How To Raise Kids Wisely in a Digital and Social World

March 11th, 2017   •   4 comments   

How to Raise Kids Wisely in a Digital world

How can you raise healthy and well-balanced kids in a digital world?

That was the question on the lips of over a 100 parents last night at Raising Kids Wisely in a Social Media Generation organised by Trainium Academy and Facebook with the support of the Media Literacy Council (MLC).
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Top Social Media Marketing Failures in 2016

February 21st, 2017   •   no comments   

Top Social Media Failures in 2016

Designed by Freepik

The world of social media marketing is always brimming with good news, isn’t it?

Time and time again, we read how companies and brands reaped amazing results from their social media marketing efforts.
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8 Types of Cyber Bullies You’d Never Suspect

February 9th, 2017   •   1 comment   

8 tyoes of cyberbullies

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Cyber bullying is a big problem around the world.

According to Statistic Brain, 84.2 per cent of students in the US reported being bullied on Facebook, followed by 23.4 per cent on Instagram and 21.4 percent on Twitter. A more recent report by New York Post revealed that cyber bullying cases soared by some 351 per cent in just two years.

What about here in Singapore? Surely things aren’t that bad.

Well, according to the Media Literacy Council, about three in 10 school children and youths here experienced cyber bullying. In May last year, a study by Kingmaker Consultancy further reported in The Straits Times revealed that students between the ages of 13 and 15 experienced an increase of up to 7 percentage points in online bullying compared to 2013.

In a separate survey of 3,800 secondary and 1,800 upper primary school students by TOUCH Cyber Wellness in 2015, 33 per cent of the secondary students reported that they were cyber bullied, while 25 per cent admitted bullying someone online. 22 per cent of the primary school students had experienced cyber bullying – increase of 4 per cent compared to 2014.

A form of online harassment, cyber bullying may take the form of text messages, nasty emails, social media posts, Internet forum posts, or blog posts. Often, cyber bullying is done with the intention of hurting, damaging, humiliating or defaming a person or organisation.

Unlike physical bullying though, many cyber bullies are often oblivious to the fact that they are making others feel uncomfortable by their online actions. And that may include you and me.

Here are eight forms of cyber bullying which you’re probably unaware of.

#1 The Political-Religious Zealot

By now, you’re probably aware that the recent US elections has polarised the world. Online assaults come thick and heavy, with both liberals and conservatives slinging mud at each other.

Here in Singapore, it isn’t uncommon for people to label each other for their political or religious views. Often, we may also get swept away by the heat of emotionally charged arguments for or against a position, even when we do not fully understand the real issues.

“Oh that guy is a fundie! Let’s block him from our conversations.”

“That woman is pro-abortion. She must be evil!”

While we are entitled to our own beliefs, we need to be mindful of how we label others who may disagree with our values.

Having a civil argument is fine. Degenerating into insults and name calling isn’t.

#2 The Teaser Taser

“It’s only a joke lah! She will not be offended.”

Well, think again.

According to a study by the University of British Columbia, 95 percent of the youths who perpetuated a cyber bullying action thought that what happened online was merely a joke. Only about five percent actually meant to harm someone!

So how do you avoid turning humour into harassment?

  1. Adopt Stephen Covey’s habit of seeking first to understand the other person.
  2. Ask yourself how you’d feel if you were the subject of the same joke.
  3. Avoid making online jokes at another person’s expense.
  4. Consider if the remarks could possibly be perceived in a different, negative way.

#3 The Online Outer

In a world of smart phones, it isn’t uncommon for extraordinary incidents to be captured on camera. These could be useful as evidence in criminal cases, road accidents, or to resolve disputes between two parties.

However, the smartphone camera may also be a double-edged sword. This is especially so when the prized video clip or photo is publicly shared and “spiced-up” for the purpose of gaining greater likes, comments and shares online (what we call social currency).

We have seen this happen several years ago when photos and videos of NSFs taking up the “reserved seats” on MRT trains were freely circulated.

To prevent yourself from becoming a negative citizen reporter, consider the other person’s point of view and think about how you would react if you were the one being photographed and video-ed. Consider the acronym THINK:

  • T – Is it True?
  • H – Is it Helpful?
  • I – Is it Inspiring?
  • N – Is it Necessary?
  • K – Is it Kind?

#4 The Serial Sharer

On Facebook, sharing may sometimes be caring.

We share important news such as train breakdowns, government announcements, and motivating speeches so that our friends and fans can benefit from the information.

However, such behaviours may sometimes fan the flames of cyber bullying.

As a general rule, we should try not to share a piece of information if we know that it may result in defaming or character assassinating another person. If a crime or a misdemeanour has been committed, let the Court of Law take its course.

Read this guide by Facebook, MediaSmart and the Media Literacy Council to learn more about sharing conscientiously.

#5 The Combative Commenter

Have you ever experienced folks who love to engage in discourse on your Facebook wall?

I am sure you do. In fact, we often welcome comments as they give us a nice psychological boost and keep things interesting.

