MEETING THE CHALLENGE: INTEGRATING GIS IN COURSE MODULE
Some of the applications discussed in the foregoing are already in practice. For example, web search and information retrieval are based on geo-spatial data. Another good example is the emerging field of social sciences known as computational social sciences. Last but not least, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has become a central interest currently. It is this final application that finds resemblance in the current recommendation because it also forms the basis of computational social sciences. Thus, GIS as a course is central to bringing social media module close to being wholesome. There are several challenges with the geo-social data discussed in the foregoing that primarily requires GIS knowledge to circumvent. Here are a few:
Some social media uses present imprecise geo-spatial information while yet another group provides fine-grained geo-spatial coordinates.
Using geo-spatial data to select sample during researchers likely to cause bias against the general population of social media users.
The interspersion of geo-social information into a mix of daily activities and contexts necessitates reading patterns for a specific geo-spatial information.
Since the interest is also on the profiles of social media users, the strength of social media relationships is an issue that requires an in-depth approach to finding out how this may affect the kind of information shared and how it impacts an individual's social media presence (Caverle et al , 2013).
The challenges above mentioned call for a noble approach to tackle the possible cause of confusion. Most of these challenges can be solved through GIS course. However, having GIS as a separate course will be quite tricky as it calls for faculty-wide adjustments and coming up with modules for the new course. But it is much easier, more convenient and cost-effective to integrate key aspects of the course in social media module. What needs to be bridged here is not much though very important in this context. The challenges discussed above are attributed dynamics of people and ideas and can be resolved through a roadmap that has factored in GIS knowledge. For example, dynamics of ideas results in imprecise geo-spatial data and interspersion of geo-social data into the mix of everyday activities. Resolving these challenges require peak analysis and geo-spatial constraints of information sharing (Caverle, et al., 2013). These two areas call for knowledge on Geographic Information System as a discipline. The integration of the knowledge within its immediate application context, the better for a graduate going into the field of social science research.
Similarly, dynamics of people pose such challenges as what interests a particular profile and how can social scientists overcome the bias against the remaining population of a particular community while using those users who provide geo-spatial information. These two call for a predictive analysis which tries to establish the likelihood of a particular topic being the point of interest for a given population from a given location at a future date. Once again, GIS information underscores this predictive analysis (Caverle, et al., 2013). It goes without saying. Therefore, that will be of incredible contribution to incorporate GIS studies in the social media module for the sake of keeping abreast of changes brought by social media presence. The opportunities underlying geospatial information are immense, from the study of information to the mobility of people across geographical space. This movement of people and the integration of various social systems brings forth many and diverse social impacts that are worth studying from an expertise approach. This knowledge and expertise could be enhanced potentially through GIS basics.
Essay on social media
Second Topic: Social Topic Modelling
The topic discovery was an important research area since the early 90s. However, the interests in this area are growing exponentially in the current times, and this growing interest is attributed to the rise of social media. Social media is changing the way people share information and even provide a platform for sharing this information. While in the earlier contexts information sharing was based on the kind of information exchanged between two or more people in a small geographical setting over a given period, the advent of social media is revolutionizing all these. To begin with, information is no longer shared among people from a small geographical setting, but rather with the entire globe. This is the change in the social context. The frequency with which this information is shared among individuals is also fast changing. With the rise of social media, information is constantly produced round the clock and shared across this production period constantly. In this rapid change also comes the change in the plethora of vocabulary used to describe an event (Kalyanam, et al. , 2015). These changes thus make it possible for more difficult information to quickly understand data from such a diverse view. There must be at least an equally sophisticated way to make meaning out of a long range of vocabulary for a single event. As the corpus grows larger so is the need to devise a method to cater for all the many irregularities in the shared information.
Classical Topic Discovery and Evolution (TDE) approaches aim to detect the underlying topics from the kind of contents shared in a text. In these approaches, therefore, an important focus is lost. This is the social context within which this information is shared. It is quite appropriate to argue that the information shared on social media is contextualized socially on the basis of available data on the individuals sharing this information. With a person's geographical location embedded in the posts shared, time of post, and also user profile availability, there is more meaning to data shared in the social context per se as opposed to the missing link in the earlier similar studies (Kalyanam, et al., 2015). Thus, these additional data is given more robust way to come with topics about a given social media community and make more quality studies about any given media community. While it was difficult to detect the community of users in the earlier contexts of topic discovery studies, the availability of extra data on the members sharing information brings forth a greater opportunity to contextualize information using shares, comments and authorship of posts to map out communities of users. Once these communities have been mapped out, it becomes much easier to pull out interesting topics. It is expected that a community of social media users who share on a particular topic must be interested in particular issues. Apparently, it may also be that such users originate from given geographical locations, which adds more meaning to this study. In summary, the new approach of trying to understand the social context underlying textual corpus is the basis for a new model in the topic discovery and evolution. It is no doubt that by leveraging information about social media communities, topics that would otherwise be uncovered are now discoverable.
