Goodbye, #UOSM2033!

As a year-3 psychology student, UOSM2033 actually took me by surprise as it unlike any other modules that I have studied before. Even so, I am glad that I made this attempt, as this module has provided me new insights into different topics; it has given me a chance to have a glimpse of others’ thoughts; it has enhanced my digital literacy rate.

Throughout topic 1 to topic 5, each and every week, I have had chances to do my own research and explore a certain area on my own based on a question provided; each and every week, I have had chances to share others’ ideas by reading and commenting on their work; each and every week, I have chances to reflect on how and what I had learnt over the past two weeks.

More importantly, through researching and creating a blog post for each topic every week, each topic has actually given me a new perspective of thinking – this wouldn’t have happened if UOSM2033 was studied the same way as many other ‘ordinary’ modules. It made me realise how important it is to try to learn how to think from a different point of view. Sometimes, you don’t realise how much difference this makes unless you have had a chance to share others’ thoughts.

What have I gained?



Self-test of digital literacy


Growing up with accessibility to the web, I have always thought of myself as a ‘digital resident’. However, UOSM2033 has shown me that there is much more I could have done online than just interacting with friends on Facebook, watching videos on YouTube, and sending off CVs to employers.

Topic 1 has introduced me to different types of approaches towards the use of the web; Topic 2 has made me understood different aspects, as well as pros and cons of having one or more online identities; Topic 3 has taught me new ways to market myself by creating an effective online professional profile that stands out; Topic 4 has allowed me to look into any ethical issues raised by use of social media, thus making me aware of the need to be carefully selecting what we put online; Topic 5 has made me appreciate open access – materials that are freely available online. Each one of these topics has provided me new insight into the dynamic digital world, reminding me that in order to keep up with the ever-changing world, there is to keep on learning and adapting.

How will I take this forward into the future?

Despite of  having learnt all the new information and skills via creating the blog posts for UOSM2033, I feel that there is a lot of space for improvements in terms of the development of my digital profile. Therefore, one of my new years’ resolution in 2017 would be to make use of all the things I have learnt from UOSM2033 to create a more successful digital profile that could potentially be useful in future. For instance, I will step up the game of marketing myself by creating blog posts regularly to express my interests and thoughts, as well as synchronising all my social media platforms, making new connections via LinkedIn and Twitter, in order to express my online persona more effectively.

My Powtoon video:

Links to my online profiles:

Twitter: @heilam9526

Instagram: @heilam9526





Reflection: What the heck! Access denied!?

‘Open access’ – we couldn’t seem to appreciate this idea until we actually understand how it works. It is believed that most students would have taken advantage of the tremendous variety of free resources available online, whether it is a relevant journal article or a random YouTube video.

The current trend predicts that most online content will eventually be held behind a paywall. So, while most resources I have found under this topic were obviously free, it is believed that there are advantages and disadvantages to a content producer of making their materials freely available online. While I have written my blog post using a Psychology student’s perspective, Kevin has demonstrated what open access meant to him as an engineering student – his use of real-life examples such as Wiley and Khan academy has helped me understand the application of open access to the online platform. On the other hand, I found it very thought-provoking how Davina has used the difference between a shop and a museum to demonstrate the difference between open access and having a paywall online.

While both Davina and Kevin seem to favour open access (as most student would), I like to think that while a paywall may not be necessary, it is essential to be adding advertisements to encourage people who use the online resources frequently to donate funds, for the purposes of maintenance and enhancement of quality of resources. Think of it as a movie business, as mentioned by Joe – even though being able to download free movies online sounds extremely favourable, paying for such services may be a more sensible way to sustain the ability to enjoy the aforementioned services in a long-run. It’s like citizenship, while we enjoy certain rights, we have the duties and responsibilities. It all make sense, right?

Link to my comments:

Davina’s Blog

Kevin’s Blog


What the heck! Access denied!?

My first glimpse at this week’s topic immediately reminded me of those late nights where I was rushing anxiously to meet my deadlines – how frustrating it was, to finally come across an intriguing paper that appears relevant to my work, then realised that I had no access to it. I am sure most of you who reads this would be able to relate.

As suggested by Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen in a YouTube video, prices are increasing – research has shown that journal prices have outpaced inflation by over 250% over the past 30 years. Similarly, a post by TheDrum indicated that 90% of online content would likely be held behind a paywall in the coming years. As a consequence, it’s believed that middle and low-income countries are struggling, they have limited access to literature relevant to education and as a result, it’s preventing them from contributing or doing world-class research, as well as improving education.

