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Today, our discussion is going to surround the notion of identity and a religious blog call But, first and foremost, we must understand that the identity of oneself is not always based on our own choices as it also involves external influences from our surroundings, such as our social norms and cultural factors, which are guided by social construction. 

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Along with the increasing connectivity between one another through the use of new communication technology such as computer-mediated communication (CMC), the impact upon the construction of identity is indeed being led towards a new dimension without the restriction of geographical boundaries. Moreover, all available social media in the cyber world such as blogs and open online forum discussion comprises "a set of social and technical affordances that have the potential to affect the ability to reshape how individuals view themselves and others" (Ellison, 2013, p. 2). The same can be said for our religious identity.

According to Bell (1965), Castells has discussed a virtual community in the aspect of the social group's culture in his book - The Power of Identity. The culture within new media community has created another way of life and worldview which could be resistant to dominant political institution or capitalism. Besides that, Castells' fundamental idea of identity formation in the network society further explained that,
new technologies can offer new channels both for the collaborative construction of communal identities beyond territories, as well as the means by which such identities organize and act upon their demands (as cited in Siapera, 2012, p. 174).
Thus, users of the internet have the ability to construct an identity of themselves (Bell, 1965). Castells has reviewed that the identity is constructed by the society and thus various kind of identity are formed, namely, "legitimizing identity, resistant identity and project identity" (Bell, 1965, p. 56). Legitimizing identity is defined as the conventional idea of the nationalist and the rights according to the rules and regulation in the society (Bell, 1965). On the other hand, resistant identity refers to the religion ideology with a strict understanding of theology and principles (Bell, 1965). As for project identity, it possesses a parallel meaning as Giddens' idea whereby new media enables the changing of self-identity which reflects one identity in such project that functions continually (Bell, 1965).

In this case, the concept of project identity is related to the instance of blog created by David Hayward. This blog allows his members, who are mostly from Christian groups, with different ideology either against the fundamental spirituality or supports other unrelated religious group in order to voice out their opinion in the blog (Bell, 1965). As such, through this platform and the ideology of respecting different variation, especially those who struggles due to the contradiction of the Christian spiritual and reality lives, a new media community's support is formulated in this project identity (Bell, 1965). In relation to that, this religious blogging phenomenon as explicated by Giddens is due to the nature of modernity that shapes one's identity. This kind of identity is being referred to as modern identity that is not similar with traditional religious identity in terms of the practicing dogma and beliefs as mentioned by Giddens (1991).

The Blog:

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Created by David Hayward in 2012, the above image shows the main page from the Blogspot of The Lasting Supper is primarily addressed to the religious as well as non-religious members. Though most of its members are Atheist and Christians who have deviated from the scriptural understanding due to their experiences of reality lives which contradict with the Holy Bible or at least what the traditional pastor taught us. Thus, some have decided to a certain extent, not to be part of any Christian religious tradition group as due to certain reasons that are said to be related to the Christian scriptures and or members of the church. The blog is also targeted to accommodate non-Christians who wish to understand and engage in the lives related to Christians and those who have problems in lives which are not necessarily related to the Christian religion. In other words, it is a religious and spiritual "sanctuary" for Christians and non-Christians alike.

In order to be part of the group, people can just sign up as a member to be included in the group's discussion. During the process of obtaining membership, those member-to-be have to give their actual names and personal details. However, they can decide on their "nicknames, usernames, passwords and avatars" as well as choosing the level of disclosure of their personal identities at the site (Hayward, 2015). After that, those who are accepted as members are required to make a payment to The Lasting Supper via Paypal or Credit Card (Hayward, 2015). Despite that, members who face with financial incapability can be a member official as well under specific conditions.

Within this secret group, each member has to agree with the statements written under "Rights and Responsibilities" of the services as presented inside the blog. This included values that require people to respect other's freedom to interpret and construct an idea based on their personal experience and interpretation. Moreover, members' privacy are also being protected carefully, in which a member has the choice to choose whether or not to share his/her profile picture with another person in the group. Thus, members are given the autonomies to decide the level of secrecy in regards to the disclosure of their personal details. 

