Community Groups on Facebook & Identity Formation (Castells’ Identity belief)

How media formed one’s identity?

Media is often said to have potentially profound effects in forming one’s social identity. However, to understand how it affect the identity by understanding what ‘identity’ really mean. Identity is not something that we’re born with. It’s socially constructed with the combination of self-awareness, knowledge of knowing oneself, how he presents himself and how he perceived by others (Aronson, Wilson & Akert, 2010) In today’s world, this concept is changing a bit where it can be defined by new media especially internet with the creation of fantasy or cyber identity and also functions as extension of our daily life and as a tool of cultural change. Internet users can own multiple identities for instance in chat rooms people tend to use nick names to stay anonymously that only disclose certain amount of personal details which may be true or fake. It can also be considered as an actively constructed presentation of oneself.

As users we often claimed that we belong to certain sites such as Instant Messaging, Online Dating, Academic forum sites, religious group online or certain political party’s page on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Today, even younger generation is believed to have strong social identity when they spend almost a day with their mobile phone or computers; addicted to games or engaging themselves with social media up to 3 in the morning when they’re supposed to sleep. In addition, cyber identity is become common details for two people who just met. For example, before the emergence of Internet, people would ask for each others’ phone number or their place of living but now people tend to identify themselves as having Facebook, Skype or any other social sites so that they could connect via Internet in the future. The rising of online communities has developed the issue of how we present ourselves to others. We can also be marked differently by looking at how we present ourselves in an online environment because we’re much controlled by how people perceived us. We often identify ourselves through invention of nick names that may be has little relation to our real identity.

When we visit someone’s sites on the Net, it’s actually a presentation of them as they wanted to be seen in that situation. For example, in fitness page people tend to share their work-out videos in order to meet the members’ expectation whenever they visit that page which is to get updates on new kind of workouts based on their preferences. Another example is on Google Plus where people share their brief biography such as educational background, working experience and interests.

Example of Community Group on Facebook: Miri Cats Community

The creation of community group on Facebook for example is due to mutual interest; Miri Cats Community that specifically created for cats’ lovers in Miri and it’s a closed group which means the setting is controlled by the group admin. This inclusive of approving request to join in and filtering posts on that page. This is to restrict its members from posting disturbing videos such as violence against cats which might caused such as hatred and anger among cats’ lovers. It’s happened when a member of that group posting a disturbing video of  a woman trampled over a kitten body with her high heels and it caused chaos on that group in that day where the other members posting comments with curse words toward the woman in the video. This community group is aimed to promote cats with different breeds and advertising about the upcoming meetings and competitions.

Besides, its members are free to share their cats’ photos to seek for “adopted” owner especially when the real owner is away from home and he/she need somebody else to feed his/her cats. It also concern about those who lose their cats by helping them to spread the cat’s photo and to help stray cats to get a proper care by seeking for new owners. This site is primarily addressed to those cats lovers because normally there’d be people who don’t fond cats due to health problem that can be caused by its fur or maybe they just don’t like to keep pets due to lack of commitments and interest. The probability for them to engage in this kind of group is low and perhaps they don’t even visit such sites because it’s not their interest.  

Gay Community Group on Facebook & Castells’ Definition of Identity

Generally we all noticed that our nation and most religions are against homosexuality. Yet, it cannot stop them to establish their own community on virtual world. Basically this site is for people to connect each other based on their sexual roles. They profoundly mention their interest to get to know each other for example Jejaka Sarawak and Kuching PLU (People Like Us). It same goes to heterosexual partners who interested with the opposite sex who have other sexual roles. This sites is primarily created only for gays and of course it’s a closed group because they wanted to protect the privacy of its members who may not disclose about their sexual identity to any of their close family members due to fear of rejection especially from other homophobic people. It’s function more like an unofficial dating sites where people are free to post their pictures and mention about their status.

At the same time, there’s also sites who are against gay community who may be mentioned about these sites but they can’t enter it due to strict privacy setting that’s controlled by the admin.As according to (Castells,2004) there are two distinct identities: project and resistance identities.Project identities refers to those identities constructed in order to change the world and they are built around a certain ideology. For example, a gay who have to maintain his masculinity in front of homophobic people due to fear of rejection. Resistance identities are stigmatized identities that seek recognition and a kind of identity that do not enjoy a high symbolic and material status. For example, being a gay which is believed to be one of deviant act or deviate from norm. However, all identities tend to become resistance identities, they seek to defend and safeguard their own position.

How Online Interaction Affects Individual Role in A Group?

The ‘invisible’ nature of online interaction has other effects on our role as a member within a group. In a virtual community chat room there’s private setting that is less incentive to adhere to social rules and mores than in the outside, physical world. In other words, we’re simply less at risk for those who break the rules. Apart from that there’s a privacy setting in which they’d band that users if they talk about sex openly or showing sexual images that’s obviously inappropriate due to age restriction and it shouldn’t be publicize. But at the same time, this privacy setting is vulnerable in such a way when they’re being kicked out from the chat room, they can always return back with new different anonymous name, forging a new identities and they can continue chatting away in the group and receive updates for particular pages. But not all online sites have a hesitant nature. Social media enabled us to keep in touch with our friends and family, reunited those who have grown distant from for instance Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Despite showing personal information of the users, it is beneficial especially to stay connected with someone who is close to your heart even they’re far by visiting their profiles to keep abreast of their recent updates and photos. Not only that,Facebook reproduce pre-existing member-based groups such as your colleague or classmates in a community group that has its own purposes for instance group assignment or school clubs or related to work especially to connect workers from various branches. By making more points of contact between people, users are actually strengthening their real friendship and encouraging interactions between people who have never met for real and may only know each other online.

Other online communities such as paid dating sites around the idea that its members have to spend money in order to join and interact with one another in the hope that they will meet someday in the real world. In other words, virtual world has become a platform for people to falsify their experience, relations and friends that can develop into ‘real world’ relationships (Jones, 1997)Yet many people argued that connection and relationship online have negatively affected interpersonal communication and weakening social bonds between people due to dependency on virtual communication which is lack of emotional expression except for written words.

Reference

Aronson,E.,Wilson,T.D.,& Akert.R.M.(2010). Social Psychology.UK: Prentice Hall.

Jones,S.(1997).Virtual Culture:Identity and Communication in Cybersociety. NewCastle, UK:SAGE.

Castells.M. (2004).The Power of Identity: The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture.Volume 2. NJ,US: John Wiley & Sons.

Transgender: For good or for bad? (Foucault’s Identification of Self)

       This is the case for Roxy that is previously known as Bob who is a father to a nine years old kid that was born with autism. As he realize that he has trouble to communicate with his children, he has decided to go through surgery and become the second mother to his/her son. Roxy has been feeling uncomfortable with his own skin as a male for the past 44 years but only later after 20 years of marriage to his/her wife Jo, he decided to go through gender reassignment with the total support of his/her wife (Cockroft, 2015).

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Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3045594/Former-bodyguard-called-Bob-finally-bonds-nine-year-old-autistic-son-second-mother-known-Roxy.html

       This is the picture of Roxy and Jo 20 years ago before Roxy decided to change his/her gender. Now they are still together but in their lesbian relationship. And now not only both of them, even their son also is happier with the changes made by his/her second mother.

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Introduction to identity 

        Who am I? A question that not only haunt the transgender but also everyone in the world at some point of their life. But the question of “who am I” is said to be the answer for every individual identity quest which lead to the message “This is who we are” once we found the real us throughout the struggle to answer the endless quest. Michael Foucault argue that identity is a way of us becoming the real us which is a unique individual through the technologies of self. But what is actually identity? Brewer stated every human has two type of identity which are the personal identity and social identities.

Personal identities is the individuated self-those characteristic that differentiate one individual from others
whereas social identities are “categorization of the self into more inclusive social unit that
depersonalize the self-concept”.These self-concepts can include categories such as
race, gender, occupational roles, organizational membership and so forth (Brewer, 1991, p. 477).

       Speaking about technology of self, we can relate it with culture that we live in today whereby it is normal to see young boys being scold for crying in public because only girls will do so said the parents and they are also not allowed to play with doll simply because it is a girl toy. Hence, the technology of self is actually socially construct because it was the people who set the taboo that they think is against the social norm. But it is also such practice that make us understand the identity that we are assign to according to our sexuality.

