The development of the media brings changes in the life of Indonesian society. Internet and social networking become the most widely used especially by woman. Knowledge and skills of media literacy becomes a very important thing, so that women could be smart in utilizing the media. This research tried to see “How women utilize social networking in everyday life.” Particularly, this research wantad to see knowledge and skills of women on social networking. This research was conducted in Kecamatan of Medan Helvetia. Total sample of this research are 46 studies. The research method is descriptive analysis, using the form of questionnaires and interviews. Research showed that women in Kecamatan Helvetia has quite good knowledge and skills of social networking.
Keywords : Women, Social Networking , Media Literacy
Media development in Indonesia is progressing very rapidly . This is in line with the political changes in 1998 when Indonesia experienced political change known as reforming. Since that time, the number of media becomes more and more, printed, electronic and internet. These developments affect the free flow of information from those media. One of those media that has developed very rapidly is internet.
38 million Internet users reached at 2010 in Indonesia (Rochimah & Junaedi, 2013). Along with the ease in accessing the internet, this number is expected to raise. For example: the availability of hot spot (wifi) in various places, such as cafes, shopping centers, colleges, and also the low prices offering of internet data from mobile phone to its customer. Mobile phone users take the advantage of this facility so that they can quickly access the Internet. The development of internet cafes that spread from the city to the village, becomes another factor that allows people to access the internet .
The presence of Internet in Indonesia is an extraordinary phenomenon, where the Internet became a necessity for millions of people in Indonesia. The Internet provides a variety of sites that can be used by everyone. Results of the TNS research called Digital Life shows that 70% of Internet users in Indonesia access social networking as an important activity when surfing the internet (YPMA, 2011). Based on research data of social media users in 2013 states: Indonesia is in the list of top five active Facebook users after the United States, Brazil, and India.” (Socialbakers, 2014).
As individuals, woman–who use the internet, especially as a social networking users–is very interesting of being subject of study. Especially women that living in urban areas. Women as individuals and as a housewife is a huge potential in Indonesia, particularly in the city of Medan. The number of women in Medan city are 1.068.659 people (Badan Pusat Statistik Kota Medan, 2010).
Women in Medan has many roles, including as a housewife, and as a working mother. As housewives, woman has a role to organize the household properly. Their main task is to taking care of home, children and husband. Working-woman has dual role, as a household manager and as a worker in an institution. Women need a place to actualize itself, including through social networking.
The results of further research shows that women are the most social networking users. Nielsen research results tells “that woman were using their smartphones more than men for social networking.” (ComScore Media Metrix, 2011).
The phenomenon of women using the internet especially social network in their lives increased from day to day. Therefore, women need to have knowledge and skills in using of social networking. Women must have enough knowledge about social network, besides that women should have the skills to using, understanding, and evaluating media.. Potter (2005) stated that the knowledge and skills of media literacy is a major thing to prevent bad influences of media. Media literacy means society–in this case, women–were given the strengthening of knowledge and skills about the media, especially on social network.
Communication research that puts the position of women as the main character has not been widely done yet. This research tried to describe women in the use of internet, especially the social network. It is the women who has a status as mothers in the family. More specifically targets are housewives who have teenage children. This is due to the rampant phenomenon of Internet used among teens, so that knowledge and skills of media literacy is a must for a mother. Knowledge and skills is a device that women can be used to protect the child.
Review of Literature
Research in communication science, especially about women as objects of observation related to the topic of women construction in the media. The results found that women are in a disadvantaged position. For example: research about women in construction of disaster news shows that the media gives little space on women as victims (Wulandari, 2010). Research with similar topics about construction reality of women in development programs of keluarga berencana and kesehatan reproduksi found that women–in the position of an object, has difficulty in determining what is best for themselves, particularly in keluarga berencana and kesehatan reproduksi (Widiastuti, 2005). Research on gender stereotypes of women in Culinary TV show found that women failed to play a part resistant of feminity. Female characters remain as traditional intellectuals who participated maintain and perpetuate the hegemony of patriarchal ideology (Agustin, 2013).