The benefit of being a member in this blog is that members could get together and express their thought and feelings without being opposed or looked down by those who disagree with them because those who have entered this blog have to adhere to the rules and rights as listed by the blog's administrator. As for an instance when there is any violation of rights or rules has occurred, actions will be taken towards the abusive member, such as disabling the account. An ever more serious action towards the post which violates further the minimal underlying freedom of speech as listed in the blog's "Right and Responsibilities", that particular member would face membership termination through email notification. Besides that, complaints can be made if one found that other's comment is offensive and inappropriate by emailing to the blog's administration.

All in all, even though The Lasting Supper is not a fully embraced Christian group blog space, majority members from Christan has illustrated their formulation of identity through social media. It lies in accordance with Castells' explanation of project identity in relation to the blog, whereupon the blog has created a space in the cyber world to connect people, disregarding geographical restriction, which thus provide a platform to organize their identity and meeting their needs, such as obtaining support from members of the group, as presented in cyber world instead of the real world.

Before we part, here's a video from the nakedpastor himself.


Bell, D. (1965). Cyberculture theorists: Manuel Castells and Donna Haraway. New York,
NY: Routeldge.
Ellison, N. (2013). Future identities: Changing identities in the UK – the next 10 years.
Retrieved from
Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age.
Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Hayward, D. (2015). The lasting supper. Retrieved from
Siapera, E. (2012). Understanding new media. California: Sage.

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Hej folks~ 

Have you ever been so busy the whole day until when you finally have some free time, you realized that it is actually bedtime? For most, this is practically the basic routine of their daily lives. But the funny thing is... when you try to recall back what you have been doing for the whole day, you remember nothing except for the exhaustiveness and the busy day of doing this and that, but nothing concrete... and you can only wonder...

...where has the time gone? 

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Going back to the past, especially during the eras of industrial life, Binh (2012) said that there used to lie a thick boundary between work and home. The industrial worker then would work from 8 to 5 at a Fordist line in some factory and go home after work. Basically, during that time, work and family were two different notions, constituting of two different times.

However, with the new advancements in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), came along the changing of time. Besides that, the innovation has also brought upon advantages, disadvantages and fundamentally a change in the pattern of media use. This change in the use of media is the fact that media use, itself has sneaked and taken root into our day-to-day lives. For instance, our communication has crossed over the boundaries of time and space, blurring many traditional notions and habit without our realization. One issue taken note here is the overlapping of the working sphere and the private sphere which has recently become a social trend and issue.

Fageria (2016) recently has noted that boundaries between work and life balance have become an issue for both employers and employees in the healthcare industry. In his research conducted on the work-life balance, he noted that new technology has served as a double-edged sword. He explained that, on one hand, technology has enabled employees to keep up-to-date on issues while away from the office but this can bring both positive and negative effects because it either can decrease or increase the work pressures, depending on what the issues are. 

On the other hand, highlighting the good side of technology, Fageria's research (2016) revealed that technology provides a more flexible work time and place for the employees. It is said to speed up the process of the information interaction and the responses, which in retrospect shorten the time needed for decision-making (Fageria, 2016). However, the back side of technology is seen through the events where employees have to work beyond daily normal working hours as they can do their work on the mobile media technology (Fageria, 2016; Towers, Duxbry, & Thomas, 2005). Fageria (2016) also put forward the negative effect on the personnel life of employees who stranded in the imbalance work-life practice especially in term of the family time and commitment which might lead to broken relationships. Fageria (2016) explains that technology has, in turn, facilitated a strong sense of connectivity to work, making it harder to get off work. 

In this case, mobile ICT has instead become a quiet accomplice for the overtime work of the employees. Towers, Duxbury, and Thomas (2005) have also brought out the concept of 'work extending technology (WET)' as the changing pattern of the traditional working style. In the past, the employees work ONLY a limited number of hours and the office is the ONLY working place. However, nowadays, the act of performing work is no longer limited to specific hours or a specific location because the mobile media devices also ensure the same productivity as in the office (Towers, Duxbury, & Thomas, 2005). 

