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A Teen’s Perceptive View on “Affairs of the Heart”

TOPIC: Write Music Video Review on Ok Go’s The Writing's on The Wall

You cannot help but be left slack-jawed and absolutely amazed after watching Ok Go’s The Writing on The Wall. The quirky representation of the song through the use of optical illusions is a welcome and lively twist that makes this video extremely memorable.

Although some viewers may be left slightly disorientated by the spinning camera shots in the later half of the video and befuddled by the optical illusions, the video scores on its clever use of perspective and illusions, and on its cohesiveness with the song’s main message.

The song’s primary message is that a couple is breaking up due to a growing distance between them. However, the speaker still wishes to end the relationship on a high note. This difference in perspective of the estranged couple is made all the more apparent by the use of optical illusions in the video.

Viewed from a certain angle, it may seem as though the band member is floating on thin air against a patterned background. When the camera angle shifts, you see that he is actually standing on the ground. Another example would be the words “I think I understand you” painted on a wall. Again, it is reduced to incoherent lines and fragments when the camera angle shifts.

The video comprises a string of fun and intriguing optical illusions which clearly illustrate the difference which each person’s perspective makes. It literally goes from a perfectly understandable sentence to a scrawl, demonstrating the differences in opinions and perspectives between this couple. This very visual and amusing representation of the song’s message makes the video highly enjoyable.

If you were to mute the video, the visuals alone create a joyful, almost whimsical wonderland and an exuberant atmosphere with its quirky illusions and colourful props. However, accompanied by the somewhat despondent and resigned melody, it combines to create an interesting experience for the viewer.

On the one hand, a break up is eminent, but you are chuckling away heartily at the antics and illusions. Although the main message of both video and song is sad, you thoroughly delight in it. This contrast further serves to bring out the contradiction in the message, that the parties want to have fun and be happy even in their last days as a couple. It not only allows you to see and hear its message, but feel the song’s intent as well.

All in all, it is a thoroughly enjoyable music video with a delightful twist of whimsy that very effectively brings out its main message.

~Lynn Hong, At Age 15

Ms Geraldine Chew, Lynn's Teacher

"The lyrics of the song speak about being in a relationship knowing that breakup is imminent and unavoidable. Lynn's review was particularly incisive in conveying the sense of order and chaos; and her appreciation of the video’s predominant play on optical illusions."

The Importance of Public Speaking

Public speaking is one of the most important, and yet, also one of the most dreaded forms of communication for our students. It is a common sight for students to evade teachers’ questions, or be hesitant about making enquiries that might facilitate their learning. With consistent practice, however, public speaking can cease to be an activity that is daunting.

Why should we hone our public speaking skills? The benefits to having good communication skills are innumerable; we are able to forge meaningful connections with other people, influence decisions and motivate social change. 

Below are five key benefits of effective communication:


1) Conveys knowledge. Public speaking ability bears much relevance to our transition to the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. With the emergence of trans-disciplinary fields, the knowledge economy has become ever more dependent on information sharing and collaboration. We need to convey and share knowledge with others, and the ability to clearly articulate our thoughts means the ability to demonstrate and share our knowledge.

2) Develops and shows confidence. Think Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ellen DeGeneres, or Bill Clinton. People tend to gravitate toward confidence, and one aspect of the appeal of these charismatic speakers stems from their unshakeable confidence. We will perhaps do well to remember that confidence is not an inherent trait, but a product of seasoned practice. Practising public speaking helps us to command others’ attention at school and at the workplace. More importantly, it helps us cultivate a more confident and enduring persona that will have a ripple effect on our lives.

3) Motivate others. David Foster Wallace, in a commencement speech at Kenyon College titled “This is Water”, opens his speech with a short story where two fish are so indifferent to their environment that they ask what water is. His speech was an impassioned reminder of the importance of maintaining perspective as we go through life. Good public speakers build rapport with their audiences and inspire us to action, showing how public speaking can be an important motivational tool. Having good public speaking skills means we are able to motivate others, which allows us to rally them to our message and goals.