        The word identification is closely relate to one’s identity and it is represent by two meaning which are first the state and second the process of it. One’s identification with the state means by a person identify his or her identity according to his or her social group while the process aspect focus more on how an individual able to connect his or her identity with that preferable social group. Need to be stated here that there are no any fix identification for any human beings as human are impetus to changes due to their work or organisational demand. Hence, one’s is either negotiate with the changes face by his or her identity through times or manage it (Kreiner, Hollensbe, & Sheep, 2006). This is supported by Anthony Gidden who claim that identity is a dynamic, ever changing and evolve process. Hence there is no static identity occupied by an individual because there are always space and availabilities for one’s to improve or modify his or her identity.

The transgender  

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       This is a very strong statement made by the Executive Director of GenderPac who was born as a male but then change its genital to female through surgery and now are being label as no gender by the state of where he/she live in. Thus, she claim that gender issues is not only one’s personal problem but it is more to civil right issue even do they needs to disown some part of their body in order to serve the social expectation and norms (Mantilla, 2001). Without public consent, there are major harassment face by the transgender where most of them are found to be jobless as employer choose not to employ them although they have the qualification needed due to their sex orientation. This inequality situation then call for the transgender attention to realize that it is not their task but their duty to seek for equal right for their own kind.

       Other than that the transgender also against the intersex genital mutilation for those who was born with atypical sex anatomy.

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        Angelo Moreno Lippert from the Intersex Society of North America make a strong arguments when she clearly pin point that there is no need for surgeries to be conduct on children’s that is born with two sexes because it will only harm them. Instead of knowing what they want be in term of gender identity, children’s might end up face battle within themselves trying to be what that they has made into as the result of the surgeries.

        It is not an easy issue, but that parents need referrals to counselor and need to be encouraged to accept their children’s difference. She also said counselling and peer support saved families and lives”. She encourage making all sex assignment of children tentative, thus preserving the child’s choice, that the choice should “rest squarely with the individual who will live with the consequences” (Mantilla, 2001, p. 7).

The Beaumont Society 

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Source: http://www.beaumontsociety.org.uk/

       The Beaumont Society is an organisation that is for and run by the transgender community itself. In spite of gender, their sexual orientation, ethnicity and skin colour, the Beaumont society welcome all those who are the latecomers to those who are already comfortable and confident in their skin and identity that they have chosen. Other than guiding the transgender through advice, the Beaumont Society also train their members to face the challenges in their everyday life.

“Transgender” is an inclusive term for anyone whose sex assigned to him or her at birth. For example, the ascribed status as “female” or “male” on their birth certificate does not conform to their lived or perceived gender. This is known as gender dysphoria.

Gender Dysphoria as explained in Beaumont Society official page refers to dissatisfaction of an individual natural biological characteristic, which is incongruent with their preferred identity. Gender Dysphoria affects the significant others and family relations of transgendered people in a variety of ways.

Beaumont Society as a UK registered charity that originally founded in 1966 where it started of as a UK Chapter of the secret American organization “Full Personality Expression (FPE)” focuses on the transgendered individual by supporting and carried out many activities. Their aim is to form an association for the transgender community to facilitate mutual support and communication in order to improve their physical, mental and self esteem of the transgender people. In addition, Beaumont promotes and assists in many studies of gender differences by providing necessary information and legal support to the researcher and also the nation by accomplishing some lawful activity.

Traditionally regarded as a secret MTF group for cross-dressers, the Beaumont Society has evolved since these humble beginnings. It’s now not only open to transgendered community, Man To Female, Female To Male, bisexual or non-gendered. Even to teenagers, who is struggling to find their true gender identity where they may seek advice and help from what they are facing now. As for the wife and life partner to these gender dysphoria community, there is a sister “partners” organization call women of the Beaumont Society (WOBS) (http://www.gender.org.uk/wobsmatters/), which has specifically been established for them.

As mention in the Beaumont society official web page, the members get many benefits of membership after register and pay member fee as much as £29.00 GBP for the first year and then £29.00 GBP for the following each year. The benefits are as below:-

  • Get exclusive access and stand a chance to chat and meet with others
  • Download back issues and contribution by the members of the Beaumont Society Magazine
  • Invitations to Exclusive Beaumont Society linked events
  • Join discussion in the private members online forum and many more…

Foucault’s Identification of Self

         Relating the transgender issue to our topic today, we do agree with the idea of Foucault’s saying that the technologies or practices which are referred to as ‘technologies of the self’ is actually the practices by which we get to understand and shape ourselves. Foucault argued that identity is the ways in which we become unique individuals and selves. In other word, identity is constructed  via some techniques and practices.

     According to Rail & Harvey (1995) who cited Foucault’s perception on Identification of self, they defined that technologies of the self as the practices which allows the individual to be influenced by their own means. In addition, it also refers to that of with the help of a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct, and way of being, so as to transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality (Rail & Harvey  as cited in Foucault, 1950).

“Through these technologies an individual begins to recognize her/himself as a subject and in this sense,
s/he can be understood to counter the technologies of power”.

 As a consequence, Rail and Harvey has further explained the concept of identification by Foucault that

“the technologies of the self can be conceptualized as practices that free the individual from the control of disciplinary practices and consequently, lead to self transformation”

            In this context, drawing from the idea of Foucault, we perceive that the relationship of new media is shown via the new technologies of self that through the technologies, identities are constructed.  Looking back to the issue discussed above, the transgender issue is constructed where no one is born to be a transgender. In other word, one’s identity is created in the technologies practices. As for the Beaumont Society, we can see that in the websites, there provide a widfe platform for the audience specifically the transgenders. In the website, the participators can share and speak out their thoughts where there is the place which “belong” to their identities.

          For example, one of the tweets for this website shows that the participators are free to share their ideas via the connection to otehr social media such as Tweeter.

“Bullying, sexual abuse, intimidation & racism are not acceptable under any circumstance. If you believe this, retweet!”

Retweeted by Beaumont Society

 

Our insights: The agreement as the guest on Beaumont sites

We as the guest on the Beaumont site will mention our agreements. Beaumont is a community-based organization initiated to promote positive awareness for transgender community by providing them the help and support needed. It is also an independent body of organization that is run by the transgender community themselves.

In our observation, we agree that this website provides an interactive atmosphere towards the larger society not only for the transgender community. This website is seen to be good platform for the transgender community to express their identity freely in return, they gain help and support from other transgender. As mentioned earlier that through the use of technology, a person’s identity is shaped by technology, it is due to their trust towards the implication of technology that most people became fully dependent on technology as their ‘bestfriend’ or ‘a shoulder to lean on’.

Since this website is the foci for transgender community, it became centralised where everyone can get together to share and communicate especially to convey the ‘message of acceptance’ for transgender. The advantage is that, we as a society or community should come together to say this is what is right to do, which is to assist these particular community in acknowledging their identity’s decision.

References

Brewer, M. B. (1991). The social self: On being the same and different at the same time. Personality and Social Psychology       Bulletin, 475-482.

Cockroft, S. (2015, April 19). ‘I love my second mum so much. I never wabt daddy back’: Transgender father becomes          another mother to nine years old son (and a lesbian partner to his wife). Retrieved from Mail Online:          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3045594/Former-bodyguard-called-Bob-finally-bonds-nine-year-old-autistic-son-    second-mother-known-Roxy.html

Kreiner, G. E., Hollensbe, E. C., & Sheep, M. L. (2006). Where is the “Me” among the “We”? Identity work and the search          for optimal balance. The Academy of Management Journal, 49(5), 1031-1057.
Mantilla, K. (2001). Gender rights, transgender rights, women’s rights? Off Our Backs, 31(7), 6-9.

Markula , P. (2003). The Technologies of the self: Sport, feminism, and Foucault. Sociology of Sport Journal,  20, 87-107.

The use of Mobile Media like ME and YOU!

Mobile media and Music

  It is common to see now everyone is with their mobile phone on their hand. In the coffee shop while waiting for food, while talking with friends and of course forget not the need of having phone in the toilet too!