Andy Jacques
This statement was further emphasized by Andy Jacques, the general manager of EMEA Good Technology, as he said 
There was a time when it was difficult to continue working outside of the office without carrying a laptop. But with today's 'always on' society, people are much working from the moment they wake up until the moment they fall asleep (as cited in Smith-Squire, 2012).  
Despite that, he also has the perception that smartphones and tablets are not all bad as it has brought upon an advantage which is the facilitation of communication and sharing which makes it easier to work on the move - at the school gate, on the train or in the queue at the coffee shop. This thus allows people to choose when and where they want to get things done and may enable greater productivity than ever before. 

Of course, advantages brought by the advanced technology was also mentioned in Fageria (2016) research as it also raised the expectation for both employees and employers in achieving goals and objectives. Besides that, it also cut down the unnecessary meeting time, which was said to have increased pressures among employees, but it is also later said to lead to the high absenteeism, lower productivity, and higher turnover rates (Fageria, 2016).


Binh, N. T. (2012). The division of household labor in Vietnamese families at present 
      time. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(5),
      59-68. Retrieved from:

Fageria, G. (2016). Effect of technology on work life balance of employees. International 
     Journal if Science Technology and Management, 5(4), 81-84. Retrieved from: 

Smith-Squire, J. (2012). Do you put in more than three weeks of overtime without 
      realizing?.Retrieved from:

Towers, I., Duxbury, L., & Thomas, J., (2005). Time thieves and space invaders:    
     Technology, work and the organization.  Retrieved from:

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Hola, amigos.

Following up from our previous post about digital media consumption, our topic for today is also closely related to it - the transitions of usage from the traditional media to the new media, as the trend for digital usage nowadays has become a widespread phenomenon across the globe. But, first and foremost, here is a brief understanding of the old and new media.

In general, old media is equivalent to traditional media which specifically refers to printed media such as newspaper, limited by the topography and physical location; whereas new media is related to broadcasting media that includes television and radio that requires costly equipment in order to connect signals across the country, other regions or throughout the global (Alejandro, 2010). 

Traditional News versus Online News

John Pavlik (as cited in Trench & Quinn, 2003, p. 2) expressed a view that new journalism allows "news consumers to understand the meaning of the day's events in a personalized context that makes better sense to them than traditional media do". Besides that, new media provides a platform for journalism as it helps to create new virtual communities based on consensual interest without the restriction of spaces while offering new levels of reportorial depth, textual, and context that is impossible in any other medium. In other words, "new media can transform journalism" (Trench & Quinn, 2003, p. 2). Furthermore, along with the trend of new media consumption, the circulation of print media such as newspapers has been reducing in these past few years. For instance, in Malaysia, Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) has reported a declining trend of newspaper circulation from 2012 until the first half of 2014, with a drop of 14.2% for Bahasa Newspapers, 5.7% for English Newspapers and 19% for Chinese Newspapers (Netto, 2014). Despite experiencing a mild downfall in newspaper circulation, Salman et al. (2011) noted that mainstream media such as newspapers are still being relied on as the primary source that provides informative and essential reading material for the people. 

However, according to Trench and Quinn (2003), new media has created two overlapping significances. Firstly, the incident of individual encounter which is being openly discussed. Secondly, important events are being published as public information. Online news with both types of significance formed a distinctive group which is known as the virtual community that allows people to get together and thus maintain social cohesion in such a way that traditional media cannot achieve (Trench & Quinn, 2003). An example being online news as the sole media which provides channels of expression for personal anger, bias, and prejudice (Trench & Quinn, 2003). Moreover, new media creates a variety of public media such as "citizen journalism or independent blogosphere" (Alejandro, 2010, p. 7). Also, other new media such as forum encourages more discussion and debate for the related information (Alejandro, 2010). 

As such, the impact of new media has truly been influential in the overall media as Arianna Huffington, the co-founder, and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post expressed that,
"I think we will see an explosion of news sites engaging their communities in editorial process. We'll see a great expansion of the ways citizen journalists will help drive the news: recommending stories. Technology has enabled millions of consumer to shift their focus from passive observation to active participation" (Papova, 2010).

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Nowadays, everyone is likely to be a journalist who can freely participate in debate and discussion about real-life events or other issues. This would incite a proactive relationship between internet and journalism. Along with the need for journalism in the past to uncover the truth by indulging in the stories that they found, people can now be a journalist to communicate with, update and voice out their opinions using online platforms such as social media networks and blogs. In addition, the written content led by these online platforms thus brings up questioning sense on the objectivity of the news information being circulated - whether the news is presenting the truth of the issue or not.     