Argumentative essay on social media
There are two factors that pose challenges as far as using information from social media to define topics is concerned. These challenges have to do with information volatility and varying vocabulary. A good example provided by Kalyanam et al.(2015) is celebrity gossip, a highly volatile topic that may easily take unexpected turns with each passing minute or may even change contexts in terms of a celebrity being discussed, thus becoming more diverse in terms of vocabulary usage. This volatility brought about by the quick shift of topics, and celebrity-based vocabulary makes topic discovery a misery. However, in these large variations, there is a dedicated community of social media users who constantly reference the celebrity gossip making such a topic discoverable. It is such topics that Kalyanam et al. (2015) decided to call "stable community topics"(p.3). Another kind of topics, "stable content topics"(Kalyanam, 2015:3), have been mapped out by the authors as those topics that do not change much over time. It is actually here that these researchers find it not plausible to use community of users as a piece of information leading to topic discovery and instead recommend a new methodological approach. The new discovery is the center of focus in this section. It does not only revolutionize topic discovery as an important aspect of community studies but brings an overhaul to the social media studies and the underlying importance of this in making a long-lasting impression out of social media studies for undergraduates.
Discovery of topics could be much easier with social media presence. However, what remains is that the current approaches are either combining content and link information, but forgetting the natural time evolution and change aspects inherent to this, or still, track this information along time projectile but failing to factor in content and link information. This way, a conclusive data may not be easy to reach concerning social topics discovered of a community social media users. It follows that a new method that overcomes the shortcomings of the two approaches must be designed and modeled properly. While this has been done by Kalyanam, et al. (2015), the computations underlying the modeling of the new integrated approach requires that a graduate is acquainted with some basic computational skills in this area. It is only through this set of skills that a graduate will properly handle social issues emanating from social media usage, presence, and experience. While it may not be a very good idea to suggest a change in the current approach, it is equally important to note that our graduates may be ill-equipped at the moment when they cannot use their knowledge on social media to handle socially impacting issues. Needless to say is that understanding of the topic discovery and evolution backed up by best-practice is the basis of making more out of this knowledge background. It is therefore recommended that this study on topic discovery using the integrated approach suggested by Kalyanam et al.(2015) should be considered imperative in the social media module.
Discussion Questions About Social Media
Social media is a very crucial topic in the recent days. Every individual is talking about social media in one way or another. Social media refers to a platform whereby its users are in most cases responsible for the content received. Use of websites is one of the activities that is very common and is being used by children as well as adolescents. Sites such as Myspace, Facebook, Sims, Second Life, and also video sites whereby YouTube are included have offered a good number of youths an entryway for faster communication as well as entertainment. Reports indicate that some of the users of these sites have become addicted to them which have resulted in impairment of the education system, social as well as the occupation. The rapid growth of social media has its advantages and disadvantages in the society. This paper will give a detailed discussion on whether social media should be eliminated from the society.
First, social media leads to addiction (Arnett 45). Individuals are using a good fraction of their time in social sites which has diverted many from performing particular tasks. Social media has played a significant role in having the motivational levels lowered which has significantly affected teenagers as well as students at large. Most students are now heavily relying on technology as well as the internet instead of having more focus on practical knowledge and also on the day to day life of the expertise. Most individuals are regularly checking and interacting on social media throughout the day. Most of the individuals are seemingly not aware of the time they use in social media that could have been used in something constructive. A majority of the network companies, as well as creators of the social sites, are trying their best in ensuring that their systems are irresistible (Arnett 56). Most interestingly, many have sought to quit using sites such as Facebook, but to no avail, they only manage to do so for a few days.
Following an experiment carried out, researchers have established that addiction on social media can be adamant than any addiction for instance addiction on cigarettes. Cravings for media have been ranked ahead of alcohol as well as cigarette cravings. A significant number of clinicians have made an observation on symptoms of anxiety, psychological disorders and also depression on the individuals that spend a lot of time online; however, there is little evidence that is in support of the internet use as the cause of the symptoms. Marriages have been destroyed as a result of addiction on Facebook; however, there is no scientific proof for divorces as a consequence of the dependence on the social media.
Social Media Cyberbullying
Social media also leads to cyberbullying and also crimes committed against children (Calvert and Wilson 33). Constant use of the social networks may expose a good number of individuals to different forms of harassment as well as contacts that are not appropriate. Such acts have been proved to be true more so for young children as well as teenagers. Cyber bullying affects all individuals regardless of their age. Cyberbullying may quickly make a different feel overwhelmed totally, and this may result in many feeling of embarrassment which may include devastating time, and they may not be aware of the support that is available for them.