Many research on social networks has been done, neither do the research on women and social network especially among housewives. Meanwhile, the phenomenon of the smartphones growing rapidly in Medan, people can easily access the internet and social network through this media. Facebook is one of many popular social network among people in the Medan. It makes people can reconnect with friends or relatives who have not met for a long time.
Many experts express their opinions about social networking. Boyd & Ellison stated that: “social networking is a web-based service that enables individuals to develop a public or semi-public profile through the bound system, shows a list of other users with whom one touch, and see a list of their relationships and other exist in the system,” ( Lubis, 2014).
The opinion above states that the main strength of social networks is user profile that can be seen as well as a list of friend on the site. They can recognize person to another person through profiles, photos and bio-data as social network users. Social network has many types of which are facebook, twitter, you tube, path, linkedin, instagram, and so forth.
Women tend to use social network to interact to family members, friends, and coworkers. Social network as a means to demonstrate the advantages possessed by someone. For example: Facebook became a place to actualize oneself to others. The goal is that people get to know themselves more deeply and find out the advantages possessed by the person. Social networks become a place to improve one’s image.
Four characteristics of social networks are as follows. First, the communication and interaction occurs virtually without limits of space and time. Old friends who might not known exist can be found through facebook. Second, social networks establish communication more efficient in terms of time, effort and cost. Third, social network is used to exchange and campaign an idea. Fourth, social network brings support and reward, in which the communication towards the balance and harmony (Sosiawan, 2011).
Recent developments show that social networks are emphasizing more personal issues. This development certainly does not give the advantage to the users, especially women. Many bad things could happen, such as a sense of lazy to communicate directly. People like to communicate through social networks than face-to-face. There is a term which states “taking the far one closer, and making the closest one far.” Other thing is the emergence of kidnapping crimes that befalls many women, especially teenage girls. Identity and photographs that appear in social networking attract others to do bad. Communicate, seduce and after being lured, then, it will continue to meet in person. Kidnapping of women usually occurs after a face-to-face meetings.
One effort to prevent bad things are doing media literacy. Society has not had entirely adequate knowledge of the content of the media. Community empowerment, especially of women through media literacy has meaning that people must have knowledge of the media, especially on social networks, so that they can take advantage of, make choices, understand and analyze it better and be careful.
De Vito defines media literacy as the ability to understand, analyze, access and produce mass communication messages (Sihabudin, 2013).
Baran & Dennis thought media literacy as a set of movement, namely: the media literacy movement is designed to increase individual control of media that they use to send and receive messages. Media literacy is seen as a skill that can be developed, and as a set, we just don’t literate media in all situation, at all times and against all media (Tamburaka, 2013).
Meanwhile, another definition states that media literacy is a practice to consume media in a smart way (Guntarto & Hendriyani, 2012). David Buckingham said the definition of media literacy as “the ability to access, understand, and create communications in a variety contexts.” The ability to access refers to the ability to determine the media contents that fit their needs and avoid unnecessary media content. While the ability to understand refers to what the audience will do when finding information, and the ability to create is the ability to write in the media (Tim PKMBP, 2013).
This study uses a model proposed by James W. Potter. This model emphasizes the importance of structural elements of knowledge (knowledge structure) and skills (skills) in developing media literacy in a person (2005). The structure of knowledge related to aspects of information and knowledge has that can provide the ability to understand and analyze media and see the context of the media messages. The structure of knowledge should always be constructed so that someone can filter the messages properly, then sort them according to the needs and useful .
Good knowledge about the structure of social networks will make women know everything about social network, such as: definition, types, and functions, besides someone will know the good or bad influence of social networking for a person. While the skill is the ability to access, understand, and criticize the content of the message of social networking.
This research was conducted in Medan, North Sumatra Indonesia, 2012. Research Population was women who live in Lingkungan VII Tanjung Gusta Medan Helvetia. This location was chosen based on observations of the huge number of internet cafes in the region. Researchers became interested and wanted to observe deeply; particularly for women. The number of samples are 46. This research using descriptive analysis method that aims to determine the knowledge and skills of women on social network. The technique of collecting data using questionnaires and interviews. Single table analysis is used for analysis data. Research data in the form of a single table will be interpretated based on the tendency of the results.