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  Hence phone has become something that is very essential in life and now with the invention of more smart phone in the world, peoples has becoming more addicted to their phone. A research done by the Statistic Brain in 2015 found out that 11% of smartphone users download apps for entertainments purpose and another 3% of them download apps for music. Hence from Walkman by Sony, to iPod by Apple now with the invention of more creative smart phone, people even can turn their common smart phone into portable juke box. Hence, Los Angeles Times which is a newspaper has come out with the list of Top Seven Must-Have smartphone music apps which are as below (Rodriguez, 2013) :

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Source: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/26/business/la-fi-tn-top-7-music-apps-must-have-20130325

  And now with the advancement of technology you can even play music directly from your smart phone to your stereo!

Another YouTube sensational!

  Like in the western country, YouTube artist also has become a viral in Malaysia where we can see some really talented people showing their talent on the social media by making a singing video or even viral now where people make a parody video of their own. One of the example is the latest famous YouTube sensation Elizabeth Tan from Taman Melawati Kuala Lumpur. She who is just a normal girl with a great talent is found on YouTube by the recording company after her cover on song called “Pencuri hati” by Mark Adam who is also a new singer in Malaysia become viral in the social media (Ariff, 2014).

  And thanks to mobile media who provide free apps like Twitter and Facebook for the smart phone users, it is more convenient for people to watch video from YouTube in their phone now, subscribe and then share it with friends on the Social media by just pressing the share button in the phone screen (Balance, 2012). And this is how a video has become viral in any minutes. Therefore nowadays other than watching news on television, people’s know faster about a news from social media such as Facebook as they can access the information in any minute.

Mobile Media Makes Everyone a Celebrity?

   Online social networking is growing rapidly worldwide (Kendall & Marieke, 2013). Mobile media on the other side has emerged to be the medium to carry us into the world of all social networking no matter where we are. In other word, people get to interact and communicate with one another no matter where they are.

  The development of mobile media has created new dimension on space which result in a sort of hybrid space. This is further supported by Frizzera (2015) that mobile devices should become the social interface to the people’s experience of space since it has becoming increasingly vitally present in our society today. Mobile devices no longer merely a tool to consume information but also essential for communication purposes.

   Here we would like to look into the implications of mobile media use to the society today. Today, we can easily become a journalist, a photographer, a connoisseur, a chef, a singer, an Internet celebrity or a viral scandal individual. This is true. With the mobile media we can get ourselves exposed everytime and everywhere. Taking a chef for example, with a video camera, everyone can be a chef sharing their own recipe on YouTube even the housewives or people who love culinary.

   With this many can be exposed to be chef celebrity and on the other hand the viewer can learn even a simple home dish. Chef Jason Hill from YouTube “Chef Tips” channel which cover all styles of cuisine, from chef secrets and grilling tips to hearty family meals and restaurant recipes. Jason Hills also tips on some of some favorite places to eat. The viewer just have to subscribe to the channel and they can learn very single thing from the “Chef Tips” channel.

   You see, everyone can be a celebrity nowadays. A mobile media can makes you popular everywhere, given you have a mobile device such as video camera or smartphone.

  Another new term we want to share here is the “YouTube Personalities”. This is new knowledge to us. YouTube personalities, also known as YouTubers, are people or groups who are popular because of their videos on YouTube. Some YouTube personalities own corporate sponsors. Corporate sponsors would then pay for product placement in the clips of YouTubers or other production of online advertisement. If we call people who write a blog as a blogger, then people who shoot a video and upload to the YouTube is a blogger.

  Justin Bieber a Canadian singer is a most likely to be a suitable instance to be here. He was discovered on YouTube and signed a major record deal with Usher before becoming one of the world’s biggest superstars at only 15 years old. His music video entitled Justin Bieber – Baby has exceeded 700,000,000 views, making it the second most viewed video in YouTube history as of December 2012

  So we can see how the implications of mobile media can bring changes to the individual’s life. New identities are shaped via mobile media. Same goes to when we take photo on foods and dishes before we dig in and give comments on the taste of the food. We have become a “unprofessional” food critics.

MOBILE RETARDS, are you? 

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8ec_1355358096

retrieved from http://www.liveleak.com

Between cell phones, social media websites, and online gaming, children now tend to have more choices of entertainment and leisure moment to socialize with their family and friends virtually than hanging out with each other in person. However, with all of the good social intention that was initiated at the first place while technologies were created, misuses of technologies were widely spread amongst the adolescent and also young adults. In addition to the physical and verbal bullying that may take place at school, videos were taken during the scene and posted in social media. Have you watch the 9 minutes video attached above? Can you watch it till the end?

Physical abuse has been a normal aspect of domestic life in Malaysia for a long time. Physical assaults that would be serious offences if committed by one man against other – for instance, hitting, slapping, or striking with an object – have been legally and socially sanctioned when committed by a man against his family members or by their parents against their children. This video of a Malaysia man physically abusing a young child who is beginning to walk has sparked global outrage after it was posted on Facebook and the mother who is filming the video sounds happy while watching this saddening moment. (Owoseje, 2012) Many were devastated with the abusive action that was done by the man towards the toddler. Why does this video was posted in the first place?

Given the global reach of the Internet, the posting of child abuse material online constitutes an international crime and demands concerted collaboration worldwide. At INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. INTERPOL’s role is to enable police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place and with their high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support helps meet the growing challenges of fighting crime in the 21st century. (INTERPOL, 2015)

Other than child abuse posted online, social media bullying is another favorite act of mobile retard. A generation ago, children who went to school knew that as soon as they returned home, their fear of bullying and intimidating would be over as they are under protection at home, which is safe. Unfortunately, today’s school children live in an increasingly interconnected world where they no longer felt protected due to the permeation of the Internet. Social media have exploded in popularity amongst teenagers and children old enough to use the web, but with more and more friends or schoolmates come the potential for greater social bullying.

There’s an estimated one billion people using Facebook as their first medium, half of all spends as much as three hours on social networks and has truly become a social addict by posting anything just anything such as raging in school bullying or any random photos just to get LIKES! It’s this atmosphere that allows social network bullying to proliferate, since it’s easy to do in many forms and it’s extremely difficult for some to walk away from despite the harm of threats.

Amanda died because she couldn’t handle the pressure of being bully. She was struggling to stay in this world because everything just “touches” her so deeply. She chose to suicide to make pain go away because she rather hurt herself than someone else.

So, STOP BEING A SOCIAL RETARDS and start to make a change!

Mobile media in workplace and its advantages

In today’s society particularly in a workplace or offices, the workload and demand of a production is high where everything rhymes with ‘more, more and faster, faster’, and the situation involves assistance from technology. Where on earth can you find a workplace or an office with no computer, telephone, fax machine or even a cell phone and smartphone? Technology have been assisting mankind in all sorts of ways which in turn changes the pattern of media usage, and since it was made to make our life easier and comfortable, we tend to take things for granted by being fully dependent on technology.

Often a relationship is the most obvious after-effect of technology via mobile media. For instance, when your boss assigned you a task and you would receive the message via email from your boss, this is normally done cause it is fast and convenient. When the task is finalised, it would be emailed back to the boss for a final check via email before it is presented orally. And stop right there, this is where smartphones comes in. Most workers in any workplace use a Smartphones, as email could be retrieved instantly at the palm of your hand. Basically, we can see the advantage in getting the job done ‘quick’.

Apart from that, the workplace is not the only event to witness the changing pattern of mobile media. Even at home between family members, or among university students in assignments or projects. Also, through mobile media communication is made possible where information in the forms of video, images, voice recordings and documents could be uploaded and shared to everyone. The use of mobile phones or smartphone is the use of mobile media, therefore as mentioned earlier one can easily get famous by posting videos or photos regardless in Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube to convey a form of information for the public eye.

Another example that can be seen in workplace is conducting a meeting via video or tele conferencing. Let’s just say that GooGoo Corporation has four office branch located in different country or region, this forces the company to choose this alternative in order to conduct their meeting which in turn reduce the cost of travel for their employer or employee.

Not only that, most people use instant messaging such as Watsapp because its easier to convey an urgent message and since everyone in the corporate world owns a smartphone and subscribed a mobile data, it then becomes an advantage and a necessity for these group of people to reach out to each other in a more efficient and effective way. Due to the nature of Watsapp, a group chat can be created instantly and a number of people can participant in the group chat and this can also be among  family members or a group of friends. Thus, this enables individuals and peers to discuss on an urgent matter regarding their work.

