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MALAYSIAN SOCIETY WITH THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA?

Kuala Lumpur: 23 September 2014 – Latest research findings from TNS show constant connectivity and digital media have enabled Malaysians to leap-frog to be one of the most socially engaged markets in the world. According to findings from TNS’s Connected Life study released today, over three fifths (62%) of Internet users in Malaysia access social media networks daily, compared to 42% globally, whilst 52% use instant messaging every day.

For over a third of Internet users in Malaysia, the screen of their mobile phone is the first face they see in the morning; 35% of Internet users in Malaysia reach for their mobile phone before they even get out of bed, whilst a similar number (34%) use their phone in bed before they go to sleep.

This phone usage contributes to the 4.5 hours of leisure time Internet users in Malaysia spend online every day. Much of this screen time is spent in staying more connected. And whilst almost three fifths (59%) admit to spending a lot of their time on social media, email is still an important channel, with over 58% sending personal emails on a daily basis.

Facebook is by far the most popular application, with almost half of Malaysian Internet users identifying it as their favorite social platform (48%) and 88% visiting the site weekly. Whats App is not far behind for weekly use, at 72% of Malaysian Internet users, however it’s the favorite platform for just one fifth of the population (19%).

And whilst Malaysian Internet users may have their favorite platforms, they do use a wide range of different services to stay connected – far more than is seen globally.

Platform Weekly users – Malaysia (%) Weekly users – global %
Facebook 88 47
YouTube 76 35
WhatsApp 72 22
Facebook Messenger 71 28
WeChat 61 30
Google + 52 28
Line 43 10
Instagram 36 11
Skype 36 15
Twitter 30 16
Yahoo! Messenger 30 12
Viber 21 7
LinkedIn 16 6
Tumblr 16 6
Snapchat 12 5

Whilst digital devices are never far away, Malaysian Internet users do still engage with traditional media. They watch just under an hour and twenty minutes of TV every day, primarily during the evening when a quarter of Internet users will turn on the set.

“Our study has shown that Internet users in Malaysia are amongst the most attached to their digital devices of everyone we studied,” says Joe Webb, Head of Digital, APAC, TNS. He continues, “We’ve been hearing about the declining influence of traditional media for some time and the extent to which social media and digital devices have taken hold in Malaysia really shows this to be true. However, with traditional media continuing to play a role at particular times of day –TV in the early evening at dinner time, for example – there’s an opportunity for brands to truly integrate their marketing like never before. ”

Going online for entertainment is also popular in Malaysia, with almost half (47%) of Internet users streaming music or radio every week, 62% watching on-demand video and 44% watching paid TV or movies online every week.

Joe concludes, “Internet users in Malaysia are hungry for content and conversations. We’re seeing high levels of engagement with content and a desire to stay connected with friends and family. So whilst the medium has changed, the motivations haven’t. There’s a strong opportunity for the media owners that really understand these behavior.”

ISSUES OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOLUTION 

Most of you can relate with this issue, isn’t it? I know I can, though with time I’ve learnt how to handle this major problem with social media. So, do you face any of these social media issues?

1 – As you have accounts on many social networking sites, do you spend time visiting each one too often?

Solution – Yes! I know I do, but you need to find ways to overcome this issue. So, the ONLY thing that works on such social networking sites is limiting your time and running off!!

Believe me, nothing else really works – tried and tested!

Social networking can be addictive and overwhelming at the same time. You need to learn to filter out the ‘noise’ to find something specific.

2 – Do you get so lost in your social media networks that you can’t function if you aren’t connected the online world? You feel lost, isolated, and become dependent, which can be dangerous.

Solution – I agree that people need a strong social media presence nowadays, and if you aren’t online the main social networking sites, you’re missing out on a LOT, but you need to know how to handle it all.

Don’t become dependent on such sites. Instead, find yourself some offline hobbies, friends, and ways to recreate so that you don’t become addicted to the Internet.

3 – Do you keep updating your status and remain busy reading the updates of others?

Solution – Chalk out a schedule and how much time you want to spend on such sites, visit them, share your update, quickly go through your notifications and messages, and move away.

The more you stay and check out what others have shared, or see the invitation to play games, or visit unnecessary pages, the more time you waste.

4 – As you are online 24×7, are you neglecting your family, kids, siblings and friends?

Solution – Family and your relationships should always come first, and this is a reminder for me too! Thus when you need to be with them, you need to move away from the social media.

