TEDx youths: Exercise caution on social media

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SOCIAL media users need to critically evaluate any information they encounter on the Internet to avoid being misled by irresponsible parties, said speakers in the TEDx Youth@Gadong Conference at the Jerudong International School (JIS) yesterday.

In his speech, 16-year-old Haeram Jalees, highlighted that not everyone would properly use social media platforms to communicate and share their experiences, as some may post information online with an ulterior motives.

The JIS student gave an example of ISIS, who had turned to social media to spread their propaganda in a similar way that sellers market their products on Facebook.

“So it is really important for us to be aware of this, because through research I have made, most of the time we do not really think through when we are on the social media, and I have been one of them,” he said.

Haeram said that the social media can be used as a tool to enable certain agendas.

“I see that social media can be treated as a tool and not just for fun. I want other people to know that side of social media - that it is not just something used to connect us with others,” headed.

In Brunei, he said that people have been using social media in a “reasonably” safe manner, except for the unverified chain messages usually circulated without much care to verify facts.

“We do not know whether (messages circulated) are real, and most people would not think (prior to sending on the messages),” he said.

“So I think that people in Brunei should carefully evaluate the materials they get. They need to verify its truthfulness,” he added.

In the future, Haeram hopes to see more people becoming aware of what social media can do and question any information they receive as to avoid from being misled by irresponsible parties.

Sharing the same sentiment was another speaker, Wafi Habib, who is also a student at JIS.

Wafi urged social media users to to practice more caution and be responsible in order to avoid misrepresenting the truth.

This may bring more harm and make the user more vulnerable to become a target of cyber bullying.

Through his study, he said that most social media users, when posting up personal information online, tend to stray from portraying the truth because they are insecure and unhappy about themselves.

To be able to evaluate information received, he said, people need to be empowered and accept themselves for who they are so they may be able to think better when they come across any negative posts online.

“It is alright to be yourself, you should not feel depressed or insecure about it and nobody should tell you twice about not being yourself,” he said.

The Brunei Times