Here, we can conclude that the relationship patterns in today’s society is indeed virtual. There are various advantages of mobile media but the main advantage are the conveniency and speed.

References
Ariff, I. J. (2014, Julai 31). Elizabeth Tan kembali trending. Retrieved from Astro Awani: http://www.astroawani.com/kini-trending/elizabeth-tan-kembali-trending-41021

Balance, C. B. (2012). How it feels to be viral me: Affective labor and Asian American Youtube performance. Women’s Studies Quarterly, 40(1/2), 138-152.

Frizzera, L.(2015). Mobile media as new forms of spatialization. Interdisciplinary Science Review, 40(1). 29-43.

Goodricha, K. & Marieke, D. M. (2013). How ‘social’ are social media? A cross-cultural comparison of online and offline purchase decision influences. Journal of Marketing Communications

INTERPOL. (2015). Internet Crimes: Identifying videos of abuse. Retrieved from http://www.interpol.int/Crime-areas/Crimes-against-children/Internet-crimes

Owoseje, T. (2012). Videos of Malaysia step-father abusing a toddler sparks outrage. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/video-footage-malaysian-step-father-abusing-toddler-414644

Rodriguez, S. (2013, March 26). Top seven must-have music apps. Retrieved from Los Angeles Times: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/26/business/la-fi-tn-top-7-music-apps-must-have-20130325

FAKE IDENTITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT

  “Today, I spent part of the day connecting with people. I complained about a silly election video, chatted with a college friend about a band, and put up some finishing touches on plan for a conference taking place at the library”(King & Poulin, 2011, p. 43). And these are among the famous habit of peoples like me myself will be doing on Facebook.

  Have to admit that social media such as Facebook has becoming a tool to communicate and build a network between peoples despite of their distant and different in time. In 2010, a studies by Edison Research has found out that 41% of peoples in United States have Facebook and this include parents who was on Facebook while their children’s ignoring their friend request on that social account!

Screenshot (18)

  Based on a statistic provided by Statistic Brain in 2014, there are 1.35 million of active Facebook user monthly and out of these numbers, 1.12 billion people access Facebook through their smart phone. This due to the availability of Facebook apps on apps store or play store as for Samsung phone user. The positive pattern in graph above has shown great increase in numbers of Facebook users as the number of users are only 1 billion in the first half year of 2012. And out of the 1.35 billion of Facebook user, 48% from the numbers log in Facebook in any days within a week and they spent 18 minutes on Facebook per visit.

  This explain the social phenomena which is called “anti-social” whereby a family will be sitting on a dining table but no one is talking to one another including the parents as they also know how to used smart phone and Internet. They rather to share jokes and laugh on the phone between one another rather than talking. And as for myself even my family have our own group What apps where we share all the things within the group.

FAKE ACCOUNT

  On a one fine day while scrolling Facebook, you type name of a friend in the search toolbar to check on him or her Facebook page but then you realize that u have been block by that individual. Therefore, to enable you to look at their Facebook post, you have decided to create another fake account by using others name and picture. Sound familiar? That might be you who have becoming a stalker without you aware of it.

Screenshot (19)

Source: (Stevens, 2011)

  As reported by the CNN in 2012, there are 83.09 million of fake user account on a well-known social media which is Facebook. Here, fake account mean by those who have more than one social account on Facebook or those who use unreal name on their user profile.

find-delete-prevent-fake-facebook-account-using-your-photo

  “In an updated regulatory filling released Wednesday, the social media company said that 8.7 percent of its 955 million monthly active users around the world are actually duplicate or false account” (Kelly, 2012).

  Duplicate account is a Facebook account that is created by frauds or in the other word the thief identity without the acknowledgement of the actual individual. People who have duplicate account tend to use others picture as their profile picture and pretend to be that individual by adding other Facebook user. This action not only against the law for stolen others identity but also taking advantage by using others identity for their self-interest.

  Besides that Facebook also has identified another two type of fake account which are the misclassified account and undesirable account. Misclassified account here mean by those Facebook account that should be done as Facebook page by people who share a common interest on pets, places or event. Meanwhile undesirable account is to represent those Facebook account that create propaganda or have hidden agenda to be spread throughout all the Facebook users who might already add or like the Facebook account.

  Here we can see there are both positive and negative impact of these social media which can be access daily through phone. While it keeping people close with families, friends or love one, it also create problem if we as the social media users did not use our right correctly.

References
Kelly, H. (2012, August 3). 83 million Facebook accounts are fakes and dupes . Retrieved from CNN International Edition: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/02/tech/social-media/facebook-fake-accounts/
King, D. L., & Poulin, T. E. (2011). Facebook’s for libraries: It’s easy to use social media’s most popular tool to connect with your community. American Libraries, 42(5), 42-45.
Stevens, J. (2011, October 28). Jilted women faces 18 months in prison after being charged with identity theft for ‘creating fake Facebook profile of her ex-boyfriend’. Retrieved from Mail Online : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054381/Woman-faces-18-months-prison-creating-fake-Facebook-profile-ex-boyfriend.html

Social Media Use Makes us Less Individualistic: Yes or No? Reflection on Fake Social Media Account Issue

“My generation has grown up alongside of the Internet and social media, and in the process of doing so we have become so attached to these technologies. As this has happened, I’ve noticed that many of the ideas and thoughts of different people are being twisted and molded into one collective thought so that it may be included and shared with the majority. This completely destroys the concept of individualism and self-expression” (Miller, 2009).

    The above statement is expressed by Miller who notice a critical change happened to this generation. He argues that the attachment to technology has caused the people to be less creative in terms of building up own stands and thoughts. What interests us here is that whether the media use has deprived the concept of individualism among oneself? In other word, has media use made us less individual or vice versa?

To a certain extent, media use has created two dimensions in making a change to the concept of individualism. Some people perceive that social media use deprive the individualism of people while some says social media improves the social relationship and increases the individualism. Thus, we would like to know, do social media increase individualism? Or do they lead to more streamlined and less individualistic lifestyles and behavior?

While Miller states that elements in social media affect the self-expression, individuality, sense of inclusivity, social status, level of anxiety, and self-confidence, Lee & Wellman (2012) explains that the networked individualism operating system creates new efficiencies and affordances in the ways people solve problems and meet their social needs. No doubt, network individualism is a new term to us here. We could see that Lee & Wellman question much on how the digital technology has changed the social relationship among the society members to good instead of downgrading the social rapport.

An evident issue nowadays is the usage of fake social media account on distinct purposes. Taking the fake account of Facebook as example, due to a certain extent of internet democracy, many people get the chance to create fake Facebook account for purpose like stalking and tracing others Facebook profile, intruding others privacy and some other personal chit-chatting intentions. Not only that, the trust issue also related to the relationship between children and parents. Taking the example of short series “Modern Family”, the mother Claire was using a fake Facebook account named “Brody Kendall “ to get the latest updates of her daughter name Haley because her friend request to Haley was still pending after so long. Out of anxiety, she only get to monitor the updates of her daughter using a fake account.

From here we could figure out two main problem which is the trust of children towards parents is still in a cautious state which cause the children to hesitate on whether to accept the friend request of their parents on social networking which is a platform for them to express themselves. At the same time, the use of fake account to monitor children by the parents also show that there is a change in parenting skill in which parents nowadays do not monitor their children face-to-face by only through social networking they can know more about their children’s doing.

In fact, like what Miller (2009) argued, social media use makes us less individualistic. But how do this relate to the “trust issue” as mentioned above? The massive web of connection has converted the individualistic sense of self among adolescents that they are prone influence and losing their part of themselves with has no fear of judgment, guilt, or remorse.

“We become assimilated to groups and, in turn, have precious parts taken away from us along the way” (Miller, 2009).

In this context, Miller argues that adolescents tend to get others gathered when they have similar interest and ideologies on its platform since the social media connects they includes people so well which make them to become less individualistic because when they share same interest among one another, it leads to bonds and friendships which in turn lead to respect and admiration.

