Public PLN – Balancing PLN, Media Literacy, & Public Discourse.

What is media literacy?

Media literacy is vital to the general society, especially in our everyday-to-day engagement with technology, the need to reach a broader audience, and creating social justice and social awareness. However, among youths, the need for media literacy is a safety issue in our modern society.

The field of media literacy attempts to help educate people, especially the young, in order to become more skilled and aware users of media by primarily looking at four components: access, analysis, evaluation, and content creation”

(Livingstone, 2004: 5 as cited by Lewis, 2021, p. 6).

Media literacy comes with limitations to accessibility issues in some suburban areas, therefore there is a sense of earnestness in the need to prioritize media literacy in ways that the general population can assess factual information in order to better analyze, understand and share the right information across the audience, societies and opposing views. With respect to fake news on social media platforms, characterized with intense political atmosphere, “fake news is the commercial weaponization of information, largely by elements operating in the shadows of the Dark” (Hirst, 2018, p 80). Media literacy helps users to debunk the false narratives and conspiracy theories.

On the other hand, for professionals in the public eye using social media can be challenging if the public figure gets consumed with mean responses or comments on their media pages. Mean tweets or responses to public figure post is common and done in an attempt to embarrass or shut the personality down. Presently, public figures mostly would practice a deep reflection before hitting that respond to social media trolls and fake news in the case of journalism. There is no doubt that the negative tweet is hard and even uneasy in most cases. Sofia mentioned that she gets more personal on Instagram when compared to other social media platforms (Miller, 2022). Sofia called her interactions a happy place on Instagram while on Twitter she is rather very formal and will not offer personal information. I can relate to her experience in this aspect of her life. I feel safer and more relaxed when using Instagram, Twitter drives everyone crazy as Sofia mentioned. Some of the users’ twits may be hurtful and insensitive. This is one of the risks faced by media app users. Therefore, an advantage of having media literacy is by following others who we can learn from, share the common ideas that benefit our minds are able to enlarge our professional, intelligential and social scope.

Perceived Restrictions and Benefits of Restricted Online Community

In curating my professional social media space, my work Facebook page is exclusive to the participants in our programs, past clients that we have serve in one way or the other, colleagues and partner organization. For the purpose of critical public audience, my work organization information is on the website where all the organizational information is easily assessable to the general public. For example, while my professional services are frequently updated on the website, our daily social engagement are limited to the closed group social media organizations accounts in Facebook. Twitter and LinkedIn are the most public engaging social media platforms used in engaging directly with the public. When a provoking post, tags and comments are made towards members, the moderator who handles the social media handle intervenes on the direct message to deescalate the conversation. They may be muted if the conversation becomes distracting from the purpose of the organization. I believe the benefit is that the restrictions keep the dialogue cordial and the media space safe for users while the disadvantage is that people do not express themselves as they may want to.

How to Best Address Negative Replies

The best way to address negative responses to professional posts on social media is to provide facts that support the idea behind the post. Generally, a public figure would have a large following, hence they can not respond to all negative posts and comments. In the case of a public review of the product, the best way to address the negative response is to, first of all, apologize, then proceed to address the concern. The best response to the negative posts is suggested to be kept simple, direct and in short sentences. In the case of a persistent confrontation, the public figure can control how to respond i the best way that fits them. There is the option to mute or restrict comments or responses to posts for the sake of one’s mental health and safety.

The Benefits of Having a PLN that Values Media Literacy

  • Helps us understand the consequences of our PLN on social media
  • Helps us understand how to utilize social media to fit our professional life, job search and professional engagement.
  • Helps young people to know their rights and to protect their personal life
  • It helps students in the professional field to develop incorporating social media into their work and to cover a large audience in research, dialogue and public discourse.
  • To understand global media culture, language, trends and global issues.

Media literacy is important for healthy discourse on all media platforms. Youths in education are tasked at getting themselves acquainted to a safe and engaging planforms. Understanding the power of media tools help the general population to access a broader space, culture, global worldviews and perspective.


Hirst, M. (2018). Navigating Social Journalism: A Handbook for Media Literacy and Citizen Journalism (1st ed.). Routledge.

Lewis, R. S. (2021). Technology, media literacy, and the human subject: A posthuman approach. Open Book Publishers.

YouTube. (2022). Sophie Lui – Edci 338. YouTube. Retrieved June 11, 2022, from

2 replies on “Public PLN – Balancing PLN, Media Literacy, & Public Discourse.”

Hey there,
Great post! I can totally resonate with your way of separating online spaces for professional and personal use. In this way, I think people can enjoy the convenience brought by social media while keeping access to the most appropriate audiences, also creating opportunities for in-time problem shooting. One other thing which you made me think about is the idea of healthy discourse for youth. They are doubtlessly growing up being natives online, and well-organized social media platforms will help them develop their media literacy without being misled. As social media platforms can simultaneously serve as learning platforms, I would say that healthy discourse will benefit all participants.

Hello Wasd,
Thank you for your response to my post. A healthy discourse will benefit all participants using social media platforms and all media generally. Specifically, educating the youths on safe ways to use media in an inclusive way will further help pave ways for a generation of healthy media users.

Best wishes.
Mimiiheart (Maimunat)

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