Some children will not feel at ease in approaching adults as they will feel ashamed and thus wonder if they will be judged or even told to close their accounts of which they may be unwilling to do so (Calvert and Wilson 43). Cyberbullying has an effect on the daily lives, and it is perceived as a constant source of distress and worry. With the easy availability of mobile devices, cyber bullying has highly intensified. Cyber bullying has resulted in the occurrence of tragic events such as committing suicides, self-harming, a lot of efforts have to be made to protect vulnerable children as well as adults from being bullied online. Cyberbullying may also lower the self-esteem of a given individual. Low self-esteem may lead to poor achievements in academics, increased levels of absenteeism. Low self-esteem may be a cause of many of the health problems, and it may force one into indulging in criminal activities.
By cyber bullying being closely related to low self-esteem of any given individual, it needs to be prevented by all possible means so as to prevent such negative consequences that are associated with low self-esteem. The negative effects of cyberbullying are at times tough to notice; kids bullied may develop anxiety, may be depressed, feel lonely or even have a poor sleep. When bullied, most individuals will appear less confident. Students, when bullied, may opt to become quiet in class which at the end may affect their studies. Therefore, it can be assumed that bullying is a very significant problem that is as a result of social media, if not attended to, it can quickly become an obstacle in the development process of a child.
Why Is Social Media Important
In as much as there are arguments that social media need to be eliminated from the society, it also has a moral significance in the society. Social media has enhanced communication and sharing of information (Dill-Shackleford 111). Social media has played a role in changing the system of communication. In the past, communication was difficult as messages were to be sent through emails. Today, by the help of the social media platforms, we can send instant messages, emails, messengers, online video calls. The use of the internet has provided a surplus of the tools of social media that has redefined the communication process. The entire paradigm of social media has altered some of the ground rules used in communication for instance on businesses as well as their audience. Social media has enabled individuals to have a say on some of the issues, to carry out a meaningful dialogue, social media also engages everyone as people are provided with a platform for interacting at personal levels. Social media also helps in the shaping of the information that is found useful and also provides a platform that can be used in connecting with others that are engaged in similar activities.
Social media has enhanced the conversation process; communication is no longer one-way but a two-way conversation. Social media tries to engage everyone that is involved (Dill-Shackleford 122); it encourages lots of contributions and reactions from any individual with interests in the topic. Social media provokes all kinds of interactions to be it positive or negative thus making the process of contributions an easy task. Social media has also promoted the exchange of information between a given individual and his audience as well as among other audience members; this has been made possible by invitations for participation. Getting access to information on the internet will only need one to click on it. Social media is thriving on connections that are available on its web and also through the links that are available for other sites, automatic feeds, reliable resources as well as people. Creating a personalized site of connections is no longer a problem.
Social media has also enhanced marketing (Healey 34). Using social media as a tool for marketing enables small businesses that are interested in enlarging their business to access many customers. Platforms are created where customers interact with the company’s brands through the social media platforms. When appropriately implemented, marketing using social media is capable of bringing remarkable success on to the business. Social media posts help in the driving of the targeted traffic. Creation of a new page on a site is a very simple task but one that has to be done with a lot of care. A well placed and organized post can result in a very significant difference. One link can bring many customers for the business. If marketing is appropriately carried out using the social media platforms, they may lead to the building of a good relationship between the firm and its customers.
Twitter and Instagram
Twitter and Instagram are some of the principles that have made the marketing process to be a cool exercise; it enables the business in understanding the base of their customers. Reading of the tweets, as well as their customer status allows the company to get the insights of the daily lives of their clients and thus make necessary adjustments to the marketing strategy (Healey 45). Social media also helps in getting noticed in some of the events, and it might even go to the extent of generating good media coverage. Social media provides an excellent ground for leveraging the presence of the business than with the help of social media. Social networking also helps the business to give immediate responses to some of the problems; in the case of any issue with some of their products appropriate action can be taken in time.
Arguments that children are not familiar with how social networking should be used as they use it in bullying others or even in pranking their fellow children, need to be dropped in as much as they have some sense of truth in them. However, parents are not doing a bang-up job in that department. Social networking is aimed at sharing of ideas as well as connecting with friends and relatives. Social media need not be eliminated from the society because of its side effects on the society but instead the organization should take control measures in how it is making use of the platforms. The community needs to use the social media platforms in a manner that will not violate their moral values.
In summary, this paper has in details addressed the issue on why social media needs to be eliminated from the society. Many negative side effects have been associated with social media such as cyber bullying as well as addiction which have led to spending a lot of time on the social networking platforms thus neglecting duties. However, the social media platforms also need not be eliminated from the society as they have made the process of communication to be easier and also enabled the marketing process. It is appropriate to take measures that will help individuals to use the social media platforms for their intended purpose; this will help in sustaining morals of the society.
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