University of Massachusetts professor Jeffrey Jensen Arnett states in journal entry “Adolescents’ Uses of Media for Self-Socialization”, “No matter where they move within the United States, adolescents will find peers in their new area who have watched the same television programs and movies, listened to the same music, and are familiar with the same advertising slogans and symbols” (Arnett, 2014)

Nonetheless, this argument is contradicted by Lee & Wellman (2012). Social media are hybrid media in the sense of offering both electronic word of mouth (eWOM) opportunities and serving as a mass media platform for sending messages (Goodricha & Marieke. Lee & Wellman (2009) perceive that nowadays people are incorporated with internet and mobile phones that have changed the way they interact with each other.

“They have become increasingly networked as individuals, rather than embedded in groups. In the world of networked individuals, it is the person who is the focus: more than the family, the work unit, the neighborhood, and the social group.”

Does media make today’s generation less individual?

Today, there are tones of social media which can be accessed via mobile phones such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Wechat, Telegram, Line, Hang Out, Chat On and etc. They allowed us to share our personal stories, views, photos, connecting us to other people around the globe and easing our everyday life with the assistance of Internet that’s available in most households with Wi-fi installation, cheaper Broadband connection and mobile Internet. Mobile media is said to be substituting traditional media in terms of entertainment, advertising, marketing, education and even our personal relationship. Most of our everyday routine is relied on mobile media that seemed to have a “spirit” that possessed us and make our life is not complete if we lived without mobile media. For the past decades, we would wait for the paperboy to read newspapers but now most of us owned a Smartphone that can download applications of News Online that the company has to engage with more audiences. Dependency on recent media gives two impacts; creation of echo chambers and cyber balkanization where users tend to see the content they are already interested in. That means it promotes collectivism and less individualistic lifestyles and behaviour and lead to more streamlined.

Impacts of Media: Echo Chamber & Cyber Balkanization

Echo chamber in media is created when users only exposed to opinions in line with their own, like-minded information that reached them faster than whoever opposed their views (Jamieson & Cappella, 2008) Here’s are the example of situation; a friend of yours asking you to vote for his/her photos or someone else who you’re not close with or perhaps you never know in person because that person participating in a big competition such as beauty pageant, photography etc. Would you do it? , pressing the “like” button just because that person is a friend of yours or someone who related to your friends? This situation shows that social media make us less individual instead we follow the collective’s preference where we don’t express our views at the very first place. Back to the example just now; we may have our own judgment about that person in the photo such as she is not qualified to join that competition due to her physical make-up; shorts or incompetent as compared to other contestants. Yet, we don’t judge because he/she is a friend of your friend and simply “like” it to take care of your friend’s feeling. Another situation is where we may get misleading information yet we uphold it because it’s the first information that reached us and most of our friends believed the mainstream opinion. This effect matters because people prone to rely on social media as a main source of information even they didn’t know where the news originated from whether it’s from reliable sources or not. This evidence by social media such as Facebook that aggressively filtering and shaping what people see based on their interest such as on our news feeds which only shows status or pages that we visit frequently. Therefore, we only serve with limited information. For instance, what if the vital information is posted on pages or a friend’s status that we seldom visited? It’d be a great loss if we don’t know what’s actually happening rather than simply trusted whichever posts that reach us first.

Cyber balkanization is the abbreviation of “cyber” and “Balkan” that refers to a political region in southern Europe with a history of portioned culture, religions and languages. While cyber balkanization is known as separation of the Internet into smaller groups which comes with mutual interests (Gauntlett,2013) In other words, it shows  narrow-minded approach to those who disagree with that particular views and unite fringe groups in which its members hold extreme viewpoints on certain issue such as political party, organization or football team that they support. To some extent, small matter such as football match can be chaotic on social media for instance bias referee that caused unfair score. Internet can be both good and evil; the good part of it is it contributed to globalization, as a channel for information exchange especially for voiceless people but at the same time it foster discrimination. With the opportunity to communicate without any restriction may promote hatred against other society such as with the creation of Facebook page which tease other religion and posting controversial comments, videos or photos that may challenge the sovereignty of nation such as composing national anthem songs with other musical arrangement or lyrics. In other cases such as a video that shows a woman making fun of ‘Hukum Hudud’ that’s proposed by Kelantanese religious group and she even got blackmailed because of that video.

Deindividuation Theory & How Today’s Media Make People Less Individualistic?

(Festinger, Pepitone & Newcomb, 1952) proposed the term of deindividuation to explain the effect of a crowd or group on the behaviour of an individual where it results of this control over an individual’s usual behaviour that turned the individual to form certain behaviour when they are within the group and not when they are alone. Deindividuation results in the loss of self-identity once they immerse in a crowd (Diener,1980;festinger et al, Zimbardo,1969) Consequently, the loss of self-identity lead to aggressive behaviours when they are in group setting than when they are alone. However, it’d be interesting to view the concept of this theory from individual perspectives. We have to take account on different platforms and environments and specific affordances. For instance Facebook makes it difficult for users to differentiate their audience along social circles and people who keep their identity as anonymity. Even the co-founder of Facebook used to say that “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of identity” in justifying the privacy setting on Facebook. Hence, the setting and maintenance of Facebook is constantly updated in order to protect one’s privacy such as changing name which only allowed after 60 days and unblocking people can be done after 48 hours. This is to restrict uers from having multiple profiles and protect them from spamming or hackers. It is said to be less individualistic because today’s user do aware about their restriction on their posts and comments because they might be harmful in some way. In other words, such strict privacy promotes less individualistic because one’s can’t simply say whatever they think is right without considering its consequences. People always try to share positive experience and depict themselves in an idealized way. People prone to be less individualistic when they prefer computer-mediated communication and some even become addicted. This is because they choose to communicate via virtual world rather than visual world (real world) because they got time to think what proper message to write instead of responding spontaneously. By spending hours to sit in front of computers one can own multiple identities. It means that he/she created fantasy identity and they may be act or behave differently as compared in real life. For instance they use unknown identity to post opinions or comments carelessly plus by spending too much time on cyberspace limits their time with real people in their life such as family and friends. People choose to spend more time on social media that can be excess via phone rather than having interpersonal communication that requires emotional attachment and time consumed and to some extent they can have visual relationship with people who they never meet in person. The term ‘individualism’ is ambiguous because most of us would relate it to selfishness and egoism but actually it’s more on lifestyle and cultural such as a kind of lifestyle that’s divert from norms.

Reference

Arnett & Jensen, J. (1995). Adolescents’ uses of media for self-socialization. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 24(5). (1995): 519-33.

Diener,E. (1980). Deindividuation: The absence of self-awareness and self-regulation in group

members. In. P. Paulus  (ed.), The Psychology of Group Influence (pp.1160-1171).

Hillsdale, NJ:Erlbaum

Festinger, L., Pepitone, A. and Newcomb T. (1952). Some consequences of deindividuation in a group. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 47, 382-389

Gauntlett,D. (2013).Making is Connecting. New York: John Wiley & Sons

Goodricha, K. & Marieke, D. M. (2013). How ‘social’ are social media? A cross-cultural comparison of online and offline purchase decision influences. Journal of Marketing Communications.

Jamieson,K.H. & Cappella,J.N. (2008). Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and theConservative Media Establishment.Oxford,UK: Oxford University Press

Lee. R & Wellman, B. (2014). Networked individualism: What in the world is that? Retrieved from http://networked.pewinternet.org/2012/05/24/networked-individualism-what-in-the-world-is-that-2/

Miller, Z. (2014). Saving our individuality from social media. Retrieved from http://rampages.us/zachmiller/2014/12/07/concept-activity-10-2/.

Zimbardo, Philip G. (1969).The Human Choice: Individuation, Reason and Order Versus Deindividuation,Impulse and Chaos, In W.T. Arnold & D.Levine (eds.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation,Vol 17

Nomophobia: Look at me, please! (Review from Short Series “Modern Family”)

A new term has been coined to describe the problematic attachment many have to technology:

“Nomophobia” is the strong and irrational fear of being apart
from your phone. The website Nomophobia com offers a test titled
“Are you a nomophobe?” (Parenteau, 2014).

          Parenteau (2014) states that technology plays a vital role students like you and me today. Often, it can be a superb assent to help you in accessing information and brush up your work efficiency.

“Using it too much, though, can prevent you from accomplishing anything
and have harmful psychological effects.
Go ahead and use your favorite devices for work and
play, just try to not get too attached ” (Parenteau, 2014).