4) Increases enquiry and knowledge. One lesser known technique to facilitate learning may be to adopt a shift of our own perspective from student to teacher. Have you found that preparing for a presentation requires you to be more familiar with the subject matter itself? We are forced to ask questions about the subject matter in order to field questions should they arise. The process of preparing for public speaking thus facilitates our own learning. It encourages a deeper understanding of key concepts so that we can communicate them effectively.

5) Differentiates you from your peers. We have all had encounters with people who stand out from the crowd. If we recall these instances, it is likely that those who made a strong impression were effective communicators. Good public speaking skills enable us to communicate or deliver material effectively, which is key to making a good first impression. The ability to make an impression prevents us from being cookie-cutter, giving us an edge over other people.

The Changing Nature of Work

The onset of the digital age has meant that the nature of work is also changing at an unprecedented rate. “Disruptive” is the new buzz-word, with companies harnessing technology to shake up conventional industries. The revolutionising of processes and industries underlies a bigger question: how will the structural nature of work be changed? Are we doing enough to prepare our children with skills that can adapt to the demands of a changing economy?

The advent of the digital age has far-reaching implications. The rise in disruptive technologies is amidst a wider decline of single skill-set jobs and an accompanying shift toward roles where soft-skills and mathematical skills are paramount.

[1] A collaborative approach in the workplace also favours job-seekers with trans-disciplinary skills that are required to inform decision-making about complex problems.[2] With jobs being gradually phased out due to disruption and automation, the ability to think critically and synthesise complex ideas will be a necessity.

The pace at which global trends emerge also means that our younger generation will develop a global sensitivity and be up to date with current affairs. Businesses like Airbnb have disrupted traditional industries such as the hotel industry, threatening jobs in hospitality, for example, by allowing homeowners to rent out their homes to strangers.

An education that encourages a love of learning, or a wider sensitivity to global trends, is thus an essential first step that complements the spirit of innovation that is highly prized in the changing world economy.

It is also worth noting a gradual shift in the nature of work away from conventional nine-to-five employment [3]. With a rise in those who opt for freelance or project-based careers, work is likely to become less singular and more multi-faceted over the next generation.

It is likely that multiple careers during the lifetimes of the younger generation will become the norm, and a curriculum that encourages broad-based thinking will stand our younger ones in good stead by encouraging them to explore a diverse range of interests.

At Creative Campus, we continually complement the teaching of English with current affairs to encourage a wider love of learning. We are aware of the stringent and challenging requirements of the school syllabus and additionally, the skillsets and love for learning we wish to inculcate in the children that will maximise their opportunities for success.

We are experienced in creative writing techniques and regularly intersperse our curriculum with real-world issues. Do sign up for our weekly newsletter to be kept abreast with our offerings as well as for discussions on current affairs.


[1] Kruchoski, P. 10 skills you need to thrive tomorrow – and the universities that will help you get them. (2016, August 19). World Economic Forum.

[2] Torkington, S. The jobs of the future – and two skills you need to get them. (2016, September 2). World Economic Forum.

[3] Thompson, D. A World Without Work. (2015, July/August). The Atlantic.

PSLE English Composition Writing

Our qualified experts have helped numerous P6 students overcome the 30-mark barrier in their Compositions.
Here's why Creative Campus is able to do so for your child.

  • Proven track record of As and A*s since 2011
  • Impart skills and techniques to address examination topics
  • Focus on developing the student’s personal voice
  • Rigorous and engaging in-house curriculum
  • Qualified and passionate teachers 

5 Ways to Prepare for PSLE English Composition Writing

Read widely: periodicals provide ideas to derive your plot. Visit sites like time.com, nationalgeographic.com.