Yet, on a content producer’s perspective, there are a few more issues to consider when deciding on making their materials freely available online or not.

First, it’s obviously an advantage to have it free online, as the more people see the papers, the more they could build upon them and cite you. However, it is important to note that although there are no or few distribution costs for online publishing, some marketing is required to get people to your site. That means, you have to register your publication with as many search engines as possible, and often times, this entails a cost.

Second, publishing materials freely online mean that there is no “final” product – any errors can be corrected in a matter of minutes or seconds even. You would think this means less effort, but NO – links need to be tested regularly in order to avoid ‘linkrot’. Also, since editing can be done at any time, there’s a responsibility attached to make sure what needs to be fixed is fixed ASAP.

Third, you would think, having materials published online will give you more room for creativity and experimentation, which is true, as there are less strict layout formats required. Still, at the same time, content producers have to be extra cautious with issues such as plagiarism and copyrights. This is because copyright laws for the Internet have not been firmly established yet.

Finally, inspite of all the issues that need to be considered when publishing materials freely online, I would like to agree with the idea that science spreads and increases best with open access, and here is a TED Talk where Elizabeth Marincola indicated that ‘When the best research somehow gets converted into a privately-controlled, limited access commodity, we are in danger of losing sight of our purpose.’


Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Publishing. Writing@CSU. Colorado State University. Available from: (Accessed on 10/12/16)

Lepitak, S. (2013) 90% of online content to be held behind paywalls in three years media company survey suggests. The Drum News. Available from: (Accessed on 10/12/16)

Marincola, E. (2013) What happens when science, money, and freedom of information collide?. TEDMED. Available from: (Accessed on 10/12/16)

Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD Comics). (2012) Open Access Explained!. YouTube. Available from: (Accessed on 10/12/16)

Reflection: Prison in Mind…

This week’s topic’s given me a very good opportunity to gain more knowledge from different perspectives regarding ethical issues raised by the educational and business use of social media – everyone’s had their go and lots of novel ideas came up.

This week, I wrote on my blog about how public shaming via social media emerged as a result of a judgemental society that built up based on panopticon-institutional systems. A reason for that – is that people who shame others tend to overlook the real damage and pain as a result of their casual expressions of moral judgements towards other people’s acts online. Hence, when I went on to read Chris’s blog, I felt like this idea of people failing to understand the effects of their actions, may further explain why new celebrities (e.g. : YouTubers) are experiencing a lack of privacy, with people doing things as outrageous as following them and stalking them to their homes, as well as having people constantly judging them on whatever they do.

On the other hand, Davina’s informative and intriguing post regarding identity theft has provided me a new insight into this topic. I found it thought-provoking to know motives behind identities stealing, particularly the fact that people find a sense of confidence, beauty or power in embodying a persona other than their own. As I feel like this may somehow be linked to my area of studies – Psychology, it would be very interesting to look further into how high prevalence of childhood traumatic experiences may be linked to people committing identity thefts, and how this may be prevented by discovering and treating certain traits at a young age.

Finally, as Kelvin and Tobie suggested in their comments on my blog, I would like to further extend on how public shaming could be tied to business or educational use of social media – I believe that the business use of social media, especially the growing involvement of online profiles and social media in recruitment, has given rise to more serious and long-term damage as a result of public shaming, victims often lack opportunities to start again and like prisoners, they are labelled for life as a result of the public shaming, just like in the Sacco’s case.

Links to my comments:

Chris’s Blog

Davina’s Blog


Prison in Mind

Out of all the thoughts from last week’s topic, the idea of public shaming demonstrated by the case of Justine Sacco stood out to me the most.

Apparently, as indicated by Glenn Greenwald in his TED talk, it all started when 18th- century philosopher Jeremy Bentham devised an architectural design called the panopticon to resolve the problem of not being able to monitor and control each one of the members of constantly growing large institutions (a.k.a. prisons). The whole point of this design was to make inmates believe that they could be watched at any moment and anywhere, even when no one was actually watching them, but they would never know. It was believed that this would be the ultimate enforcer for obedience and compliance. What is more, in the 20th-century, a French philosopher Michel Foucault suggested that this aforementioned effect may be applied to not just prisons, but to every institution that seeks to control human behavior, including schools, hospitals, factories and workplaces. So there you go, that’s where the prison in mind came from.


pnrk: The hardest prison to escape is in your mind.