        Try to look around, what are your friends doing when the lecturers have not entered the classroom? What are they looking at when they are waiting for the food to be served in the restaurants? What are the students doing when they are walking back from lecture hall to their college? No doubt, they are on their smartphones and electronic gadgets.

         The video on Modern Family reflects the true colors of the global contemporary families, both nuclear and extended family. The video postulated much realistic daily behavior by our society today via the epitome of Claire’s family. To a certain extent, the story is presented in a sarcastic manner to show that the society nowadays is overwhelmed by the attachment on technology especially on the telecommunication gadgets that they actually do not realize that the rapport between them has been gaped.

         The short story started when the mother of the family, Claire was at the O’ Hare International airport. While waiting for the boarding time, she grabbed her time to have a short interact with her husband, Phil Dunphy.  Before she left for the trip, he had a fight with her eldest daughter, Haley Dunphy. Thus, she utilized her Mac Book to send messages to Haley to ask if she is still mad at her.

       Before she could have received any reply from Haley, she started face chat with her husband to talk about their daughters. While having face chat with Phil, she opens the online news to read on the latest news. One current social behavior reflected here is the multitasking behavior carried out by most of the people today. Not only that, people is getting relied on the “To Do List” in our laptop, like Claire. In fact, the dependence on this shaped some over rely on oneself over the technology. In other word, we will forget on the routine with the absence of our “To Do List” in the laptop.

         On top of that, the video also shows us that the indulgence in telecommunication devices that the Dunphy’s family that they are ignorant of the others’ presence. The uncertain respond by the father, Phil Dunphy when Claire was asking if Haley was at homes shows that the family members do not even notice whether the others are around or vice versa. Instead of spending time together, they spend more time on the Internet and personal communication via the social media. For instance, Phil does not even know that Alex Dunphy, his second daughter was actually sitting right behind him at the kitchen for some time because he was too indulged in the video game.

       Not only that, the video reveals that the Internet creates a virtual platform to express our emotion. Like Claire, she started to be enraged when her message was not replied by Harley. She then assumed that Haley who had a fight with her before this, was still mad at her. She started to change her “tune” in the message by saying that it was just a small matter and blamed Harley for being too dramatic. In this case, we couldn’t deny that Internet creates a chance for people to express their emotion via words.

         The word “DRAMATIC!!!” written in all capital words with three exclamatory marks reflect Claire angry emotion and the sense of appointing the anger to Haley. Worth mentioning, the sarcastic part here is, during the fight, Claire even took the video when she was fighting with Harley and that has triggered Haley’s nerve. In the older Chinese proverb, there was a saying that, the ugly side or bad side of family should not be published to the outsiders to protect the reputation of the family. However from here we can see, the modern family has changed. The value of a family has transformed.

        On the other side, Alex Dunphy, the sister of Harley was also on the face chat with her mother, Claire. She has become the middle person between Claire and her Haley when the messages of Claire to Haley were not replied thou they are delivered.  As a student, Alex was requested to send her essay writing on Netzshe culture through the Facebook Inbox Message. This indicates that the parents monitor child’s work through the internet, instead of Face-to-Face.  Not only that, we can see that Alex was actually neglected by Claire due to the fight between Haley and Claire. While Alex was sending the essay to Claire, at the same time, Claire was trying to stalk the latest updates on Haley using a fake Facebook account named Brody Kendall since her daughter has not approved her friend request on Facebook. She did not really pay attention on Alex who was trying to explain on her paragraphs.

         Another scene in this video is that signing up a fake Facebook account to stalk others’ updates seem to be a trendy stuff nowadays especially among parents and children. But let’s ponder, doesn’t this significant a gap of trust between children and parents? Why do the children refuse to approve parents’ friend request on social networking and at the same time why do parents need to monitor their children through a way which provision of privacy take place?

         Via this video of Modern Family, we found that this is a very modern trend nowadays which actually brings us pluses and minuses.

        In some of our readings, there are several arguments on the attachment of students towards the technology. Taking the instance of E-readers or some relevant devices designed primarily for reading e-books which have taken the world by storm, which has explored onto the marketplace in recent years (van der Velde as cited in Read, Robertson & McQuilken, 2011), some purveyors of E-readers claimed that the traditional books or paper books are “dead” and online technology is leading the future. Hence, some researches are focusing on this to examine the e-readings consumption and evaluation in the context of academic readings (Chu as cited in Read, Robertson & McQuilken, 2011).

      David et al. as cited in Read, Robertson & McQuilken, 2011 states that the premier model used to study the consumption of technology among readers is the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). The study on TAM has received both applauses and criticism which includes the neglect on the impacts on the emotion of readers in order to adapt to the technology adoption. This model aims to see how the readers adopt the technology and what emotion impacts they have in this. Simultaneously, Yun (2013) has the similar study which he identifies and understands the consumers especially for the sky rocketed high popularity of digital gadgets. In his research he wants to determine the tendency of relative obsolescence which involves the substitution of a product regardless if the demise of its perfect functioning.

       On the other side, 2012 EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology has also rated that a laptop emerge to become the most extremely essential tool for academic access where 85 percent of students has voted for it,

        Many students utilize technology to do their schoolwork—to access documents provided by teachers, to do research, to write papers, and so on. To most, the right technological device is essential to getting work done.

       You see, technology has penetrated the students’ life. They just can’t leave without laptop. In fact the use of technology on academic can bring pros and cons. As stated below,

“Technology use can also be a major hindrance to students,
however. All the quality information the Internet can provide is useless
if it is lost among page after page of outdated, misleading, or just plain
wrong “information” turned up by your favorite search engine.
The Web is also, of course, full of time-wasters.
Fall into the black hole of Facebook or BuzzFeed, and the hours
you had meant to spend working on a research
paper have vanished” (Parenteau, 2014).

References:

Parenteau, D. (2014). Are you overly attached to technology? Retrieved from http://xpress.sfsu.edu/xpressmagazine/2014/10/29/how-widespread-technology-use-helps-and-hurts-students/.

Read, W., Robertson, N. & McQuilken, L. (2011). A novel romance: The technology acceptance model with emotion      attachment. Australasian Marketing Journal, 19(4), 223.

Yun, Y. (2013). Understanding product attachment and expected product lifetime by extending technology acceptance    model (TAM) with product personalisation and innovation diffusion theory (IDT). United States: ProQuest LLC.

Online news: Which is favoured by most?

Nowadays, with the availability of Internet at almost everywhere, more people choose to read online newspaper other than spending a penny cent to buy a printed version of it. Why is it so?

          The number of mobile devices users has increased rapidly since the year 2000. Now almost everyone has their smart phone or tablet such as IPad and some might have both. And again it has ease them to access information as all needed is just a click. Now with software in phone such as the play store for Android user, it is more convenience for the smart phone user to download apps of news that they prefer and just read news online.

            A finding by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) has shown that women contribute the highest number of online news audience as compare to the opposite sex which is men. Women in the rank of age which is 25 to 34 prefer to read online news through their phone other than other device. The number of these group of people has double since last year which is the year 2014 and this positive growth of mobile users to access online news follow by group of men in the age between 34 and 44. Hence, the number of newspaper digital audience is higher than those who prefer to read printed newspaper. And most of the newspaper digital audience access the portal through their smart phone than using other devices such as laptop, desktop or the combination of all three. This is the case because phone is more convenience to be carry around other than other digital devices as the size is smaller and lighter while other like laptop is bigger in size.

What happen to the traditional printed newspaper?

         Newspaper are produce dues to the demand of the reader. If the number of reader decrease, the quantity of newspaper produce daily also tend to be going down.

            Hence few newspaper company decide to increase the production in term of quantity and topics in both digital and printed version of newspaper on the weekends to gain more profit.

            The State of News Media has listed worldwide Top Ten of digital newspapers that has highest number of readers in 2012. The first three is Mail online with 50,067 000 of audience, follow by The New York Times Brand with 48,695 of audience and The Guardian which has 38,931 000 readers. This has affect the journalism industry of traditional printed newspaper. The number of workforce in the newspapers company is at peaked where the number reach 56,900 in the year 1989. However, in 2012 the number of workforce in the newsroom has fall below 40,000. This might cause by the decline in number of readers for printed newspaper that has make the newspaper company to cut off the number of excessive worker. Other than that, now people rarely used newspapers to publicise their product as the payment for the advert segment is higher as compare to advertisement in online news portal. This has cause less profit for the newspaper company.