However, we need to be mindful about not letting comments degenerate into a catfight or a slugfest. It is amazing how an online comment spat between friends could destroy real life relationships.

Strangers may also end up tearing each other up on social media even though they are truly meek, well-mannered and mild in real life.

Let us not allow the need to get the last word in destroy our relationships. If we truly care about an issue, perhaps we could take the issue offline and engage in a constructive face-to-face conversation.

#6 The Prince of Parody

Like the rest of you, I love humour and parodies. They can be extremely zany, like this epic SGAG commentary on BBC’s “Iguana versus Snake” documentary.

However, parodies may also go the other way if they are insensitively made, and do not consider how the protagonists may feel. Especially if they have not said or done anything negative against the parties doing so.

As a general rule, we should avoid making parodies involving children or minors. People at a social or economic disadvantage should also not be made fun of.

#7 The Looks Police

Many of us are tickled by how people look. Countless memes have been created around the themes of plastic surgery and the amazing before-and-after transformation of the parties involved.

Unfortunately, such images may also be misused, such as the meme on how the Asian parents of three kids looked different after plastic surgery.

Beyond cosmetic surgery treatments, I’ve also noticed how people tend to label others based on their size. Remarks like “fat and ugly” or “short and hideous” still abound online, as well as jokes about one’s “squinty Asian eyes”.

Like in all things, respect is in order here. We are all wonderfully and fearfully made.

We should also not judge what others wish to do with their bodies – it’s their lives that they are living, not ours.

#8 The Mindless Mobber

If everybody is doing it, it must be ok to do it right? After all, online mob behaviours have helped to bring certain individuals to justice.

Well, what happens if the crowd is wrong and injustice was served?

In considering what we should support (or not support), let us consider giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. Instead of spreading rumours and unverified half-truths, we should make it a point to investigate what we’ve read using the following S.U.R.E. approach (taken from NLB):

  • Source: Look as its origins. Is it trustworthy?
  • Understand: Know what you’re reading. Search for clarity.
  • Research: Dig deeper. Go beyond the initial source.
  • Evaluate: Find the balance. Exercise fair judgement.

Are there other forms of cyber bullies that you’re aware of? I’d love to hear from you.

Do also check out Media Literacy Council’s website for useful resources on positive Internet behaviours, follow us on Facebook, and be part of the Better Internet Campaign.

How Social And Mainstream Media Helped Donald To Trump

November 9th, 2016   •   no comments   


Courtesy of The Political Insider

The world is still reeling from the results of the 45th American Presidential Election.

America has elected her 45th president Donald J Trump in a stunning upset over his Democrat opponent Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton.
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Viral Marketing 101: Social Currency

November 1st, 2016   •   no comments   

Viral Marketing 101: Social Currency

Courtesy of We Are Animal

Why do some online stories spread while others eat the proverbial digital dust?

That is the number one question befuddling digital and social media marketers around the world. In a world that is swimming around in content clutter, your old “spray and pray” methods of advertising and promotions are dead.
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What Bruce Lee Could Teach You About Social Media Marketing

October 9th, 2016   •   no comments   


Source of image

Do you know legendary Kung Fu megastar Bruce Lee is still rocking it on social media even though he died 43 years ago?

Famed for elevating the status of Asians in action movies, the acclaimed Hong Kong American actor, martial artist and filmmaker is well known for his unique blend of signature martial arts moves and sagely wisdom.

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What Brands Can Learn From Bloggers

September 13th, 2016   •   no comments   

What Brands can Learn From Bloggers

Chriselle Lim and Nordstrom (courtesy of Nordstrom)

Wonder why your social media marketing efforts are not paying off for your brand?

Maybe you should take tuition from that fashionable 20 something student with 100,000 followers on Instagram. Or that “frivolous” YouTuber with his hundreds of thousands of faithful viewers.
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Social Media Marketing ROI: An Essential Guide

August 18th, 2016   •   1 comment   


Measuring the success of your social media marketing efforts can be such a pain.

Likes, comments, shares, views, clicks, CPA, Conversion Rate, CPM… The sheer number of metrics used in digital and social media marketing can be mind boggling.
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Pokémon GO in Singapore: What You Need To Know

August 7th, 2016   •   no comments   

Pokemon GO or Not to GO

Courtesy of Damn Worth It

Caught a Bulbasaur? Picked up some free “incense”? Or trained and evolved a lowly Machop to become a Machamp?

If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, I guess you must be sleeping under a rock while Pokémon GO sweeps the world.
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The Art and Science of Influencer Marketing

June 15th, 2016   •   no comments   

The art and science of influencer marketing

Do you recognise these social influencers? (via Singapore Blog Awards 2014)

What can brands do to improve the outcomes of their digital marketing efforts by working with influencers? How can they harness the power of influencer marketing?

As a content and social media marketing person, I often pondered these questions.

Looking at the breadth of brands on social media, I noticed that the most successful ones either work closely with influencers to magnify their marketing might, or end up becoming influencers themselves.

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