shared nevertheless it does matter in the event you’ve performed posting that factors individuals towards your web site.

It’s best to all the time incorporate some sales-oriented messaging that reveals your consumer’s your online business so when you do not need to be a serial self promoter you do not need to be absent any self promotion totally.

3. Set Your Objectives

The primary two steps ought to offer you an understanding of the place you’re and now it is time to take that data and plan the place you are going.

What drew clicks? What received shared? What labored and what did not?

If one thing seems off and is clearly not working then assess whether or not your time can be higher spent elsewhere. One other challenge could be the viewers of a platform dwindling. Genuinely look out for platforms which have misplaced their viewers as a result of, whereas uncommon, it has occurred previously.

Are you spending lots of time posting to Fb? Strive placing a few of that effort into Instagram in case your goal market can also be on that platform. On common the approximate Instagram model follower development is 6 – 8% per 30 days. It’s possible you’ll not be capable of recreate that, however you must see some stable numbers in the event you’re posting good pictures often.

When had been your posts only? Pinterest developments present elevated utilization in the summertime and round Christmas with spring and fall seeing massive dips. Have a look at your reviews and in the event you used Pinterest see in case your stats align with this. Plan a posting schedule so you recognize when what you put up could have probably the most impact.

Whenever you set your targets take note it’s possible you’ll not attain them and that is advantageous. So long as what you are doing is sincere then you definitely’re in higher form than most.

Put up real content material about your online business and share content material you see as having honest worth to individuals enthusiastic about what you do. You will not solely develop your followers and associates, however you will develop them with individuals who have worth to greater than the potential optics of excessive numbers on a profile.

An important stat is your backside line. You might be spending your time advertising your self on social media for a motive and when you have skilled social media specialists serving to you then you definitely’re spending your cash too.

Your predominant objective out of all of it’s: did this assist my enterprise? If the reply is not any, then have in mind that your earlier targets (or an absence of them) had been incorrect.

Do not fret doing any of this by the way in which. The most important mistake you can also make is to permit this to turn out to be a chore relatively than a optimistic a part of your online business. Whenever you’re having fun with your self, you will discover you share higher content material and also you convey that emotion by way of to potential shoppers, which is a lot better than placing out a notion that you just’re agitated.

Posted by Anwar in SEO, 0 comments

Harms of Social Media

We need to see the potential harm of social media

Prior to 1794, farms across the world could only pick cotton as fast as humanly possible. In the late 18th century, Eli Whitney discovered the cotton gin and a simple process done since 500 AD was instantly improved upon. This invention took 1200 years and a lot of hard labor before it was discovered. Once this invention was created it caused efficiencies but also caused concern for a decreased need for labor.

Nowadays we are on a logarithmic scale of technological advancement, leaving us with much less time to evaluate the benefits and risks of new products. As new inventions are created, they are often able to be used instantly without fully understanding the downside.

Social media is an arena that is expanding daily and allowing immediate communication like we have not experienced before. There are a lot of benefits to social media and the adoption rates are unprecedented. Information is capable of being instantly disseminated, allowing businesses and individuals to be more informed and efficient. This new media has also allowed friends and family to stay connected and for new ideas to be formed.

There is no doubt in my mind that social media has positively impacted our society, however, I worry more about our tendency not to focus on the harms social media may bring.

Addiction to instant feedback

One of the largest segments of our population that regularly use social media is our children. As a child develops their personality, they are making decisions about how they will react to every situation. As they progress through school, they will make decisions and actions that affect the way they are perceived.

With social media, the feedback is instant and after posting a picture or a simple statement, they can receive gratitude and excitement from messages that are sent to them following the post. This can create such a positive response that often times leaves a child with an increased urge to do it again. If the video or picture that was posted generated a great response, they often want to find something more spectacular the next time they post.

A desire for acceptance and popularity has existed since the beginning of time, though, now with the ability to communicate with friends for 24 hours a day, the scene is changing. The ability to update a status or post a picture from a phone allows kids to instantly react without thinking. Usually these actions are benign, but can at times cause irreversible harm.

Recently, social media has been in the press relating to adolescents who got hospitalized after being dared on social media. As a child growing up, many kids will dare others or try something because their friends challenge them. Online, you can become infamous throughout the world instantly and this has a draw for many kids.

Just recently a child was hospitalized after putting a bottle rocket in his pants and others were hospitalized after holding cinnamon in their mouth for a minute. The danger is that these kids may or may not know that these stunts are dangerous. It may not be evident that a video seen online is not a credible source

Bullying online

Cyber bullying is another harmful product of social media. The internet is the new playground that our children live in and it is an unregulated often unsupervised place. Most parents would not let their children play in a park that they have not visited, though, many of us are not aware of what are children are doing online.

