With most people now spending more and more time on social media, it is high time to be discerning of what you see online.
As a responsible consumer of media, you should also be able to understand its different forms and uses. You’ve been flooding your social media feed with a lot of memes, funny videos, cutesy animal clips, photos, graphics, and if you feel like being “woke” for some days, you’ve been sharing news, political stories, and your “kuda” on social issues.
But then what is media literacy?
According to a learning module developed by the Commission on Higher Education in collaboration with the Philippine Normal University, media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in a variety of forms.
It aims to empower citizens by providing them with the competencies (knowledge and skills) necessary to engage with traditional media and new technologies.
In short, all media platforms or forms share one thing: someone created them. They were created for a reason. Understanding that reason is the basis of media literacy.
Here are 5 ways you can practice media and information literacy:
Fake news is dangerous. Beware!
Studies found that false news spread faster on Twitter than on any social media platform. You should be able to identify accurate news from not. How do you do that? Read the headline, check the source of the story, authors and credentials, language used, and tone.
Recognize your bias
Determine which channels might highlight which kinds of facts, emphasize certain kinds of contexts or angles, and use different tones when sharing information.
Engage in smart conversation (ONLY)
Keep your sanity in check! Don’t engage trolls. As much as you want to interact with them and prove a point, they will never listen. Choose your battles, you might just be wasting your time talking to them.
Think before share
Ask yourself, what is your goal for sharing that particular post? Will it contribute to the discussion of an issue? Or will it just create confusion among your friends or followers? Think about it.
Be a responsible creator (vlogger if you are)
Remember what you post reflects who you are as a person. Your social media account is your virtual extension.
Want to learn more about media literacy? Are you thinking of entering a career in mass media? Several schools offer Humanities and Social Science tracks for Senior High School students who have plans on entering the newsroom, and Mass Communication courses are some of the programs that teach you all about media literacy—all of which you can check out on Edukasyon.ph!