Saturday, January 26, 2013

Knowing what not to post

With the elections looming large, there is simply too much politicking today. This has trickled down to involve every single thing that occurs now.

The catalyst for this phenomenon is social media, which has enabled anyone with a smart phone to scan the news and pass instant judgment on current issues.

However, social media has a Jekyll and Hyde personality. If you are constantly aware and use it consciously, you are safe. Overstep the boundaries and you pay dearly.

Apparently today you must take a side, otherwise how are we know which team you are playing for? The diplomatic art of agreeing to disagree is dead in today’s sociopolitical climate.

Today complicated issues can be summarized by a short phrase. A radical idea can be propagated by a rallying call. Truth be told, how many of those who willingly respond understand the overall facts of what they’re fighting about?

Very few decisions are a straightforward black or white. Is there room for an individual who questions your motives, and asks for depth in debate? Is there room for truly making an effort to understand the other’s point of view and then search for common ground? Or do we simply respond according to our emotions?

It is quite the norm for both sides to have made up their minds on the matter and neither to be interested in listening to the other’s view.

Unverified facts, badly chosen words and phrases were a pitfall in the infancy of social media even back in the early days when there was only blogging; but now with the mushrooming of online portals, Youtube  and micro blogging sites like facebook, twitter, Whatsapp and Viber, the resultant chorus of condemnation is unprecedentedly savage.

Digital media literacy is not simply the ability to own a smart phone and post comments. It is also about being able to discern what not to post.

Clearly, there is also manipulation of social media channels to form public opinion. Whilst Malaysians are quick in assuming that there are always hidden hands in every picture, we are also quick to judge on issues.

Have we had all the complete facts of the case to mull over and evaluate before commenting and judging?

The Spanker says:
I personally believe that a democracy should allow vigorous debate. The debate we want is the voice of reason, not the strident arguments that reverberate with dissent for the sake of automatically dissenting with your opponent or automatically agreeing to everything “your” side says.


Anonymous said...


Is the Mainstream Media(MSM) the voice of reason compared to social media?

Utusan, NST & TV3 bosses admitted in the court that they don't do fact-checking on political news, especialy those involving opposition movement!!

And those MSM have been losing libel cases left-and-right with $$$ damages recently...

So macha, you think MSM better than social media that depends on grassroots crowd-sourcing model for information etc.

~ Kluang girl

Dave Avran said...

Dear Kluang Girl,

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I think you may have missed the bus on this one. The entire post is about social media, not the mainstream media.

Your Macha

Rabbit said...

Its 'with us or against us' now. No place for 3rd force.

So the likelihood of 'Hurricane Hatty' making political inroads in GE13 is very very slim.

He'd better off concentrate on his lawyering works.

Anonymous said...

Like PM Najib Said the Online Media is a Double edge Sword!

The more abusive BN Bloggers become the more the Public is turned off!!

So unless the language is Civil and the Content Reliable netizens will vote against BN because of the conduct of their bloggers.

In fact its better for them not to blog at all as they are being counterproductive as Najib implied in his latest statements.

Joe Black