Despite being the truth or a distortion of messages, online journalism could be presented in a horizontal communication among peers or in vertical communication from the power holder to the public that exists especially in the traditional news (Trench & Quinn, 2003). Traditional media is usually being restricted by the institutionalized news criteria that favor a top-down approach in which authority decides the type of news being disseminated in the media and among the public (Trench & Quinn, 2003). Most of the online journalism revealed that the new form of journalism is against the thinking of vertical communication as compared with traditional journalism that usually practices and aims to promote horizontal journalism (Trench & Quinn, 2003).

To wrap it all, new media has indeed gone through a sophisticated transformation, extending from its original paper form outlook towards a paper-free technology, which opens up a platform for more netizens to voice out their opinions through online means such as blogging or posting comments under the available forum discussion below the online news. In short, the emergence of new technology for the new media does pose certain impact in our private sphere. 

When Print Media Meets New Media (using 'Apple Versus FBI' issue as a point of comparison)

iPhone 5C
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Apple versus FBI issue is a hot issue that is currently being discussed in the media world as Apple users worldwide are facing a risk that involves the disclosure of  their personal usage on electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets as well as laptops. The gist of this news is that local law enforcement in United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), demanded cooperation from Apple company to provide the code to unlock iPhone device's details which is needed to aid an investigation on a terrorist attack which has happened during December 2015 at San Bernardino, California, as FBI managed to get in hand on one of the terrorists' iPhone. However, in order to proceed their investigation, FBI needs the unlocking code to track down the terrorist's who may have other connections from people. (For more information, refer to this  blog link - Apple vs FBI)

Comparing both print and new media, they have both displayed some similarities and differences. Looking at the similarity aspect, they both act as a channel that reports news or information to the public as both Malaysia's New Straits Times and the blogs have reported and reviewed the debating issue of FBI versus the Apple company at the United States.

On the contrary, there is a mild difference between the presentations of these two media and the differences are listed as follows:-

1. The highlighting issue on whose point of view 
New Straits Times
Taking the example of 'Apple versus FBI' issue that is reported in Malaysia's New Straits Times, contents in this print media is being constructed institutionally. In other words, this means that it focuses on how FBI, being one of the institutions in a society, tries to get in hand on the code to unlock iPhone device from the Apple corporation in order to track down a terrorist's iPhone 5C who killed and injured a few people with gunshots. The way the news has been reported is based on the FBI's point of view in reviewing the case, however, it is not the same as it was reported in blogsite. Bloggers and most probably Apple product users would argue that the FBI is being unreasonable to forcefully obtain the 'backdoor code' that may jeopardize all Apple users over the world if the code is exposed to a third party and this would lead to security risk experienced by the users.

2. The content of the news
Comparing the news reported in New Straits Times, the representation of newspapers and the similar news posted in the online news portal counterpart, the content of news presented in an online portal is sometimes much shorter compared to the printed version. Besides that, the contents are described with a simplistic tone so that readers are given the gist and would not feel strenuous to read it in particular times such as before going to work or even during leisure period. In the blogspot specifically, its contents are not as formal as printed version as it includes personal view expression about the issues with 'short yet catchy title' to attract attention from readers.  

New Straits Times
3. The style of presentation

Printed media has limited information and restricted freedom to discuss in comparison with online media. Online media possesses much interesting multi-media graphics and hyperlinks which can direct readers to other related material readings as well as widening their perspective's horizon.

Despite the difference in the presentation of the two medias , another question that arises is "What constitutes good and bad practice in online news?" In our opinion, Online news is applying good practice through the provision of extra information through compacted hypertextual links which are available anywhere around the page. Hypertextual, as stated by Steve Paulussen (2004 as cited in Siapera, 2012), gives advantages for both reader and author as the effective use of a link is an essential part of good online news production because it enables journalists to include extensive background and elaborated information on the subject they are writing. Furthermore, it also allows readers to engage freely in the topic of discussion by posting comments and point of view on the subject.