As I mentioned above, social media can be a place where children can find acceptance and popularity. It also can be a place that is feared and causes psychological harm. If most children are using social media and another child who tries is left out, this could cause that child to feel alone. On a more extreme level, what might have been contained at school now may be non-stop 24 hours a day. There are many instances that have resulted in fatal outcomes that were caused by cyber bullying. Most recently, a college kid from Rutgers committed suicide after parts of his social life were exposed on social media. This is becoming a larger problem and we need to be more aware of it.

I don’t have a solution for cyber bullying but strongly feel that we should be aware of it and open to discussing it with our community and children.

Communication

As a child growing up in Commerce Township,Michigan, I was outside playing sports all day and night and would spend time with family on the weekends engaging in conversation. Now, when I attend family events, I see many of my family members glued to their phones. It worries me that we are being accustomed to quick messages and short hand typing that we will soon become a society of less social individuals and poor communication skills.

As we move forward, I think it is imperative that we understand there are many benefits to social media, but also acknowledge the downside. I am striving to promote a balance between electronic and verbal communication so we don’t diminish our personal contact.

In addition, I believe it is prudent for us to gather as a family, community and a country to sort out the role social media has in our lives. Our children need us to discuss that there are more things important than achieving notoriety and also that we are there if they need us. It may be difficult to eliminate a dangerous dare or cyber bullying, but we should do our best to minimize the damage and help our children become adults without harm.

by ROBERT R. ZAID, DO

Posted by Anwar in SEO, 0 comments

Impact of Social Media on Society

“Do you have Facebook?”

“Yes, of course. But I don’t think you can find me, as there are too many people who have the same name as me. Try searching with my surname as well.”

“Hey, you celebrated your birthday in K-Box, right? I saw the photos in your Facebook.”

“Bro, I saw your comments about the YouTube video that I’ve posted in my blog. I’m happy that you are also deeply moved by the ‘Dancing Peacock Man’ as well.”

Social media or “social networking” has almost become part of our daily lives and being tossed around over the past few years. It is like any other media such as newspaper, radio and television but it is far more than just about sharing information and ideas. Social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Blogs have facilitated creation and exchange of ideas so quickly and widely than the conventional media. The power of define and control a brand is shifting from corporations and institutions to individuals and communities. It is no longer on the 5Cs (e.g. condominium, credit cards and car) that Singaporeans once talked about. Today, it is about the brand new Cs: creativity, communication, connection, creation (of new ideas and products), community (of shared interests), collaboration and (changing the game of) competition.

In January 2010, InSites Consulting has conducted an online survey with 2,884 consumers from over 14 countries between the ages of 18 to 55 years old on social networking. More than 90% of participants know at least 1 social networking site and 72% of participants are members of at least 1 social networking site. On the average, people have about 195 friends and they log in twice a day to social networking sites. However, 55% of the users cannot access their social network websites at work. In the past, not many adults were able to make more than 500 friends, but with social media, even a child or teenager can get to know more than 500 people in a few days by just clicking the mouse. Social media has devalued the traditional definition of “friend” where it means trust, support, compatible values, etc. Although we get to know more people, we are not able to build strong bond with all the people whom we met as our available time is limited. Hence, there is an upcoming social trend of people with wider social circles, but weaker ties (people we don’t know very well but who provide us with useful information and ideas).

Social media also influences people’s buying behaviours. Digital Influence Group reported that 91% of the people say consumer reviews are the #1 aid to buying decisions and 87% trust a friend’s recommendation over critic’s review. It is thrice more likely to trust peer opinions over advertising for purchasing decisions. 1 word-of-mouth conversation has an impact of 200 TV ads. With the prevalence use of social media, there is numerous news related to it from the most viewed YouTube video on “Armless pianist wins ‘China’s Got Talent'” to Web-assisted suicide cases (e.g. New Jersey college student who killed himself after video of him in a sexual encounter with another man was posted online). Thus, does social networking make us better or worse off as a society?

Positive Effects of Social Media

Besides having opportunity to know a lot of people in a fast and easy way, social media also helped teenagers who have social or physical mobility restrictions to build and maintain relationships with their friends and families. Children who go overseas to study can still stay in meaningful contact with their parents. To a greater extend, there is anecdotal evidence of positive outcomes from these technologies.

In 2008, President-elected Obama won the election through the effective use of social media to reach millions of audience or voters. The Obama campaign had generated and distributed huge amount of contents and messages across email, SMS, social media platforms and their websites. Obama and his campaign team fully understood the fundamental social need that everyone shares – the need of being “who we are”. Therefore, the campaign sent the message as “Because It’s about YOU” and chose the right form of media to connect with individuals, call for actions and create community for a social movement. They encouraged citizens to share their voices, hold discussion parties in houses and run their own campaign meetings. It truly changed the delivery of political message.