What constitute good and bad in online news?

            Online news media is an independent form of media whereby it does not belong to any corporate group. Hence it is free from news based on business, money or political interest of certain corporate group as there is no status quo in term of ownership for online news media. Alternative media on the other hand focus more on gaining profit other than providing accountable news for the readers and they tend highlight event that not even there. Yet although online news media is independent, it does not guarantee that online news media is free from bias. By being independent it means that one has power to choose and highlight news topic to his or her interest. However non-corporate news media with smaller number of sources and audience than the CBC’s tend to correct mainstream news media by critique the way of writing or words used upon the news report. As stated by Beers (2006)

Still other independent news sources may exist to speak to sub cultures whose members share certain assumption or values, and so their news and opinion pieces begin with a biased set of concerns tailored to that audience. And some online news sources are forums where anyone can post stories or pictures or discuss what others have posted; thus bias is not located in any conscious editorial decision making authority (p. 116).

        Hence through internet, news has become more interactive and no more just limited to one way of delivering information as people can comment and interact in the online news media. Besides that the interactive relationship is not only limited to national level but it happens globally between people from different part of world.

           There are two types of internet independent media which is E-zine news media and the blogosphere. E-zine news media is still based on traditional type of journalism whereby the staff editors create news content by providing the latest news about the world and do deep analysis about certain topic before publish it. This practise has enhance their credibility as one of accountable online news media. Example of E-zine news media is The Tyee (http://thetyee.ca/), Rabble which is from Canada (http://rabble.ca/), and Open Democracy in United Kingdom (https://www.opendemocracy.net/).

            Next is the blogosphere, a blog or web blog which is an electronic notebook and is own and updated individual. Blog is usually written to express personal life, to share interest with others, more about holiday destination, pets and now people are using blog to do online business. Only a small number of people are using blog to post up about news and analysis on recent news topic. However, most of the blog writer is not a journalist or even went to journalist school to have such credibility as a journalist does. As mention by Westheimer and Kahne (2004) “They are electronic pamphleteers, self-appointed editor/commentators who use their own highly selective filter to note, deconstruct, annotate, and re-spin news items produced elsewhere” (p. 240). Yet the advantage of blog writing is that it allowed people to comment and give back regarding topic that was written on the blog.


Current issue on GST (Good and Service Tax). 

We have choose one current mainstream topic and our news story will be on GST (Good and Service Tax) that had emerge in online news, blog, broadcast media, social media and printed media (newspaper).

Comparison in online news and Blog.

          Reports, insights, comments or critics on the issue of GST has been the hotest topic written or expressed online. Since the issue of GST was released, the whole nation in Malaysia was in an active state in terms of their reaction, where it became a breaking news that readers were alert with the latest posting on GST. Both online news and Blog requires the use of Internet,

        Marcovici (2013) stated that the most significant phenomenon since the emergence of the Internet is the opportunities that the readers have especially in contributing in news sites, which had changed the news consumption pattern. According to a report done by Horrigan (2006) in the US, due to the Internet most readers shifted their preference from the printed newspaper to online news and this is illustrated in the table below.

gst_1

Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/2006/03/22/part-2-broadband-and-daily-news-consumption/

           Based on the table above, this shows that the number of readers in online news had increased every year and this is due to the emergence of Internet. Due to its preferred advantage, more sites were created and news were published more frequently online as the Internet is known for its fast speed to convey and receive information. Also, it is undeniably that news will spread fast through social media when is it being ‘shared’. Based on the two news site below, both The Star and Borneo Post provides buttons so readers are able to share the news through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google plus and LinkedIn.

Online News

thestar2

borneopost2

Blogosphere (Blog)

gst on blogger

(Retrieved from: http://izzuddinyussof.blogspot.com/2014/05/ada-apa-dengan-gst.html)

gst on blog2

(Retrieved from: http://financemalaysia.blogspot.com/2015/03/how-gst-affecting-our-share-investment.html)

          There is not much to compare on the similarity of Blog and online news. Similarly, it is purely in digital form and one advantage of using digital media is the inexpensive cost. Through the Internet, readers are able to access both online news and Blog for free (most of the time) and the best part about it is time consuming. The fast access able reader to read through their smartphones or tablets by downloading the news app and it is on-the-go, where it is convenient to be access and read anytime, anywhere. As mentioned above, another advantage is the power of the readers themselves where they are entitled to provide their feedback directly to the writer or reporter of the news either on online news or Blog.

          However, there are a few differences on the way of how the news is reported or written in online news and Blog, the most obvious account is the overall format used. In the online news, it is written in a formal way as compared to Blog. Blogs were written by the public or anyone, whereas the news online were written by the news journalist based on their reports. Another difference is the on the availability of blog apps where it is seen to be limited as to certain blog apps is available for smartphone users.

          Therefore, we would recommend the use of online news but that purely  depends on the reader and the news company on its contents. Online news is recommend due to its availability that is accessible though smartphones app where most of it can be downloaded and read for free. The types of coverage on online news is also recommended due to its fact and rich content that is reliable as it reports the actual issue as compared to blog. Blog is written most of the time as feedback or insights on a mainstream issue.

Comparison in Broadcast Media and Social Media

          In order to reach audience faster and effectively, broadcasting industry today has changed tremendously in the way of its reporting with the emergence of new media that execute extra jobs for journalist since broadcast journalism media have engaged in merges and partnerships that brings information technologies together which give faster access to better quality sound and pictures such as online news. Journalists today have shifted from just traditional media to social media, whether from radio, printed news or TV reports to website moderating. Some of them have new titles likes Media Manager and Web Editor. Traditional media such as radio, newspapers, magazine and TV itself relied much on a one-to-many paradigm where the brand creates a message and transmit that message to the masses through broadcast, print, radio or signage. Basically, traditional media offers one-way communication that doesn’t link people together and promoting word-of-mouth as on social media. Audiences have given no space to voice out their opinion and the journalists themselves don’t receive any feedbacks when the news is on air.

           Unlike news that has been updated online such as on, Twitter or anonymous bloggers allows readers to post their comments. Radio and TV news reporters present to remote, invisible and silent audience (Boyd,Stewart & Alexander,2012) This is because they can’t see or hear their audience’s reactions or look them in the eye or watch their facial expression or see their body language. For traditional journalists who works in the days before the World Wide Web and when technologies emerged their works also shifted where they have to write up the story on the computer and go to business centre and dictate it over the phone. But today internet is seems as agitated because it’s liberating, personal and chaotic when the details of the viewers is unrevealed. Social media has no boundaries or limits to post any stories either true or not and it’s up to readers to do a little research in order to get rid of misleading information. To some extent, government has no specific roles in controlling the tones of stories on the Net unless for the spread of information that can ruin the sovereignty of the nation such as racisms videos, illegal movements, radical groups who may cause riot or harm to the country or controversial issues that is against the rules.

Comparison in TV news and social media.

          For those who disagree with new tax evasion implementation might see it from different perspective like someone’s status that’s popped out on my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago saying; “I hope GST is just April fool!” According to Malaysian government website; www.gst.com.my in introducing what GST really is, GST is the abbreviation of Goods and Services Tax which also known as VAT or Value Added Tax in many countries is actually a multi-stage consumption tax of goods and services. GST is imposed the supply of goods and services at every single stages of the supply chain from the supplier up to the retail stage of distribution. Despite of levied at each level of the supply chain, the tax isn’t a part of the product cost because it’s only charged on the business inputs yet it’s claimable. “Pictures convey more sensation than information” that’s the argument between those who agree and disagree with this new economic shifts policy. For example the picture below:

 capture-20150401-161629

                                                                                                                  Source: www.gst.com.my

          To some people whom are not really good at interpreting images, this picture may be confusing and not clear for most people unless the government explain directly to the people where the money goes and once they got less understanding of how this policy done they’d simply write their own personal views by saying bad things about our government. Clearly images and so do words are problematic.Rather than seeing the changes that’s brought by technology and economic as the primary source of anxieties, we should draw the attention to the role played by the cultural commitments of journalism itself. By seeing the relationship between professional ethics to the democratic aspirations in which joined their job skills, we can analyzed how the new technologies are being shaped succor value commitments rather than subverting them. Democratic practices of independent journalism can be strengthening through the control of crisis over profession, technological changes and the attitudes of the viewers (Talbot, 2007) This is because democratic societies depend on the interpretive independence mass media which faced the crisis over hierarchical powers and citizen-audiences that limit the transparency and truth of journalism in delivering the news with the presence of broadcasting cooperation which vulnerable to the influences of political parties and editors(who will filter that news before it’s published) and same goes to TV presenter who had the script of the news and they simply read it.

