Social Surfing at Department of Communication, Sikkim University
Written by Mehak Jhingon & Pratishtha Arora
With Support from Dr. Guha, Head of Communications Department, Centre for Social Research team comprising of Ms. Pratishtha Arora, Ms. Mehak Jhingon and Mr. Vikram Sheoran facilitated the SOCIAL SURFING WORSHOP at the Sikkim University on 9th September 2015 with a total of 33 students.
Mr. A. N Shankar, Dean at the Sikkim University, welcomed the CSR Team and addressed the participants by introducing the concept of safe online surfing. This was followed by Dr. Guha, HOD who expressed his concerns on online safety for women.
The workshop began with short introduction by Ms Mehak to Centre for Social Research, as an organization followed by the objective of the workshop. In order to engage with the participants, the facilitators questioned them on their active involvement on various online portals. Further, to build up the conversation a short video ‘Is Social Media a Fad or No’ was screened. The facts shared through the video stuck their attention.
Ms. Pratishtha further, discussed about the evolution of Internet, its history, the emergence of various other social portals and finally how these portals became an effective medium of communication with support of examples. A participant from the group also added her inputs on the same.
In continuation an activity called Tangram was carried out with the students. Tanagram, a puzzle consisting of seven flat shapes, called tans, to form a specific shape using all seven pieces. The participants were divided in groups of two with five members each. Members of each group alternate being Giver (has the tangram image) and Receiver (has the tangram pieces) faced each other. The facilitator explained the role of Giver and Receiver. The role of the Giver was to explain to the Receiver, without being able to visually demonstrate, how to build the final tangram puzzle with the tangram pieces. The role of the Receiver was to listen to the instruction given by the Giver and construct the puzzle described. This exercise identified what communication skills are needed to effectively communicate with other individuals.
The students were made to understand the essence of effective communication through bridging the gap between the real and the virtual world.
Next session was facilitated by Mr Vikram on social security and settings for Facebook. Prior to the session the facilitator conducted a quick Q&A based on security settings of social media. One of the students stated her absence on social media because she felt that it is an unsafe platform. This eventually led the facilitator to explain how users themselves are in control of their security and access to information about their profiles. A short video based on privacy settings was then screened followed by a detailed discussion on the settings which had set a clear picture.
In the meantime interesting fact about Facebook like the shortcut to Mark Zuckerberg’s page www.facebook.com/4 was shared.
Further, the idea of counter speech was introduced to the group by Ms Mehak. The concept defines that the best way to deal with a bad speech is a better speech. This was explained with a video of Daniel Cui, wherein a simple act of changing respective profile pictures by his friends brought a positive change and comeback in his life. Lastly, the students came up with various social campaigns to bring in change through the medium of social media.
It was a great experience conducting the Social Surfing Workshop at the Sikkim University as the students were very enthusiastic and interactive during the entire workshop.
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