Subscribe to news sites to stay updated with the latest development. Do visit reputable sites like bbc.co.uk, cnn.com, or channelnewsasia.com for a dose of local news

Practice, practice, practice: regardless of the topic, compositions need planning so that the ideas for the compositions are fleshed out.

Read, read, read: novels still have a place in vocabulary development. Apply useful phrases in compositions as far as possible.

Keep a vocabulary book: categorise into commonly used phrases or ideas and apply them wisely. Never memorise chunks of paragraphs: there is a risk that the sentences do not answer the topic, or worse, sit awkwardly in the story.

Find Out About Our Classes Today!

Register for our P6 June Holiday Workshop! Click here for more details

Tips for English Composition Writing

In the PSLE English Paper 1, students are required to write on one given topic. There are 3 pictures, and question prompts are provided to keep the composition relevant. For instance,


Write a composition of at least 150 words about an act of honesty.


The pictures are provided to help you think about this topic.

Your composition should be based on one or more of these pictures.

Consider the following points when you plan your composition:

· What was the act?

· Why was the act honest?

You may use the points in any order and include other relevant points as well.

The picture prompts include:
* a wallet full of cash;
* a broken vase; and
* a student peering over the script of her friend.

There are two ways to tackle this composition:

(1) Write a narrative prose about at least one of the pictures.

* Plan the plot carefully and ensure that the story illustrates the topic clearly.

Examples of plot lines:
-- returning a wallet;
-- learning that copying answers is dishonesty; or
-- admitting to breaking the vase at home later in the day.

(2) Write a non-narrative prose revolving around the topic, using the pictures as examples or prompts.

* A non-narrative continuous writing does not have a story.
* It is an open platform for students to write anything in continuous writing, in any text type, as long as it uses at least one picture and addresses the topic.

Examples of non-narrative paragraphs:
-- discuss how an act of honesty refers to situations where you return items that do not belong to you; use the wallet picture as an example
-- discuss how when you can be tempted to be dishonest at times; use the picture of the copying exam as an example
-- discuss how an act of honesty involves taking ownership and responsibility for the mistakes you make; use the broken vase as an example


Why Non-Narrative Essays?

The move to include a non-narrative prose at the national level is important. With guidance, students can use this as a stepping-stone towards the GCE ‘O’ levels and subsequently, the General Paper at the ‘A’ levels.

In these higher-level examinations, the syllabus has also been changed to include only discursive writing: exposition writing and argumentative writing. However, most school teachers tend to prepare students only on the narrative prose.

Perhaps the PSLE is too high a stake to risk attempting something as unfamiliar as a non-narrative prose; and why should they, since students have been writing narratives (creative writing included) since Primary 1? It is much easier to plan a story around one picture, a simple side-step from the old PSLE English format circa 2015.

Nonetheless, writing pure narratives can be stifling for students who have the maturity to discuss these topics at a more general level. It is important to equip your child with the skills to handle BOTH text types. At the very least, knowing how to write a non-narrative prose gives him the added advantage in the PSLE. There is an alternative for him, in case he cannot think of a narrative plot. Furthermore, the ability to use the pictures in a well-thought out composition can score higher marks compared to a bland narrative on the topic.


What Creative Campus can do for your child

PSLE is a major milestone for children aged 12. This national examination aims to test key language skills, while ensuring test questions are based on real-world scenarios.

Our dedicated teachers will equip your child with the skills to tackle the new PSLE English format. Call us for more details.

Our PSLE Blueprint is a comprehensive guide to writing narrative and non-narrative essays.  You can find out more and get a copy here. 

Find Out About Our Classes Today!

The Importance of Current Affairs

Addressing Real-World Issues, One News Article At A Time

Here is an article we utilised as a platform for class discussion:

In this article, we learn that Disney has a hand in making prosthetics look cool. (For PDF version click here)

Iron Man, Elsa or Star Wars? With British company Open Bionics, the sky is the limit.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • What are some of the inherent problems with most prosthetics?
  • Why is it important to change the perception of prosthetics amongst users and observers alike?
  • How else children develop their self-confidence without relying on material tools?
  • Have a look at the video. Do you think it’s a fantastic solution? Why?

