By Rachid Ait Oumaiz
By Rachid Ait Oumaiz
Morocco World News
Agadir, Morocco, February 26, 2012
It’s obvious that we are witnessing changes in all spheres of life. New technologies have shaped our view of the world. The validity and reliability of the different technological devices we use everyday are put under scrutiny. Lately, more light has been shed on the so-called ‘new media,’ which has been spreading widely throughout the world.
Nowadays, we are living the third wave of globalization, which is built around individuals. The latter are trying to organize themselves in terms of social groups sharing the same interests. Individuals also make use of new media which are free and easily accessible. Facebook remains the most widely used social networking site ever.
Facebook has shown its ability to attract people from different countries, with different social backgrounds, and with quite ambiguous purposes in mind. Some use it for enjoyment, others use Facebook for getting information, and very few are those who use it for learning.
The question that rises with regard to social media is how to use it to achieve media literacy, which is the most desirable goal in today’s world? In other words, can ‘new media’ help us achieve the objectives they were made for?
Mr. Mohamed Ouakrime, Professor of Applied Linguistics at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fez, states:
“Social networks are a means of enhancing what is referred to as ‘Media Information Literacy’, i.e. the ability to locate relevant information, assess its value and reliability and be able to use it effectively. It requires that the individual who is involved in social networks is not only a ‘consumer’ of media and information, but also a producer, who is able to actively participate in such networks through providing information to others about issues of concern to members of the network in a language that they are able to understand and appreciate.”
However, reality tells us that the majority of social media users are far from achieving ‘Medial Literacy’ because they don’t know exactly what they want while navigating on the web. That is to say, people are left in a market where it’s hard for them to distinguish between the two opposite of extremes social media.
Within the Moroccan context, I believe that ‘Media Literacy’ is merely a dream, at least for the time being. The bulk of Moroccans consume more than they produce online. So far, we have fallen for what I call a ‘deadly misunderstanding’ towards social media and their varied implications. So, it’s time for questioning our online practices in order to make them more goal-oriented, because nothing happens at random.
Edited by Benjamin Villanti
Rachid Ait Oumaiz is a Moroccan high school teacher of English. He holds a professional B.A. in TEFL & ICT (Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Information Communication Technology) from Ibn Zohr University in Agadir. He is an active member of MATE (The Moroccan Association of Teachers of English). He is also interested in politics, international relations, social studies and journalism.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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