However, online news also has certain bad sides of its practice. One of the bad practice in online news is the free circulation of any information in online media which concerns the credibility aspect of the contents. Looking from how the news is being reported in social media, the news does not necessarily reflect the truth about that matter as the news are circulated in a quick pace through sharing of posts among user accounts without knowing whether the sources provided can be trusted or not. In addition, the contents may be more seriously affected if the source of news is associated with the blog site and other non-established sources. This may lead to a questioning of the content's validity and causes confusion towards the real issue. The rise of social bookmarking engine also causes a shift on how online news should report information in the past because of the growing trend of personalization and customization of news consumption in the media, In other words, contents in the online media reporting news that suit readers' interest rather than reporting the real important issues. 

However so, our preference is still in line with the NEW coverage as w
ith the trend leaning towards new media usage, we would suggest that new media coverage is much better than traditional printed media as, firstly, it would save our time and money. Besides that, online-based media coverage does not cost us much money because we can read it anytime using smartphones and other electronic devices that allow WiFi connection. Furthermore, online users are just a click away from getting updated with any news around the globe. In comparison, print media is updated for a given period of time which could be either weekly or monthly. Secondly, new media enriches the flow of information with multi-media graphics such as short video clips and extra links for further information acquirement. As an advantage of using new media coverage, readers are able to read or subscribe to news instantaneously and comment freely on the discussed matter that could increase interpersonal communication with other people. However, one should always be concern about the information presented by any media, old or new. We should think critically without believing it entirely on one source but also comparing with other media in order to get a whole picture of an issue. 

On the other hand, which would you recommend? The Old Media or the New Media? Please comment on the section below. 


Alejandro, J. (2010). Journalism in the age of social media. Retrieved from:
Netto, A. N. (2014). Circulation of NST, BH, Utusan drops. Retrieved from
Popova, M. (2010). The big question: New media’s effect on journalism. Retrieved from
Salman, A., Ibrahim, F., Hj.Abdullah, M. Y., Mustaffa, N., & Mahbob, M. H. (2011). The
impact of new media on traditional mainstream mass media, The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, 16(3), 1-11.
Siapera, E. (2012). Understanding new media. California: Sage. Retrieved from:
Trench, B., & Quinn, G. (2003). Online news and changing models of journalism. Irish

Communications Review, 9, 1-11.
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こんにちは みなさん!
(Konnichiwa Minasan!) 

Have you ever woken up one day from bed, and realized that we are actually living in a place that is full of media penetration?!

It's true. Listed from old medias such as books, newspapers, and radio to new medias such as television, smartphones, and tablets along with internet accesses, our life is basically infiltrated with information and technology. However, with the emergence and spread of ICT since the mid-1990s, it has become a worrisome matter lingering around in the mind of policy makers and social scientists as a new phenomenon occurs, namely "digital divide". Digital divide, according to OECD (2001, p. 5), means 

...the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas at different socio-economic levels with regard both to their opportunities to access ICTs and to their use of the Internet for a wide variety of activities.

However, the working paper by Paul DiMaggio and Eszter Hargittai (2001) proposed a different opinion as they noted that there has been a change of trend among researchers such as scholars like Benton, Hoffman and Novak focus on ICTs have moved from its unequal distribution among individuals and societies to inequalities among the ICTs consumption of people; investigating inequalities in terms of their ethnicity, education level, income and other resources. In turn, the digital divides of "haves" and "have-nots" have been reduced to the differing degrees of internet access availability for each individual. 

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Therefore, we have conducted a similar survey to investigate the ownership of new media and online media consumption pattern. A simple questionnaire consisting of 30 questions have been designed using the Google form (click to access our questionnaire). The questionnaires were distributed to 20 respondents within an age range of 20 to 25 years old. These respondents were selected as they are the generation of youth that has been tagged with the labels of "Net-generation" and "The Millennium Generation" or at times, even regarded as "digital natives" which indicates that they have established a firm relationship with technological gadgets and would provide much better understandings on the various technology consumption (Prensky as cited in Mesch, 2009).