Results and Discussion
In general, women who were respondents in this study aged between 30-49 years existed as a housewife and have children. They have a high school education (54.3 %), and graduate (32.6%), majority of the respondents had a job (63%) and others as housewives (37%). Respondents generally have social network accounts (67.4%) and respondents who do not have accounts (32.6%).
Knowledge of social networking shows 63% said that social network means a friendships site that associated with different parts of the world. The rest, 37%, said that social network is the site to look for information or news. Furthermore, researchers asked their knowledge of the types of social networks. There are four kinds of social networks displayed, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger and YouTube. The results show that facebook (93.5%) is the most type they ever know, following Youtube (65.2%), Yahoo Messenger (60.9 %), and Twitter (58.7%).
The results of interviews with respondents showed that facebook is the most widely known and acknowledged social network. Generally, they stated that facebook is a social network site that connected the world, old friends, find new friends and even promote their business. Based on open-ended questions in the questionnaire, the large number of respondents determine what content are available on Facebook, namely: home, profiles, chat, status updates, messaging, games, friend requests, and upload photos.
Knowledge of the effect of social networks on people’s lives suggests that the majority of respondents (93.5%) stated effect. Those are a good influence of adding the latest information, promote business, expand silaturrahim, friendship, and raise education/knowledge. Furthermore, researcher trying to find out more deeply about knowledge of respondents, the influence of the most common social network using. Most of respondent states that influence common for teenage (69.6%), then the children (23.9%) and in adults (6.5%). This answer is consistent with the observations of researchers who showed that teens spend a lot of time using social network through internet cafes or smartphone.
Results of research on using social network skills showed that many respondents update status and comments (67.7%). They access social network less than 1 hour (58.1%), between 1 to 2 hours (29%), and more than 2 hours (12%). Respondents access social networks using smartphones. most respondents access social networks anytime and anywhere (80.6 %), while there is also access it at work (12.9%), and while traveling or in transit (6.5%).
Respondents skills in analyzing social networks shows that content of social network does not matter if they are accessible, but when accessed by their children, especially teenagers, could cause problems. Useful content are games, quizzes, and photo upload, while status updates and chat content are less useful. Respondents argue that those content tends to waste time and disrupt the activities of their teenage children.
The results of the study lead to the conclusion that women’s knowledge about social networking is good enough. Generally, they have actual knowledge about what social networks and the types. In general, respondents said that social network sites are same as friendship site, where they can meet up with friends or family. Based on the observations of researchers, friendship in many social network followed by face to face meetings. Therefore, the phenomenon of reunion with friends during elementary school, junior high, high school or college to be a trend that hit people in Medan city, including women.
In addition to knowledge about the content of social network, this study also shows respondent’s knowledge about the influence of social networks on individuals and society. The results showed that the majority of respondents found social networking give effect to the person and society. Some insteresting results shows, the respondents stated that the good influence bigger than the other on themselves. For example: re-establish silaturrahim with family and old friends, expand network of friends, and promote business they had. While to their teenagers, social network gives a good and bad influence. Good influence happens on their child is: there is no technology illiterate, get the latest information, insight, open minded and also attitudes to parents, more critically and creative. Adverse effects occur on their child are: their child knows a lot of things they don’t deserve to know yet, being more emotional, careless, and would rather be a loner (social network).
Research on using social network skills indicate that respondents still within reasonable time limits at an average of 1 hour in a day. Activities conducted in social network in the form of status updates and give comments . Author’s observation of the social network users indicate that the status updates is done every day, and they would immediately change the status if there are special event. For examples: celebrating a friend’s birthday, or attending an important event such as seminars, weddings, and so forth. Thus are activities in providing comments, are a popular activity. They active give any comment on friends who are on the friend list.
Activity in accessing social networking done by the respondent at any time and anywhere. If there is free time or any important things they will access it anytime. This activity becomes its own preoccupation for respondents to follow the latest news of friends in social networks.
Skills in analyzing social network content is good enough, especially when it links to their children. Respondents choose content that is useful for them and their children. Status updates and chat in a social network are considered much time and also danger, because it opens the opportunity for strangers to get to know their children.
Women in Medan has a pretty good knowledge and skills in the use of social networking. Knowledge and skills that they also aplly to their children, especially the teenagers .
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