Creative Campus is no stranger to weaving real-world issues into our syllabus. Even before the Ministry of Education advocated the importance of 21st century competencies, our curriculum has engaged students’ interest and inspire learning.

We have emphasised the importance current affairs since Day One. Hence, our English enrichment lesson are crafted in an accessible and compelling manner. This approach has helped many of our students stay informed and broadened their minds. The skills that students learn will stay with them all the way through to General Paper and beyond.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out what our ex-students have to say.

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Enrichment vs. Tuition

Parents often ask us: what is the difference between English enrichment and English tuition? As parents, we want our children to do well in school exams, so that they can have a better chance at securing a seat in a well-known secondary or tertiary institution. We want our children to have all the resources at their disposal, as much as we can financially afford, so that they can have an edge over their peers. We want the best for our kids outside the school syllabus, so that they have the exposure and perspective to handle real-world problems when the time comes.

English enrichment is all of that, and more.

A good enrichment class will not just focus on the short term academic needs of the student, such as doing well in the school assessments. It must create an awareness in the student: that life is more than just books and projects; that what is happening around us will ultimately impact our lives in numerous ways. In the mid- to long-term, language is a lifelong learning process. The ability to critically analyse information is crucial for students in the 21st century. And it does not stop there. Head knowledge is one thing, but knowing how to communicate one’s thoughts well is another.

There are many things that we do differently at Creative Campus. We believe these distinguish us not only from tuition classes, but also other enrichment centres. Here, we highlight just a few:

(1) Handling Compositions

A common question parents ask is this, “Why is my child not scoring in compositions? He has all the nice phrases and I send him to the most expensive enrichment centre which gives them student models.” Memorising stock phrases at the Primary level is not the way to go, especially when every other student attends the same tuition or enrichment centre. Imagine how an examiner would feel when he comes across “fluffy magnolia clouds dotted the azure sky” for the 20th time. Naturally, these students will not score well; the beautiful phrases have lost their lustre and become too common, cliched even.

Examiners look for compositions that have character and showcase the writer’s personal voice. At Creative Campus, students learn the necessary skills and techniques to approach the topics. By mastering these techniques, students can apply them to any composition they face, and always craft essays that stand out from their peers.

At the Secondary and General Paper levels, the emphasis is on analyzing the questions with care; brainstorming with fellow students in class to derive the content; approaching the given topic critically from various angles; and then expressing their opinions clearly and coherently. The requirements for a top grade at the upper levels would require much substantiation. Our lively classroom discussions of news and current affairs also serve as a fodder of information for students to flesh out the arguments they need to excel in the discursives.

(2) Handling Comprehension

There are certain skills students should master when approaching comprehension questions. Changes to both the PSLE syllabus from 2015 and the varied examinable components in the ‘O’, ‘A’ and IP levels have left many parents scrambling to understand how best to equip their children with the necessary tools to ace these national examinations. When handling comprehension components, the teachers at Creative Campus will teach students to identify the different question types, then impart the skills to address each question type, such as how to analyse the questions, accurately source for the answer, and then phrase the answer to address the given question.

(3) Communication is Key

In order to stand out from the crowd, a student must know how to communicate his ideas clearly, coherently and succinctly. Knowing and applying information learnt to assignments are prerequisites for entrance into top-tier academic institutions. At Creative Campus, we start students from young to communicate effectively, be it in writing or verbally. The little ones learn about the world via Media Studies, or Show and Tell, while the older students learn how to craft their thoughts and opinions into structured morsels in their essays or for verbal presentations. But don’t just take us at our word. Read our student’s testimonials to find out more.

