Academic journal article Journal of Media Research

Education and Social Media

Academic journal article Journal of Media Research

Education and Social Media

Article excerpt


Today's mass-media has developed and changed during these years. We talk about many different types of changes: linguistic, social, economic, financial, but we must talk about the changes in behaviorism, the changes in cultural styles, in the way of advertising, the way of self-promotion, the way of showing identities. Social media is not just about the media, but it also involves everybody who has access to phone applications, internet or social media accounts. It is more interactive than the traditional mass-media, it is more complex and it embraces the whole world.

Social media, by entering our lives, has begun to change paradigms. In the educational system, there is also social media as a form of teaching or promoting school or educational programs or courses. This is the reason why social media should be taught in educational institutes. The subject Mass Media is already taught in Romanian high-schools, but only as an optional subject, and by teachers who are not specialized in Media Studies, but teach humanistic subjects. The purpose of this article is a simple thesis: searching how social media is used in educational institutes, how it is taught in primary and high schools, and why it is important to be taught correctly. Last but not least, Horea Mihai Bădău, social media specialist and Claudia Chiorean Talasman, communication specialist will give suggestions on how social media can be taught effectively. Social media entered so fast in people's lives that the educational system was not prepared for such a change. Therefore, in this era, at the approximate beginning of this feature we must take into consideration to teach it correctly, by professionals and prepare youth to use it correctly and focus in essence on its advantages but be aware of its disadvantages, as well. "The development of the digital technologies launched the massmedia in a different era. For the means of mass communication this was the perfect opportunity to achieve what they always claimed: inform the public with maximum speed." (Abrudan 2008).

With the introduction of social media in our lives, we can identify two types or two kinds of lives: a real one and a virtual one. In both the real one and the social one, people create an identity. However, in most cases, this identity differs in real and in virtual life. Youth became obsessive in creating themselves their virtual identities. It is more important for them to create and construct this identity as social media gives them feedback by likes and shares, and it became a really important psychological issue because it mirrors youth identity building. This fast and superficial feedback creates psychological reinforcement or depression for younger generations. However, teenagers "work" hard in creating these identities by following some "socially accepted" trends depending on the group they are part of.

The reason for choosing this subject is both simple and important: teenagers are the mirror of the present and future society and are really important, which makes it essential to teach them how to use social media. It is like giving children weapons without teaching them how to use these powerful tools.

Social Media and Education

Social Media became a part of mass-media once with the entering of the digital world. The Online Merriam Webster dictionary defines social media in the following terms: "forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social net- working and micro blogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)". This new form of communication actually enters people's lives and many media specialists are searching for a definition of it and trying to shape its consequences upon mankind. Lucian Vasile Szabo (2016, p. 101), set the following definition for Social Media in the work Media Communication: present and future: "Social Media can be an important source of information for mass media, helping to verify information: "Facebook provides an excellent opportunity for triangulating sources and should be considered publicly available information as are all sites not encrypted" (Whitehouse 2010). …

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