          Astro Awani as on its websites: www.astroawani.com is one of the in-house rolling television news and currents affairs channel that serves 24-hour news coverage including news in Malay. Its slogan is “Our Gateway To The World” which is Gerbang Dunia Kita translation in Malay delivers news, informative programs for instance lifestyle, travels, documentaries, interviews programs and including international magazines and it’s started broadcasting on 6th September 2007 and it channeled three countries; Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. For the news slogan is Berita Segenap Dimensi which means they will present news in every dimension holistically. Speaking of mainstream issue of GST, Astro Awani both working on TV itself and also its own websites that linked to other social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus via the share-button. Today, the 1st April,2015 is the first day of GST and Astro Awani has published  and broadcast up to 207 news in two week before this on its websites in order to see the response and preparation of the people towards this tax evasion. One of the news headlines today is “Pump price of RON97 maintained at RM2.25 after GST”. There’s no clear evidence that it’s been influenced by a particular political views because it displays both good and bad response of GST.

capture-20150401-193700          Here’s comes the question of Realism, bias and representation in the media both TV and social media. TV  and radio as  the channel in broadcasting industry presents a “mediated” version of reality. This is due to the factors of sociological, political, economic, financial and ideological that influenced and determined the way in which the media constructs the reality to us. Not only that the text read by TV reporter or DJs on the radio about the news are also re-packaging “reality” and presenting them in terms of “stories” which constitute a structure like an essay that has introductory part, body and closure with characters (informants or people who have authority over this GST issue) and from certain point of views that may be bias. It’s said to be bias because it’s only represent the point of views of the people who have the higher hierarchical position in the country such as politicians and policy makers rather than the people themselves who pay the tax. And because of that, people tend to criticize GST on unofficial blogs and on their social accounts without getting a clear justification on why they have to pay for those taxes and they are given no channel to voice out their disagreement over this policy except for blog sites.

          If we look at the News we can see that various political, social and cultural factors affect the version of “reality” representation. TV3 may well deal with local affairs but its main focus is likely to be pro-government with the advertising on how good is GST with the use of celebrities such as Nabil Raja Lawak and Pekin Ibrahim to promote it and as well the songs played during commercial break. Besides, it has one talk program with the Prime Minister regarding this GST issues broadcast for an hour.In addition, when it’s prone to support government point of views, it won’t broadcast  any bad news of  the government except for international TV Programs such as Al-Jazeera which once has the issue with the Deputy of Head Minister of Sarawak against corruption and timber industry. Despite of presenting international affairs, Astro Awani is also influenced by governmental power and this evident whenever there’s important announcement from the Ministers, they’d stop whichever program right away for that session. TV2 presented Multilingual news and it’s likely to be lenient by reporting three majors ethnics in West Malaysia; Malay news, Chinese news and Indian news. It’s less biases because it takes different perspectives of diverse ethnic groups. As viewers we need to bear in mind that there’s no news cooperation that could except from being bias because it’s already constructed like presenting the most important news at first in order to seek the attention of the viewers and ended up with “mood-lightening” news such as sports and recent events or programs that happened around the world (Starkey, 2006)

          As we all know TV news is meant for a big mass of audience and therefore it has to be made interesting, balanced, fair and accurate to attract audience. Certain narrative conventions govern the programme as a whole and the treatment of individual within the programme. Only at the end of the news we all as the viewers know that the news presenter knew it at the very first place. However, we’re being controlled to sit there for an hour to watch what’s GST and the good of it without thinking that the News are represented in various ways, styles and method of story-telling. For instance, the news about the maintaining of the price of the fuel RON97 for April broadcast by Astro Awani is seemed partial, biased and unbalanced version of events because to the people themselves it’s a big issue once the month of April is gone and as we all already know that how our society gets anxious over the rise of fuel price and the cut of government subsidy has caused chaos not only on social media but in reality through word-of-mouth and they would stop talking about it unless the price going down again.

          Most people sees tax evasion is burdening them because they have to pay extra charge of things that they no longer can buy based on their affordability. But to government, as they said it’s to boost up our economic downturn. This can be a complicating issue in audience’s mind when they watch a news item and the extent to which they processed the programme in terms of individual preferences, prejudices, outlooks and interest. It’s all depend on how our brain interpret those visual and auditory information and we might receive a little surprise when we could compare and pick different views which completely different from another views in the same programme for a better understanding of mainstream issue that is way more to conspiracies than unveil the truth.

Social Media: Unofficial Jounalist Is On The Rise

         Today, there’s multi-platform of conveying news to listeners and viewers that turns broadcasting industry as highly demand career with the future prediction that internet will take over the masses. At first, broadcast media have dovetailed their own cooperation websites with radio and television. There’s a fierce competition due to hundreds of radio, TV channels and now with the emergence of Internet, journalists don’t have to be anxious if they got the wrong news because it wasn’t them who discovered it at the first place with the principle of “First is First and Second Is Nowhere and if you were wrong you’re not the first”. The Web has brought untold benefits in journalism for instance blogosphere (Lawrie & Craig, 2014) Bloggers can be diarists and for democratic purposes but it also can be prejudiced and totally untrue. This is because bloggers are owned personally and it’s hardly to trace the details of the owner because often we see bloggers have their own nick names which also known as cyber world identity. One of the reasons they chose to keep their details anonymously is because of what’s content in their writing. No one wanted to be blamed for advocating certain views plus with our political system that is likely to be half democratic that limits the freedom of speech. Hence, in order to share their views to the world, there’s only one channel which is social media. Some bloggers utilize it to criticize governments or even their workplace by posting candid comments. These anonymous bloggers are smart they started off by avoid posting comments that would give away their work location and sometimes they waits days or even weeks after an incident to write about it on the off chance the person involve might read the blog so it’s not obvious for them to get caught if they publish it right after the incident happened (Knight & Cook, 2013) Occasionally they can just talk and write about funny stories or interesting stuff that happened that day but it might not be catchy as a hot news that in the heat of the moment and can cause chaotic as people keep talking about it and bloggers wanted to leave remarkable effect on their readers as well.

          Several Web sites offer suggestions on how to veil one’s identity where they don’t have to disclose about their personal details such as job location, co-workers names or any details that may link a blogger to their company’s websites. Apart from that these smart anonymous bloggers know that their Internet activity could be traced by their employers if they blog at work or using the company Internet connection plus there’s a policy of Internet usage at workplace which meant only for work and not for personal purposes. IP address and servers are unique and it can show one’s exact location. Some said “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear of” basically not applicable for most bloggers who intended to criticize and have opinions which are contradicts to the mainstream views. Some bloggers even blog on how to remain anonymity position when they wanted to bring people whom they know in real life in on the secret by not communicating with their personal email address or setting password that’s related to their personal information and easy to be hacked.

References

Andrew Boyd, P. S. (2012). Broadcast Journalism: Techniques of Radio and Television News. UK: Taylor & Francis.

Beers, D. (2006). The public sphere and online, Independent Journalism. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(1), 109-130.

Horrigan, J. (2006). Online news: For many home broadband users, the Internet is a primary news source. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2006/03/22/online-news-for-many-home-broadband-users-the-internet-is-a-primary-news-source/

Lawrie Zion, D. C. (2014). Ethics for Digital Journalists: Emerging Best Practices. US: Routledge.

Megan Knight, C. C. (2013). Social Media for Journalists: Principles and Practice. UK: SAGE.

Marcovici, M. (2013). The Wealthy Blogger: How to make money with your Blog.

Starkey, G. (2006). Balance and Bias in Journalism: Representation, Regulation and Democracy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Talbot, M. (2007). Media Discourse: Representation and Interaction. Scotland: Edinburgh University Press.

Westheimer, J., & Kahne, J. (2004). What kind of citizen? The politics of educating for democracy. American Educational Research Journal, 41(2), 237-269.