When Social Networking Beats Out Online Learning

Alhamdulillah, essay ini terpilih sebagai juara I Writing Essay Competition yang digelar pada acara EDSA 31st Anniversary 2013.
Nowadays, social networking is one of a very popular issue among the majority in the world, including Aceh. The social networking can be defined as an act of engagement. It also can be defined as groups of people with common interests, or like-minds, associate together on social networking sites and build relationships through community.[1]  The social networking becomes a necessity for everyone. Social networking not only helps people to connect with everybody in this world but also, somehow, become a lifestyle for them.
The popularity of social networking together with availability of internet connection around the world has been creating a new world in the real world. This new world has a new way in gathering people because this world is not limited to space and time. This world can provide and spread information faster. This world is called cyber world. By the time, people move from the real world to cyber world. Then, they become the cyber citizens. This condition forced them to create, at least, an account, in social networking in order to tell the whole world that they are “exist”. This phenomenon makes the Acehnese people want to learn and to know more about the use of internet and some technological tools, such as computer, laptop, smart phone, and tablet on the purpose of becoming the cyber citizens.

Besides the hot issue of social networking, today we commonly know about the issue of online learning too. Ally defines that online learning as the use of the Internet to access learning materials.[2] Usually, online learning contained with some multimedia applications that can create flexible learning environment for learners. Just like social networking, online learning needs high technology tools and internet connection as well. However, unlike the popularity of social networking around the majority of Aceh, the popularity of online learning seems left behind.

A research which was conducted by ‘Ulya in Banda Aceh, 2012 stated that from 81% of the students who were participated in her research which understand in accesing internet, 90% of them never use the internet for online learning. The students argued that the information of online learning was not as popular as social networking.[3] In addition, a college student infers that Acehnese people’ tendency who love playing rather than learning makes social networking which provides more interesting features become more popular around Acehnese majority. [4]

In addition, the magister who was graduated from information and society in National United University Taiwan argued that social networking gives different psychological condition to the user. Feeling of freedom, pleasure, happy and fun are several good feeling that majority find when using the media in social networking.[5]  Similarly, the director of women magazine in Aceh, POTRET magazine, conveyed that the environment and name that carried by both of social networking media and online learning media are different. Social networking is, usually, named by a unique name that easy to read and remember. The name gives some psychological addicted to the user. The user always want to use and say everything on social networking, twitter for example, and they always want to come back soon in order to face the social networking again such as facebook. Moreover, the social networking gives more freedom to the user in accessing the media. The user is allowed to explore and share everything for free in it, without any limitation, as long as their acts do not offend everything that is related to ethnic, religious, racial, and pornography issues.[6]
On the other hand, Tabrani assumed that the name of online learning, which bring along the word “learning”, created psychological block for the user. The word learning create such a serious situation for the user. They will assume that every single thing which is contained by online learning will look so scientific and tense. Responding to the problem, he gave some solution to overcome the psychological block from the online learning. He suggested in changing the word learning with the other synonymous. So that, it will reduce the tense of the user. Furthermore, creating the new image for online learning by containing several interesting new features for supporting learning can be another good solution too.

A programmer, who created one of alternative learning media for students college, added that actually both of social networking and online learning have different features and pleasure. At this time, social networking looks more desirable because it produces the benefits that the majority need at this time. However, it could be possible for online learning to become an interesting media in the future too, if only it can provide the features that are needed by consumers.[7]

Finally, from those data, arguments and views, we can find the cause of why at this time social networking can beat out online learning. Actually, social networking and online learning, both of them, need such a modern and high technology tools to use. However, some interesting features and psychological aspects have been giving the big influence for the development of both media in society, especially for Acehnese people.

[1]Sarah Hartshorn, 5 Differences Between Social Media and Social Networking, from: http://socialmediatoday.com/SMC/194754 retrieved on April, 2013.
[2]M. Ally“Foundations of Educational Theory for Online Learning,” in T. Anderson, & F. Elloumi (Eds.)Theory and Practice of Online Learning (pp. 3-32)(Canada: Athabasca University, 2004), p.4-5.

[3] Ayu ‘Ulya, Students’ Perception of Online Learning through ESL/EFL Websites, Banda Aceh: IAIN Ar-Raniry, 2012,  p.45.
[4] Muhammad  ZakwanPersonal Interview, April 2013.
[5] Ima Dwitawati, Personal Interview, April 2013
[6] Tabrani Yunis, Personal Interview, April 2013

[7]  Rizqi Muharridha, Personal Interview, April 2013.


Ally, M., (2004), Foundations of Educational Theory for Online Learning, in T. Anderson, & F. Elloumi(Eds.), Theory and Practice of Online Learning (pp. 3-32), Athabasca: Athabasca University.

Hartshorn, S., 5 Differences Between Social Media and Social Networking, from: http://socialmediatoday.com/SMC/194754 retrieved on April, 2013.

‘Ulya, A., (2012), Students’ Perception of Online Learning Through ESL/EFL Websites, Banda Aceh: IAIN Ar-Raniry.

Written by: Ayu 'Ulya

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1 Response to "When Social Networking Beats Out Online Learning"

  1. I am really proud of you. Congratulation for the very important article you have written

    Best Regards

    Tabrani Yunis


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