Obama campaign had made 5 million “friends” on more than 15 social networking sites (3 million friends on Facebook itself) and posted nearly 2,000 YouTube videos which were watched over 80 million times. At its peak, their website, MyBarackObama.com, had 8.5 million monthly visitors and produced 400,000 blog posts. In order to ensure that their contents were found by people, the Obama campaign spent $3.5 million on Google search in October alone, $600,000 on Advertising.com, $467,000 on Facebook in 2008, etc. Currently, Obama’s Twitter account has close to 6 million followers.

In 2010, after the earthquake happened in Haiti, many of the official communication lines were down. The rest of the world was not able to grasp the full picture of the situation there. To facilitate the sharing of information and make up for the lack of information, social media came in very handy to report the news about the affected area on what happened and what help was needed. Tweets from many people provided an impressive overview of the ongoing events from the earthquake. BBC covered the event by combining tweets from the work of its reporter Matthew Price in Port-au-Prince at the ground. Guardian’s live blog also used social media together with the information from other news organisations to report about the rescue mission.

It has been two years since CNN officially launched iReport as a section of its website where people can upload video material, with contact information. During the Haiti crisis, CNN had published a range of social media material but not all the materials were verified. The editorial staff would vet the reports from the citizen journalists and labeled them differently compared to unverified contents. On Facebook, a group, named “Earthquake Haiti”, was formed to show support and share updates and news. It had more than 14,000 members and some users even pleaded for assistance to the injured Haitians in the group. Using email, Twitter and social networking sites like Facebook, thousands of volunteers as part of Project Ushahidi were able to map reports sent by people from Haiti.

The most impressive part of the social media’s impact on Haiti is the charity text-message donations that soared to over $10 million for the victims in Haiti. People interested in helping the victims are encouraged to text, tweet and publicize their support using various social networking sites. The Global Philanthropy Group had also started a campaign to ask wealthy people and celebrities, like Ben Stiller and John Legend to use Twitter and Facebook to encourage others to give to UNICEF. An aid worker, Saundra Schimmelpfennig, allowed the advice from other aid workers and donors to post on her blog regarding to choosing which charitable organisations to support. In the meantime, donors were asking questions in Twitter, Facebook and blogs about their donations and endorsements of their favourite charities. After every crisis, the social media for social cause becomes a more effective medium to spread the word.

Negative Effects of Social Media

There are always two sides of every coin. Social media is just a tool or mean for people to use. It is still up to the users on how to use this tool (just like a knife, can help you to cut food or hurt others). Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center conducted a study on “The Future of Online Socializing” from the highly engaged, diverse set of respondents to an online, opt-in survey consisted of 895 technology stakeholders and critics. The negative effects presented by the respondents included time spent online robs time from important face-to-face relationships; the internet fosters mostly shallow relationships; the act of leveraging the internet to engage in social connection exposes private information; the internet allows people to silo themselves, limiting their exposure to new ideas; and the internet is being used to engender intolerance.

Some respondents also highlighted that there will be development of some new psychological and medical syndromes that will be “variations of depression caused by the lack of meaningful quality relationships”, and a “new world society”. The term, “Social Networking”, has begun to deceive the users to believe they are social creatures. For instance, spending a couple of hours using Farmville and chatting with friends concurrently does not convert into social skills. People become dependent on the technology and forget how to socialise in face-to-face context. The online personality of a person might be totally different from his/her offline character, causing chaos when the two personalities meet. It is apparent in online dating when the couple gets together in face-to-face for the first time. Their written profiles do not clearly represent their real-life characters. It is more enticing for people to type something that others want to hear than saying the truth.

Besides the “friendship”, creators of social networking sites and users redefine the term, “privacy” in the Internet as well. The challenge in data privacy is to share data while protecting personally identifiable information. Almost any information posted on social networking sites is permanent. Whenever someone posts pictures or videos on the web, it becomes viral. When the user deletes a video from his/her social network, someone might have kept it and then posted it onto other sites like YouTube already. People post photographs and video files on social networking sites without thinking and the files can reappear at the worst possible time. In 2008, a video of a group of ACJC students hazing a female student in school on her birthday was circulated and another video of a SCDF recruit being “welcomed” (was hosed with water and tarred with shoe polish) to a local fire station made its way online.

Much news has been reported about online privacy breach in Facebook and Facebook is constantly revising their privacy policy and changing their privacy controls for the users. Interestingly, even when users delete their personal information and deactivate their Facebook account, Facebook will still keep that information and will continue to use it for data mining. A reporter asked whether the data will at least be anonymized. The Facebook representative declined to comment.

In the corporate world, human resource managers can access Facebook or MySpace to get to know about a candidate’s true colours, especially when job seekers do not set their profiles to private. Research has found that almost half of employers have rejected a potential worker after finding incriminating material on their Facebook pages. Some employers have also checked the candidates’ online details in Facebook pages to see if they are lying about their qualifications. Nowadays, younger generations have a complete disregard for their own privacy, opening doors to unwelcome predators or stalkers.

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