Findings and Recommendations: Towards a Social Media Literate Society

25 nov 2014 /

Government should stimulate a stronger focus on social media in teacher training programmes. Teachers and parents should let young people help and advise them in using social media. Employers should find someone within their organization who can take on the role of a social media coordinator. These are only a few of the many recommendations to enhance social media literacy for different user groups in different contexts. More tips can be found in the full report, which is now freely available to download.

The report describes the main findings and recommendations for the EMSOC project made in WP4 by the Research Group for Media and ICT (MICT) and the Research Group for Culture and Education from Ghent University. We discuss several case studies and their results and line out recommendations for specific user groups: youth and employees. As these user groups may have different weaknesses and strengths, it is important that we target them in personalized ways. Although it is not our aim (nor possible) to mutually compare the case studies, taken together they give us a lot of interesting insights in how young people at home and at school, as well as employers and employees, deal with social media.

We first discus results from the large-scale EMSOC survey, targeted at the whole Flemish population aged 16 and older. We then continue to describe cases targeted at youth and employees. Today’s digital natives will determine the future of social media, but their extensive use of the platforms may also make them vulnerable for social media’s risks. Employees are increasingly expected to be proficient with all kinds of new and social media in their professional lives. At the same time, some employees may serve as ‘social media trainers’ for their colleagues. For these reasons, we focused the use of social media by youth and employees.

Even though we found promising results for some of the youngsters, parents, teachers, employers and employees, others are still lagging behind as regards their social media literacy competencies and initiatives. Based on the recommendations we extracted from the case studies and EMSOC survey, we hope that the diverse user groups can each find a way to enhance social media literacy in either the home, school or work context.

Download the report here.