Social Communication

For centuries, social communication has developed, and today, it is much easier to communicate with people. Social communication had gained popularity the 1970s when emailing made it easy to engage in collaboration, and share different information.  Social media took a giant leap forward after the foundation of Face book, MySpace, Bebo and twitter in the early 2000’s. Despite the fact that these media had a lot of popularity and significantly boost social networking, social media have affected the community both negatively and positively. Some of the positive aspects brought about by social media include; students or individuals were able to access information for education purposes. In addition to this, people are able to communicate easily and faster through the network. According to the article, “Civil Discourse in the Age of Social Media”, there are less positive effects of social media than the negative effects. Some of the negative effects highlighted in the article include; insidious shortening of words, cyber bulling and invasion of individual privacy. After the government and other researchers, for example, Andrew Keens noticed the effects of the social media to the community, especially the students, policies and measurement have been implemented to reduce the negative implications of the social media especially to the students. For example, showing students how to use social media and guiding them on how to measure the validity of the information used for education purposes.  Also, institutions should come up with policy statements that frame online interaction as a civil space and support teaching critical evaluation of online material.

Practices learned from the article that is applicable in class

Ensuring the validity of data or information collected from the social media

The society is becoming highly dependent on online information. Therefore, students should ensure that the data they collect from the internet is valid for usage in academic purposes. Also, the student should be guided on how to ensure the information is valid from their lectures. This ensures that data or information shared is legitimate and not bogus to avoid spreading false facts. Therefore, the information they analyze should be reliable by being legitimate.

Critically thinking

Students are skilled in searching for information and data available online, but most of them do not take much attention in reading, understanding and analyzing the information they get.  They depend on the heavily on the internet as a primary source of information. They should think critically about the information and data they retrieve online. This will reinforce and improve their learning throughout their college experience. This also helps in applications of what they learn in their daily life.

Private information

Most of the students are not aware of consequences of posting private information online. For example, one's private information can be rebroadcasted from Face book profile by either Face book or anyone who can access the information.  Students should be alert so as to ensure that private information is not accessible by unauthorized internet users.

Shortening of words

Social media have caused an increase in use of slang and shortening of words when users are communicating. This is mainly used by students when they are using the internet. Therefore, students end up practicing this in class because they spend much time on the internet.  Justin Kruger and his colleagues discovered that this mainly affected students’ writing skills in class. It is practiced mainly in the internet by individual in making conversations. For example, writing ‘btw’ instead of, 'by the way'. The content written by students is nearly impossible to understand because the language used is unconventional. This leads to misinterpretation of information by the receiver.  Therefore, students should ensure that they use the correct language, both written and spoken, to promote easy communication between themselves and to their lectures.

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