Creative Writing in Singapore

Parents are always on the lookout for that extra edge for their children, whether it be academic subjects or enrichment activities. One of the top things on their agenda is boosting their child’s “Creative Writing” skills. However, in Singapore, “Creative Writing” tends to overlap with PSLE Composition Writing. In this article, we hope to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding the notion of “Creative Writing” in the context of the primary school syllabus in Singapore.

Myth 1: Creative Writing means learning new ideas to write more interesting PSLE compositions

Often, parents enquire about creative writing classes for their children, with a view to preparing them for the national examinations.

In practice, there is a slight difference between the PSLE composition writer and the creative writer. Most parents are aware of the stringent requirements of the PSLE composition component. Students must adhere very strictly to certain rules, such as the grammatical rules of sentence construction. Hence, parents look for ways in which their child can inject fresh ideas to make the composition stand out, thereby garnering higher content marks. Creative Writers do not necessarily have such constraints; they are free to break the established rules, if it adds a new dimension to their writing. Thus, the creative writer does not necessarily do well at the PSLE.

At Creative Campus, our teachers often brainstorm content and plotlines with the students and where applicable, incorporate some of the techniques of creative writers, for instance to foreshadow events, set up expectations or introduce a new twist to their story.

Myth 2: Creative Writing means “using big words” in writing

There is no doubt that a good command of the English language and vocabulary is crucial to a writer’s craft. In some circles, this has been misconstrued to mean that a good piece of writing depends on how many bombastic word one can use.

This is a dangerous myth that must be debunked. Creative Writing, and writing well in general, requires sensitivity to the language. Tutors are not doing their students any favours when they provide lists upon lists of synonyms and “creative phrases” to be used for some of the more common scenarios that pop up in the examinations.

The teachers at Creative Campus are well aware of this, and make it a point to go through the nuances of language during class. In this way, our students do not leave the class with the mistaken notion that they must memorise phrases to regurgitate in their composition. In fact, forcing “big” words and phrases into their writing without a good understanding of some basic language structures can result in oddly worded, even illogical compositions.

Myth 3: Creative Writers can hammer out a perfect first draft

Some people conceive of the writer as an inspired artist who, chancing upon an idea, writes furiously and comes up with the perfect novel. Nothing could be further from the truth. Creative Writing involves a great deal of planning, even for the most seasoned writer. The PSLE composition writer also has to do the same. However, whereas the PSLE student has to get his draft right during the course of the examination, the creative writer is not constrained by time; the latter can finish a draft, come back to it in a few days and revise it to his heart’s content.

To expedite the process of constructing and delivering a well-crafted composition, our teachers go through some of the most important techniques students need to craft the best composition they can under examination conditions.

Furthermore, at Creative Campus, compositions are written on a regular basis, which gives the students ample practice and allow teachers to impart crucial writing skills by building upon previous work. The result is a student who can plan and draft an A* composition when it really counts.

Conclusion

Are some people naturally talented at writing? What really is Creative Writing, anyway?

While it is true that some people take to the English language quite naturally, it doesn’t mean that Creative Writing is beyond the reach of students. Thus far, we have discussed the differences between Creative Writing and PSLE writing. Now, we need to also be aware that fundamentally, sound writing is about technique, and anyone can learn techniques.

The PSLE student learns the techniques and applies them in his writing.

The Creative writer applies the techniques in his writing, and experiments with breaking some rules to see how it affects his writing.

If you are looking around for a “Creative Writing” class, do take a moment to ask yourself if you are looking for classes that will teach techniques and ideas, or if you are looking for classes to develop a good writer into a mature one.


A Performance

She felt herself relax as her fingers flew over the polished white keys of her expensive grand piano.

“Jessica!” She jerked to attention again as her piano teacher tapped her sharply on the small of her back.

“Sit up straight!”

