Converged social media: Identity management and engagement on Facebook Mobile and blogs

Patient Rambe

Abstract


There is scant evidence to demonstrate that researchers grasp the social dimensions of convergence, and particularly, the academic and social implications of converged media on students' lives. Despite a surge in student appropriation of social media-enabled mobile phones for exchanging educational resources and social practices, little is known about this collapsing of academic and social contexts. Twelve purposively selected postgraduate students who used Facebook Mobile for exchanging learning resources and micro-management of their daily lives were interviewed to unravel the influence of converged social media on students' lives. Identity construction and convergence as theoretical constructs were drawn upon to examine student narratives of their Facebook interactions and navigation of their identities. The findings suggest that Facebook Mobile enhanced the students’ networked exchange of knowledge and meaningful participation in learning communities. However, students expressed uncertainty about educators' judgements of their online personae, invasion of their privacy, information security and fears of jeopardising future career prospects. The study recommends best-practice pedagogical designs that emphasise deep engagement, safe communication, measures to deal with plagiarism and policy interventions to address privacy and information security.

 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.117