Are you the social media bully or the tattletale?

Ces Rodriguez
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

Even if the combined number of users of Facebook (800 million) and Twitter (100 million) equal the populations of the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan, the Ateneo Association of Communication Majors (ACOMM) still thinks of social media as a playground.

One the size of a continent, yes, but something that’s so new, there’s still a sign reading “Wet Paint” on the swings, so to speak.

“Citizens are still playing around, trying to understand how it works,” ACOMM’s Rica Facundo tells Yahoo! Philippines.

“In that sense we are all kids in the playground, simultaneously building and breaking the rules of social media etiquette.”

Which is why ACOMM is holding its first Social Media Summit entitled “Time Out: Is Social Media Changing the Online Playground?” on Dec. 10 at the Escaler Hall, found in the Science Education Complex of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.

Kids tweeting responsibly

The summit hopes to reach an audience of high school and college students to make them aware of  the “significant effect on society” of some of their tweets and Facebook updates.

“Creativity for a cause has always been a main thrust for the Ateneo Association of Communication Majors (ACOMM),” Facundo explains. “For our Social Media Summit that cause is to empower our participants to think critically and act responsibly about the emerging issues surrounding the internet and social media.”

She says that the summit hopes “to challenge the mindsets of our participants by offering alternative ways of viewing everyday habits.”

Hey, hey the gang’s all here

To push the idea of social media as sandbox,  ACOMM has named its resource persons after playground archetypes.

For example, before he suddenly and unexpectedly quit his media  involvements in the Philippines to relocate to the U.S., DJ and TV host Mo Twister was supposed to be in the summit to represent The Delinquent. Mo, a Twitter fiend—is known for being indiscreet and in your face.

The rest of what ACCOM calls the Playground Gang represented in the summit include:

Maria Ressa as The Heavyweight Kid. She will talk about “The Digital Diet: Is too much information bad for your health?”  Ressa was a CNN Jakarta Bureau Chief and Senior Vice President of ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs.

Joey Alarilla plays The Hyperactive Kid. Yahoo! Philippines South East Asia Head of Social & Community is set to discuss “So Many Tabs, So Little Time: Are we expanding our grasp or spreading ourselves too thin?”

Pilar Pedrosa Pilar is The Popular Kid because her Tumblr, itouchthings.tumblr.com, has over 5,000 followers. She will discuss “15 Likes to Fame: Are you #Trending now?”

As The Tattletale, Candice Montenegro, multimedia producer for GMA News Online, is set to ask and perhaps answer the question, “Is the truth on Twitter?”

And what would a playground be without The Bully? Ateneo de Manila University philosophy professor Rowena Azada-Palacios’s contribution to the summit is “Burn Book 2.0: Is social media a bully-free zone?”

Finally, famed travel blogger Ivan Henares plays the role of The Hustler, as he poses the question, “Blogger Friendly: Does social media use you?”

How to apply

“While the morning session is filled with plenary speakers, the afternoon of the event is dedicated to workshops,” says ACOMM’s Facundo.

“This will give a chance for participants with different stand points on the issues to offer their insights so that the group can learn from one another.”

The “Time Out” summit on Dec. 10 is scheduled from 7 a.m. to end at 5 p.m. The fee is P350, inclusive of food and kits.

Download the application and learn about payment options here.

For more information, check out their Facebook invite.