So, how is this then related to public shaming?

Human beings are social animals, we have the will to stay connected, which is why we share online. Yet, at the same time, we have a desire to be at a place where we are able to be free of judgemental eyes of other people. In fact, human nature causes our behavior to dramatically change when being watched or judged by others, as we are well aware of what other people think – human shame is very powerful motivator, as is the will to avoid it.

Consequently, when people publicly shame others, that is, abusing the free speech and privacy, it’s like putting others in another type of prison in mind, extending the negative influences beyond the victims’ personal life and career. As suggested in a post by The Guardian, for the first time in centuries, online mediums like Twitter have given people who often feel excluded and powerless a megaphone to finally shout, argue, gossip and abuse, creating an army of tweeters who shelter behind their digital ‘privacy’ to abuse other people’s privacy. Just like Sacco’s case, the victims of public shaming are constantly being watched and judged, like an inmate in the ‘mind prison’ in the head of the people in the so-called army.

Admittedly, there are reasons why people engage in public shaming. In a Huffington Post post about public shaming of drunk racegoers, Psychologist Meredith Fuller proposed that people make such moral judgments in order to deny the naughtiness in themselves, so they project their own insecurities, fears, resentments or concerns onto the one thing or person triggering those feelings. Particularly, the main reason why people shame others online is simply because it’s online. With the use of a shortcut way to express an opinion, there’s no real connection or experience with the person being shamed and consequently, people tend to overlook the real damage and pain, of becoming like an inmate in a prison.


Brooks, E. (2016) The Psychology Behind Public Shaming Of Drunk Racegoers. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 26/11/16)

Greenwald, G. (2014) Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters. TED. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 26/11/16)

The Guardian (2014) Twitter abuse: easy on the messenger. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 26/11/16)

Prison image. Retrieved from:


Reflective Summary: Developing an online professional profile: Marketing yourself!

A year ago today, if someone asked me about ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed, I would have come up with some rather old news: creating a profile on LinkedIn, or uploading a set of cv and cover letter onto websites like Whereas, if you ask me now, I would tell you to be careful not to post any of your drunk pictures onto your Facebook or Instagram accounts, due to the current trend showing that the online social media platforms are now very much involved in the recruitment processes.

This week’s topic, too, is very much linked to the previous ones. As we now know how it is like to have a more ‘authentic’ online identity, we then look further into how it can be presented in a 10-second long snap, in order to grasp the attention of the recruiters. And as suggested by Tobie’s amusing ironic analogy of Trump’s approach in the election, an unauthentic and unqualified strategic approach may yield negative consequences. Thus, it is now getting more and more important to understand how to self-promote using your online social platforms. It is believed that blogging, being consistent through images and texts across online social mediums, carefully choosing what to present to the public, will help to show your creativity, passion, interests and dedication even without submitting a typical paper CV. Besides, as Will indicated in his post, it is crucial to show who you really are across all platforms and to not just follow the rules and instructions like everyone else does.

Finally, this week’s topic has also made me realise how the authenticity required and the growing involvement of online social platforms in recruitment may eventually make it necessary that everyone wears a mask even in the digital world, as any socially undesirable acts may lead to major negative consequences like public shaming, as shown in Justine Sacco’s tragedy.

Links to my comments:

Will’s Blog

Tobie’s Blog

Developing an online professional profile: Marketing yourself!

While a typical work place in the past was dominated by the one-way method, which goes top bottom from boss to employees, today’s work place should look more like a jazz band, as suggested by Don Tapscott (2014). It is believed that a two-way street is more in favour of today’s constantly changeable work environment. Besides, as indicated by Nyk Nyman, with the rise in use of the social media, the job search process today should work the same way.

Tapscott (2014) proposed that the recruitment today should process as a dialogue initiated by creativity, collaboration and personal marketing. In fact, Nyk Nyman pointed out that 77% of all job postings are posted on LinkedIn and while 94% of all recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates (66% for Facebook and 54% for Twitter) at all levels. As a consequence, it is believed that having an authentic online professional profile is not about having just ONE LinkedIn profile that displays your academic and professional side anymore, it is more about self-promotion using a combination of online platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, personal websites and blogs.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-8-59-24-pmIn a BBC video, Michael Weiss, a web marketing coach mentioned that self-promoting online is about how you are telling your own story; showing your passion, why you do what you do, who you are; expressing your interest through the online platforms. And more importantly, as suggested by Nyk Nyman, you get roughly ten seconds to show all the aforementioned aspects to the recruiters due to the high competition. Thus, this is where the challenge comes in – how can you attract and fascinate companies using a 10 seconds long snap packed with a summary that highlights what makes you stand out as a strong candidate?