And drum rolls please, as our mini research revealed that all of our respondents are all "haves", that is they are the proud owners of at least one new media. Moreover, the sole digital divide that we thought to have existed between students living in university campus and students living outside campus was also non-existent as while students on campus have a better chance to surf the internet using the university-provided WiFi, all 60% of respondents living outside campus are also reported having some form of internet connection such as mobile data or broadband.   

Henceforth, we diverted our attention from "digital divides" to "digital inequality" focusing on technical means and use patterns. But, digital inequality, in general, can be described in 5 dimensions which include the autonomy of Internet use, technical means (hardware and connections), skills, social support and the purposes people use technology as proposed by DiMaggio and Hargittai (2001).

A consequence of modernization, digital gadgets have become the most important accessory for many, especially the youth. From our simple survey, all respondents are owners of smartphone and laptop/netbook while  two of them reported having another regular phone and a mp3 player respectively. Once again, these results show that there is no digital divide among the students as the youth nowadays, especially the students ownership of new media is not limited to one. But, there is an inequality present as 30% reported using Apple brand which is slightly more expensive than other brands of Asus or Sony with its minimum purchase being >RM1000.
For a clearer picture, you can refer to the two diagrams above which displays inequality in terms of 2 technical means: (1) the brands of the gadgets and (2) their spending on Internet connection per month. What should be highlighted is that all of the respondents despite having access to WiFi in the university campus still spend money on internet connection, with 15% reporting monthly spending of RM 90-RM 120.

Another digital inequality that cuts across the youth nowadays in the case of Internet access is the consumption pattern of the internet. This inequality can be observed in terms of gender as shown in the table above. Highlighting the odd and the weird, did you guys noticed that there is not much difference between the male and female use of the internet as an overall but there is a significant difference in terms of using the internet to search academic materials. Is this somehow closely related to the issue why more females are in higher education compare to males?

Anyway, another trend among the various uses of the Internet is the use of internet access for social media which charted highest, disregarding gender. Thus, our respondents are more likely to use it  as a form of communication technology for as much as 80% of them interact with their families and friends through the internet. This is perhaps due to the respondents being away from their home and need to keep in contact and connected with their family and friends, and what could be more convenient and cheaper than the free WhatsApp call or WeChat text. Thus, overall, the Internet consumption pattern among studying the 20 respondents conclude to be primarily communication and networking.

Social media is a new form of communication product which has converted the way people communicate (Cabral, 2010). And this trend is also shown among our respondents as well but through different channels. In the illustration chart above, it is obvious that Facebook and WhatsApp are the most popular social media that young people used nowadays. Thus, new media have increased the social interaction among the different society around the world and this has changed many perspectives, values, and socio-cultural aspects that have been reaccessed (Chen, 2012). 



As a conclusion, among the university students in Malaysia, there is relativity more digital inequality compare to the digital divide. And as a bonus, we reveal the results of a Nomophobia which have been included in our questionnaire as well, accessing the attachment of the respondents to their phone. 

Nomophobia is short for "no-mobile-phone-phobia" which as its name suggest is a fear of being without a mobile phone, though some suggest that the use of phobia is an exaggeration of what is an anxiety. Nevertheless, with Internet access growing as an important resource, many have grown attached to their phones and some to the extent of developing a new "disease". This disease is said to cut across age, gender, ethnicity and nationality with symptoms of bringing in mobile devices into bathrooms, the habit of constantly keeping phone battery fully-charged and obsessively checking phones for missed calls, emails, and texts. This checklist presented to our respondents however only yielded a 9:11 ratio with nomophobes  being the majority. And that concludes this episode of new media consumption.

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If you are interested in checking out if you are a nomophobe or not, here is a the self-assessment checklist we used. Do try it out and leave comments below. 


Cabral, J. (2010). Is generation Y addicted to social media? Retrieved from:

Chen, G. M. (2012). The impact of new media on intercultural communication in global 

           context. Retrieved from 

DiMaggio, P., & Hargittai, E., (2001). From the 'digital divide' to 'digital inequality': 

           Studying internet use as penetration increases. Retrieved 

Mesch, G. S. (2009). The internet and youth culture. The hedgehog review, 11(1), 50-60. 

           Retrieved from 

Organisation For Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) (2001). 

          Understanding the digital divide. Retrieved