Don’t allow social media to interfere with your daily chores, responsibilities, nor your relationships with your family, friends, parents, kids, and spouse. Take out time for it, and move away after that!

“Social networking platforms drove man closer to those in neighboring continents, while driving him further apart from those in his neighborhood.” ~ Mokokoma Mokhonoana

5 – Do you spend lots of time interacting with friends or strangers online to make new friends? As you are so used to working behind the scenes, perhaps when you meet offline people, do you feel awkward in conversing with them?

Solution – You need to ask yourself does online friendship really work. Yes, and no – just as the link to this post describes, do read the interesting conversation that goes on about it in the post.

It all depends on how you build relationships with your online friends. Check their profiles before making friends with them, another point most people forget to do.

Also, don’t entirely depend or only have online friends. Move out and meet offline friends and be with them, so that the awkwardness doesn’t remain.

6- Get too many messages, notifications, tags that you find it tough to cope with once you are on these social media networks.

Solution – I deal with this issue every single day! You just need to ignore them if they come in huge numbers, or if you feel they are important – take them up by visiting your account once a day.

Choose a time for your preferred social networking site to visit and reply to all the notifications, but don’t get stuck there. End it up within a set time period – and move away!

7- Some people bore you and you don’t like to interact with them, yet you do because you are being polite. So do you waste time in talking to those who don’t matter to you over issues?

Solution – If you are on the social networks just to waste time, you can never get anything worthwhile done. In case you have to deal with people who bore you, and you are one of the polite ones, you need to change!

After one or two replies, excuse yourself from the conversation and get away. If you continue talking, they will continue asking or talking. So, the choice is always in your hand.

8- Do you face short attention spans because of the time you spend on social networking sites – making it tough to cope with ALL the information because there is so much to read and learn and so little time?

Solution – If you find your attention span shortening over the years – that’s perhaps due to the time spent online gathering or reading the vast information at a faster rate, as compared to earlier.

Keep taking frequent breaks when you work online. Your mind and body, including the overworked brain, need a BREAK! Chalk out a time for social media and the Internet, instead of being online all the time.

“Distracted from distraction by distraction.” ~ T.S. Eliot

9 – Do you lack focus and think your productivity is taking a back seat due to these social media sites?

Solution – When you are forever online working and visiting several social media and social networking websites in day, you tire your brain and lack the attention and focus.

Yes, if you have the free time, these social networks are good, or else, they can reduce your efficiency and productivity, besides harming your entire days work and routine.

Thus, time yourself and remain focused in what you need to do first – everything else can come up later. Setting your priorities is essential, which ensures you only work to achieve your target.

10 – Perhaps you always want to listen to what everyone has to say, all the time. That’s called FOMO (fear of missing out), which makes you anxious and crazy. So, are you online and on these social media networks always?

Solution – You need to break this bad habit of being online ALL the time, as I know some of my blogging friends face this issue.

Just set a timer or go by the watch, and get away as soon as your time is up. I know it’s tough, but if you are determined, you can easily do it, just as I’ve learnt to do.

So, you hardly see me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, except for the short time that I am online

Remember, if you want to achieve something – you need to be very focused, or else it doesn’t work.

11 – Do you waste time playing online games like Angry Birds, Zynga Poker, Facebook Scrabble etc, which are present on such social networking sites? Or do people tag and invite you to play such games?

Solution – I get a LOT of such invitations to play online games. But I just do one thing – IGNORE such notifications! Sorry for doing that – but I don’t have the time to waste in playing games!

If you are free, by all means play such games and invite those who might like playing too. But don’t tag, bother, or trouble those you know wouldn’t be keen.

You can also check the settings of your account to stop getting the notifications for such games or apps, if you look it up.

12 – Do you spend time clicking your pictures and sharing it on the social mediaand seeing what others share, or comment on them?

Solution – You need to remember that all that you share on the social networks becomes public. So, be careful when you click your pictures and share them.

Or you can adjust the settings to share them with a group of close friends and family, though it’s better to email them or share it through other sites like Picasa etc., rather than social networking sites, where they can still be traced.

Besides, clicking your pictures, uploading the, and sharing it all over becomes an addiction, especially with young tweens and teens. Parents need to be careful because people can misuse such pictures too.

It’s all so well explained in this short video – a must see for every parent along with their child, whether young or old who use the Internet. Check it out –

Do You Really Have a Private Life Online ~ YouTube Video

13 – Do you feel your relationship is breaking up or broke up due to the amount you spent on these social network sites?