On the other hand, while Tapscott talked about how blogging should be involved in his idea of an ideal work-learning environment, a post by TheEmployable described how blogging could be a part of an online professional profile that would help with job hunt. It was suggested that blogging not only allows for display of your creativity, communication skills and passion, it also shows your effort to dedicate yourself to task even when it is completely optional. Furthermore, I would think a good real-life example of blogging in a different way is posting videos on platforms like YouTube. For instance, many successful YouTubers like Tanya Burr and Zoella who have started by sharing aspects of their lives in videos, have gained publicity and were later provided opportunities to further develop their own career in the beauty industry by launching books, their own brand and products.

Despite the usefulness of an online profile in job-hunt, it is crucial to be cautious when making decisions about what to put on social media. Inattentive postings on social platforms like Twitter could lead to serious negative consequences like public shaming, as indicated in a New York Times Magazine post by Jon Ronson (2015).


BBC (2013) Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. BBS: News. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 12/11/16.)

Nyman, N. (2014) Using social media in your job search. University of Southampton: Web Science MOOC. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 12/11/16.)

Ronson, J. (2015) How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 12/11/16.)

TheEmployable (2014) How blogging can help you get a job. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 12/11/16.)

Reflective Summary: Having more than one identity online: More authentic or more vulnerable?

This topic was a thought-provoking one. New online identities are created by us everyday, with just a few clicks and a few pieces of information provided, we can create an account on any website almost unconsciously – we are so used to these processes that we don’t even need a second think to do it. I personally would register different accounts for different purposes. For instance, as suggested in Davina’s post, LinkedIn could be used to display a more academic and professional side whilst Instagram and Facebook allows people to constantly update friends and family, or provide an online platform for information exchange.

On the other hand, over the last decade, there has been a rapid growth in number of Facebook and Google users, and with these companies promoting the ‘authenticity’ of having one online identity, people are encouraged to tie their accounts together – as suggested by Nicole, “A Facebook account became a sort of passport to the rest of the web…” (Stone and Friar, 2014).

Accordingly, one might wonder whether it’s more beneficial to have one or more online identities. While Davina has raised concerns about a possible threat caused by misusage and abuse of the freedom of expression granted by online anonymity, a Forbes article mentioned by Nicole also pointed out how fragmenting personality whilst maintaining multiple online identities may make it extremely difficult to be a complete person offline, the result being a lasting social ramification. Nonetheless, Andrew Lewman argued that preserving anonymity allows for creativity as it gives people the fundamental power to forget and start over.

Anyhow, I personally do enjoy owning two Instagram accounts – while one private account allows me to share pieces of myself with my friends, the other foodie account provides me a platform to share experiences with the public without giving out personal details. Thus, in short, I would say freedom of expression and choice should be preserved, however, future education on this area should be accentuated.

Links to my comments:

Davina’s Blog

Nicole’s Blog

Having more than one online identity: More authentic or more vulnerable?

When searching for sources under the broad topic of ‘digital identity’, I came across an interesting metaphor – it was suggested that our digital identity is the permanent collection of data about us that is available online, that is, a digital ‘tattoo’ (Binary Tattoo). And it is striking to note that almost all activities that are based on using web tools and applications are actually ways of creating our digital identities, even when they are not intended (Torres and Costa, 2011).

Krotoski (2012) suggested that, with Facebook and Google encouraging the pursuit of authenticity by tying different accounts, photo streams and participation in any activity to a person’s real name, our daily online activity is becoming more and more non-anonymous, that is, whatever we do, including comments we make, any online-shopping records or even google search records, are becoming traceable. Hence, I do agree with the ‘tattoo’ metaphor to a large extent.


So, there are a few pros about tying everything into a big, one and only digital identity under your name. Firstly, a single identity makes everything easier and more convenient (e.g.: Apple Pay)  – users are familiar with logging into other services using Facebook or Google IDs, forming a single public identity that’s an aggregated version of their offline past (Krotoski, 2012).

