Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lets Tweet – A Call for Nepali Students

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Yes, we all have Facebook account and hope you are utilizing that apart from some useless chats and likes. We are going to talk about next biggest social media - Twitter. Lets start with a recent twitter survey which shows that only 5% of the Nepali Twitter users are students. Though the survey was conducted some months ago, the number might have increased a bit lets say 8% ? or 10% ? Let whatever that be for now because we are not talking about increasing only number but also on how we could be benefited from one of the wide social network. And next big thing I want to clear from very beginning is that Twitter is not just about following and followers. Also, I don't want to argue on which is better: Facebook or Twitter, as all have pros and cons.

Though it seems to be like twitter has been focused on business and professional branding and marketing, but the truth is far beyond this. Many studies have been conducted on the impact of twitter on the educational grade of students and most of them have shown positive result too. Undoubtedly, the network increases your online presence and develops connections among people apart from increasing in learning habit. It could be great opportunity to build meaningful relations with people in your field of interest which may turn out to be very important in future too. It could be very beneficial to develop your personal brand on what are you all about just like companies build their brand image.

Twitter could be very much helpful for students from various angles. If you are having problem on your topic or got stuck on tutorial, just post your question & wait for response. Most people are happy to help. And one thing, don't be shy about asking your followers to Retweet your problem. There may discussions taking place on Twitter which could be your field of interest. Conduct a search for that if someone is talking about the subject & join in to get insights to broaden your horizon of knowledge. By increasing involvement through this, you can reach out to experts and scholars in the field you are researching. Hashtags can allow for a quicker search, leading the students to the exact information, or contacts, they need. Many libraries and archives have twitter accounts which could be much helpful Twitter to conduct research.
But don't limit tweets on educational stuffs only. Many influential persons, political leaders, celebrities are active in twitter to whom you can ask queries and leave responses. Twitter feeds from various news sites, blogs and companies could provide plenty of information on what is happening around the world within a second. These days, twitter has become a major news source. News portals seems to be in competition to share breaking news in twitter prior to updating their sites. And yes, unhealthy competition has raised problem of sharing unauthorized news. So, beware of this and wait for confirmations from some reliable source.

Surveys have shown that twitter pulls more students into discussion which is thus helpful in making collaboration in studies and other extra activities too along with playing active role to overcome the shyness barrier. As most of tweets are publicly view-able (it can also be made protected), many people can have discussion at the same time solely through a web rather than few peoples in a group which make it really interesting to have online conversation.

Since some days, I have been seeing donation box to help an engineering student of Pulchowk Campus. If we could publicize that by raising a campaign via the social media, it could definitely be productive. While writing this, I remembered about TFC (Tweet for Cause) Nepal and Youth for blood campaign. They are informal group active on social media which are conducting social works from small donations made by light hearted people. So, it teaches us to be more organized and collaborate together to spread awareness & do something for the betterment of the society. For many users, sharing and conversing about the causes and charities they care about is a big part of building an identity too.

Apart from huge benefits, excessive and improper use of the social media which have deeply infiltrated our life may lead to serious problem or accident too. Lots of criticism can be heard made over social media and the effect it has on the way students process and retrieve information & how distracting that could be. Considering the fact, a suburban Los Angeles school district in US has hired a firm to monitor social media activities of students. However, social media like Twitter offers plenty of opportunities of learning and interactivity for students in college that will also assist them later in future.

Written By Raju Dawadi
Raju is a Computer Engineering student in Nepal, tech and social media enthusiast, web developer, blogger experimenting with SEO and web analytics.


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