OLJ: Reflective Statement

Throughout the subject of INF506 social media for professionals we have contributed to and discussed the changing face of social media. The subject has highlighted various aspects of social media as well as highlighting the need for more knowledge around the ethics associated with current platforms.

How, or if, your views on social networking have changed.

In my original Online Learning Journal I defined social media as “From my current understanding to date, social networking is the use of an internet platform to connect with other users. It can be used both on a professional and personal basis to connect with likeminded individuals” (Ryall, 2019). Throughout the semester of INF506 I have come to a greater understanding of social media used within various contexts. This involved a great variety of information from OLJ 1 where social media was discussed through photographic changes in young adolescents to my latest OLJ 17 where I was able to discuss my insights for the future and how social media may shape our students lives. Throughout the process my views on social media have expanded. While I understood to a small extent how social media could play a part in professional lives the articles presented in the modules discussed this to a greater extend. If I was required to redefine social media as I come to the conclusion of this subject it would be a vast and broad definition as I reflect on the various enablers and barriers as well as the potential for huge positive impact. The definition would encompass some of the work of individuals whom I’ve reflected on through my online learning journals as well as our work throughout the modules.

Which tools and platforms you have engaged with over the session and their relevance to you as an information professional.

Through engaging in Facebook as our forum throughout the semester I have found a greater intent behind the words I post. Ensuring that you are accurately portraying your message is important in developing a positive digital footprint. This was discussed in Who Are you Online(Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2017). While I kept actively using twitter as my professional dialogue with peers I found interest in the module 5 on social media policy. The article What could possibly go wrong? (2018) provided insights into possible issues with social media for business. As I delved deeper within the module I began to question how this could implicate schools and professionals choosing to host a professional social media presence.

Throughout the course of this semester three main events were published in the news around teachers and social media:

All three news events were caused by the use of social media spreading information. As I reflect on the platforms I use to share information both private and public I began wondering whether teachers have enough knowledge around digital citizenship themselves to keep themselves safe? Within Module 5, acceptable and ethical use of social media was listed as an issue resulting from social media (Gerts, 2019) and I discussed this in greater length in my Social Networking Proposal. While I continue to hold a social media account for both social and professional use I am somewhat more aware of my posting. This includes a more in depth understanding of how what I am posting could be misconstrued and analysing the ethical and copyright issues that could be at play.

The features of the social media platform, Facebook, that I found beneficial as opposed to the CSU subject forum were notifications and more grouped discussion threads. Being able to log into Facebook and view a notification reminder to contribute to an ongoing conversation allowed for the conversation to be more authentic. Additionally the discussion threads grouped by Carole into a specific conversation allowed you to be able to search the feed for important or applicable information to your own learning journey. The other feature I found that met the needs of users within the subject on Facebook was the ability to communicate current happenings within the news on the facebook feed. This included polls on when online meetings should be held and up to date information on changes with assessment. The final feature that was beneficial was the simple copy and post on Facebook which allowed for current media events to be discussed within the group.

Your understanding of issues often encountered in the online environment

Hebblewhite (2017) discusses some of the issues encountered within online environments. These stem from reputational harm, legal liability, confidential information and defamation (Hebblewhite, 2017). These issues are not new issues and have been effecting business’ for a long time however the immediacy of the online environments brings these issues to prominence. Hebblewhite’s article (2017) continues on to discuss how the use of a social media policy can prevent some of these actions and highlights how the law in Australia is still catching up.

George Washington University has produced a document which demonstrates an active policy developed to assist with these issues. Through having an established policy thought out and developed individuals understand the risks associated and how to overcome them. In a socially networked world it is important for employees of all descriptions to understand their companies social media policy. Within my first assignment I discussed the risks associated with social media however failed to discuss some risks associated with copyright, privacy and security. While the good and the bad can be seen in every situation, Elmaghraby & Losavio (2014) discuss that in relation to social media the good currently outweighs the bad.

While these issues are encountered within the online environment I am yet to encounter them as an individual. Being mindful of posting cultural and ethically appropriate materials can reduce the risk of encountering issues as an individual and this was highlighted throughout the course content.

The process of constructing and contributing to your OLJ

Throughout INF506 I have had to construct an online learning journal. This has been a reflection of tasks throughout the modules and has provided a place to reflect on tasks and course content.

OLJ 1  – Social Media and Society

OLJ 2 – Reflections on the Impact of Change

OLJ 3  – Twitter Feeds

OLJ 4 – PLN Adoption

OLJ 5 – Managing your Digital Identify

OLJ 6 – Thoughts for The Future

Through the variety of posts, I have developed a deeper understanding of social media for information professionals. To deepen this knowledge the Online Learning Journal could have offered a peer comment system to allow for a discussion around your thoughts and view points. While this was used in the Facebook Forum have a continuous conversation within each persons personal learning journal could have allowed for richer discussion.

Contributing to my Online Learning Journey has allowed a detailed journal of my journal. From my initial posts where I merely was recounting the information of others and failing to make cross links to other articles and discussions I had read to this final reflective entry where I have formed connections and links within my learning and within my OLJ. The process of contributing every week has meant the reflection process has been spread out. This has allowed me to really delve into my understanding of various concepts across the semester.

The experience of conducting research and completing assessment 3 and how that task contributed to your understanding of working in a social environment

Due to ethical issues surrounding assessment 3, the assessment was changed to reflect a social media proposal. While my initial discussions around assessment three would have proved interesting to dive into the change to the assessments proved beneficial. Through the task I unpacked issues associated with social media while also discussing how social media could benefit not-for-profit organisations.

The practical application of assessment 2 allowed for a real life exploration of some of the impacts of social media. Through this practical approach I came across two amazing organisations; Do Something which is an American based organisation that uses online action to promote offline action and The Lighthouse Foundation who have successfully supported young people within Australia to break the cycle of homelessness.


As I reflect on the entire unit the most beneficial part of the subject for myself was the interaction with peers and others through the Facebook forum. It allowed not only for immediate discussion around social events that were currently populating the news but further a genuine discussion from a vast range of professional backgrounds. By continuing the conversation around social media and building professional knowledge, I am able to share more knowledge with my peers and the students whom I teach.



Australian Communications and Media Authority. (2017). Who are you online? Retrieved from https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/Library/researchacma/Research-reports/digital-footprints-short-report-landing

Elmaghraby, A. S., & Losavio, M. M. (2014). Cyber security challenges in Smart Cities: Safety, security and privacy. Journal of advanced research5(4), 491-497.

Gerts, C. (2019). The Role Of Social Media Policies. In Social Networking for Information Professionals [INF506 Modules: Topic 5]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu .au/webapps/portal /execute/tabs/tabAction?tab_tab_group_id=_24_1

George Washington University Libraries. (2018). Social media research ethical and privacy guidelines. Retrieved from https://gwu-libraries.github.io/sfm-ui/resources/social_media_research_ethical_and_privacy_guidelines.pdf

Hebblewhite, N. (2017). Implementing an effective social media policyGovernance Directions, 69(3), 167-169.

Ryall, A. (2019) Online Learning Journal: Assessment 1. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/angelaryall/2019/03/10/olj-assessment-item-1/ 

Di Gangi, P. M., Johnston, A. C., Worrell, J. L., & Thompson, S. C. (2018). What could possibly go wrong? A multi-panel Delphi study of organizational social media risk. Information Systems Frontiers, 20(5), 1097-1116. doi: 10.1007/s10796-016-9714-2


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