Secondly, people are provided with an assurance of security and credibility. With a rapid growth of the digital identity infrastructure over the last decade, more and more services are available online. In fact, business activities like online transactions, online banking and even ATM are enabled by the existence of digital identity, as banks no longer need a human in the loop to identify customers’ identity (Windley, 2005). Thus, with the increase in money being involved in online activities, online security, credibility and integrity have become increasingly important.

While having one account and one password for all services seems super handy, we can argue that despite being more connected than ever before we are equally much more vulnerable (Torres and Costa, 2011). As suggested in The Value of Our Digital Identity (2012), personal data has become a new form of currency. It is estimated that applying personal data can deliver a €330billion annual economic benefit for organisations in Europe by 2020!

Consequently, it is important not to always put all your eggs in one basket – Below is a video that talks about Online identity theft:

On the other hand, Andrew Lewman, executive director of the Tor Project emphasised the need for anonymity – he argued that losing anonymity, that is having only one online identity which remains when you are offline, prevents people from being creative and explorative. He also highlighted the importance of the ability to forget and start over. It is believed that as Facebook and Google shape online experience based on one’s past activities, people may face a lack of choice in their online experiences and remain stuck in their old life (Krotoski, 2012)

To sum up, there are significant pros and cons for each side of the argument. Hence, it is suggested that the need for education in privacy management and digital identity management over the web should be emphasised in future education systems.


Binary Tattoo (2015) How are you defining YOUR digital identity? Retrieved from: (Accessed on 30/10/16.)

Krotoski, A. (2012) Online Identity: is authenticity or anonymity more important?, The Guardian. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 29/10/16.)

Liberty Global, Inc. (2012) The Value of Our Digital Identity. The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 30/10/16.)

Nordic Edge Movies (2011, Oct 11) Online Identity Theft – Stolen Password – Social Engineering‬. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 30/10/16.)

Torres, R. and Costa, C. (2011) To be or not to be, the importance of Digital Identity, in the networked society, Educação, Formação & Tecnologias, n.º extra, 47-53. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 29/10/16.)

Windley, P. J. (2005) Digital Identity: Unmasking Identity Management Architecture (IMA). USA: O’Reilly Media, Inc. Retrieved from: (Accessed on 30/10/16.)

Reflective Summary: Living and Working on the Web: Tool vs Place?

Before starting the module, the idea of categorising people on the Web into ‘digital natives’, ‘digital immigrants’ or ‘digital residents’ and ‘digital visitors’ has never crossed my mind. Obviously, as a person who is closer to the ‘digital resident’ end of White and Cornu (2011)’s digital visitors and residents continuum, I do use the Web on a daily basis, or even hourly basis. However, I have never thought of how being born at the digital age will make me any different from my parents in terms of how we use the Web, or maybe I was just never aware of it.

This thought-provoking topic has really raised my awareness of a good balance between my approaches towards the use of web – I reckon a combination of both visitors approach and residents approach will give best results in my studies. For instance, I could use the visitors approach when doing a research for sources and the residents approach when asking for a friend’s opinion or useful information.

On the other hand, even though it was intriguing and interesting to read about these new ideas, I found that I have put myself in a box after reading about the ‘residents’, ‘visitors’, ‘immigrants’ and ‘natives’ frameworks, and failed to think of other possibilities. Thus, I found it extra helpful to have read Will and Claire’s blogs, this have given me a chance to have a glimpse at others’ thoughts and hence opening up my eyes again and thinking outside the box. In the first place, Claire’s blog suggested that amount of support and structure required for all students varies in education, this made me more aware of the fact that individual differences should not be ignored, and as every student have different background, learning environment, their style and effectiveness of learning may vary even at the same age. This blog has also inspired me to come up with the thought of ‘Nature vs. Nurture’ when it comes to technical capability of different people.

Apart from this, it was mentioned in Will’s blog that other than ‘visitors’ and ‘residents’ there should be ‘creators’ too. This has helped me to come to a conclusion that we should not put ourselves in boxes and act within our dedicated ‘role’, as we all learn, assimilate and integrate knowledge everyday, we may constantly switch between ‘visitors’, ‘residents’, ‘creators’ or even more approaches. Thus, why should we categorise ourselves into different roles? Like Wenger (1998) has pointed out, we are all members of multiple communities and have to negotiate our roles and identities as we navigate the ‘nexus’ of communities we belong to, that is, our approaches should change depending on context!

Links to my comments:

Will’s Blog

Claire’s Blog