Solution – Talking of relationship issues – who doesn’t have them? But if you haveproblems with your partner because either of them is online for a long period, you need to make amends there.

Chalk out a fixed time when you are online or working, after which, devote time with your spouse or partner. They also need your undivided attention.

More the time you spend with them, better your relationship becomes.

14 – Some people use such sites to hook up or indulge into extra-marital activities. Have you faced such issues where there are problems in your relationship or marriage?

Solution – Be online for your work and get away soon after that, just as I’ve been saying all along. If you have issues in your marriage – resolve them. Running to social media and finding others there is not the way!

Better still, share your social media account profile with your spouse – no harm. This only builds the trust and they are sure of your activities.

Remember, anything outside your marriage is lust, and not love, just as I mentioned in my earlier post.

15 – Have you had privacy issues while being online these social networking sites?

Solution – Online privacy is a serious issue, especially for kids, tweens and teens – so parents need to be very careful about spending time and teaching their kids about the pros and cons of social networking sites.

You need to keep a watch on the sites your kids are operating or opening and teach them the right from the wrong.

Even for adults, you need to be very careful about sharing your personal information online and your details too.

16 – Was your account banned or hacked? Have you come across people with fake accounts and false identities?

Solution – You cannot say who the other person behind the screen really is or what his or her intention is. So be aware of such fake accounts and identities by checking out their profiles in detail.

Change your setting so that not everyone can read and know about you, till they are your friends. Things like your hobbies, birthdays, address, likes, dislikes, and other details needn’t be shared till required.

Cyber crime is something everyone needs to be careful about.

17 – Have you come across scammers on social networking sites who trick you to download malicious software or visit certain sites?

Solution – Beware of hackers and spammers! They often send links that can harm your computer, and once that gets infected; they can use your contacts to spread the malware further.

Don’t open any link that you feel suspicious about or if it’s from some unknown person, whether in your email or your social media accounts.

Girl sleeping on laptop after excessive use of social media

18 – Do you face health issues, like sleep deprivation due to being on the social networks till late night? Even your teens could be busy texting or surfing online, are you aware?

Solution – When you are always online, your health will suffer. Lack of sleep is an issue I deal with and the side effects are not good as they affect you, and your next days working.

Remember, your body needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep, so time your work and limit your online activities. Look after your health because that is your greatest wealth.

Your kids will follow you, so limit to the amount you allow them online. I’m glad we do that, so things are in control.

19 – Do your kids spend endless hours online, especially on social media networking sites, which affects their studies and results in low academic grades?

Solution – Studies indicate a fall in grades in students who spend endless hours on the social networking sites. Parents need to keep a check and allow them enough time to interact and work online if need be.

Not to mention that unlimited access has various drawbacks, which I’ll take up in a future post.

20 – Are your kids facing social media problems? Perhaps stalking, cyber bullying and such things have occurred with them or their profiles – how did you handle that?

Solution – When you allow your kids to be online, you need to keep a check on their social media profiles and educate them to use it the right way too. Sit with them and guide them on how to open an account.

Not to mention all that they are allowed to reveal about their personal self on such sites. Anything written – becomes public, so be aware of cyber bullies, texting, and stalkers.

You might like to read this post – Are Your Teens Cyber Safe – a very important postfor ALL parents.

“Now we have so many more social outlets, so many ways to be stalked and bullied. If social media is too much for you to handle, then don’t have a Twitter or Facebook account. Just be yourself. Be who you want to be.” ~ Khloe Kardashian

Coming to the negative impacts mentioned above, I think when you know the social media problems; you also know the solutions to such problems, don’t you?

Such social media networks are great place to be on, especially for those of us who work from home as you get to make so many new friends. More so, it’s a good way to use them for social causes, and also take a break from work!

Speaking of which, I know I’ve met all my blogging friends by visiting and blog commenting and social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Besides, there are many other friends I’ve met on these social network sites who don’t visit my blog, but love to connect, talk, message, or just read my posts. So they too are listed as your online friends.

All of the above doesn’t mean you go ahead and delete your social media accounts! It’s just that you need to know how to use them, and how much time you need to spend on them.

You might like to read about social media problems and solutions provided here also.

If you can control the time you spend on the social media sites, and not let them control you, you can maintain a good work-life balance.

“Social networks aren’t about Web sites. They’re about experiences.” ~ Mike DiLorenzo

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