Jessica nodded and smiled at her piano teacher. The piano teacher could not help but smile back too. Nobody could resist one of Jessica’s angelic smiles…

Much later that day, Jessica flopped onto her queen-sized bed, exhausted, with her arms and legs splayed out into what Mother would probably consider an unlady-like pose. Jessica closed her eyes and remembered the times when her parents had no expectations of her and just wanted Jessica to be Jessica. Then, they enrolled her for piano lessons, just for fun, and found, to their absolute delight, that she had a brilliant talent for playing the piano. That was when everything changed. Her parents became more and more demanding of her, until Jessica learned to put on the perfect facade. She learned to smile sweetly at the right time, to apologise when appropriate, and to sit up straight when playing the piano. Even then, her parents wanted more of her. They urged her to enter school competitions, and when she won those, the school competitions turned into inter-school competitions, and then, national competitions. Finally, there she was, taking part in an international competition–and that ultimate performance of her young life was only days away.

D-day arrived all too soon and months of preparation did not seem enough. Staring at the stage that she would soon step on, Jessica felt nausea curl through her entire being. Why had she agree to do this?

“I won’t fail,” Jessica whispered adamantly to herself. She had won competitions before. All she had to do was go up there and play the song she could play in her sleep. It would be easy as pie. Gazing at her parents who had already returned to their seats in the audience, she wished, for the first time in her life, that they were beside her. Her mother waved encouragingly at her and Jessica felt a surge of determination course through her. She could do this.


Her performance was going well and Jessica was sure there were no mistakes, when disaster struck. Jessica’s fingers were flying faster, when they suddenly stumbled and struck the wrong note. The horrible, disharmonious chord made Jessica cringe, but she had to go on. Panic began to course through her, and more and more discordant notes met her ears, hitting her like blows to the gut. Finally, the music ended, and the battered and bruised Jessica pulled herself out of the rubble of her collapsed reputation. Her performance had been ruined. The following hesitant applause sounded like it was coming from underwater. Dragging herself off the stage, Jessica felt tears threatening to fall freely. What would her parents do, now that they knew she was not the perfect girl they had thought she was. She would soon find out.

“Jessica!” She cringed as she heard the familiar voice of her parents. Slowly, she turned, expecting to meet the irate eyes of her parents.

“We’re so proud of you!” They gushed.

“What?” Jessica was stunned.

“You kept on going, despite the mistakes you made. That was mature and very professional!” Her parents beamed at her.

Finally, Jessica understood. She did not need to put on a facade. Her parents accepted her just the way she was.

~excerpted from an essay by Isabelle Tan (Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Primary 6 2015)

Tutor’s Comments:
  • Emotively written, especially in relation to the brief backstory and her panic when the performance went awry.
  • Great descriptive expressions pertaining to playing the piano.
  • Good, sparing use of dialogue at important dramatic moments.

Technology Affecting Relationships

How has technology affected the types of relationships that people make?

~ excerpted from an essay by Chang Si Yuan (Raffles Institution, Secondary 4 2015)

Is quantity necessarily less important than quality? Though technology is often accused of making relationships less intimate, it is false to claim that the intimacy of interpersonal relationships is the only thing that matters. Technology has revolutionised how people communicate and create relationships, especially due to the rise of social media, the internet and the dawn of the smartphone. Even if technology has made one’s intimate relationships less personal, it has also equipped individuals to reach many more people than ever before, changing the way people communicate and relate to one another, businesses and their community, where quantity trumps quality, and a lack of the latter is not necessarily a bad thing.

Personal relationships have been affected by developments in technology in the form of shallower communication. Text-based communication, which lacks the emotional depth of face-to-face interaction, is now widespread due to the accessibility of smartphones. Families which end up sending text messages over the dinner table despite the ability to converse verbally are now a common sight. Though the quality of relationships has suffered, the reach and ability to create personal relationships has expanded greatly. Online dating platforms have experienced a revival in popularity in recent times, with applications such as Finder accumulating a massive user base barely months after release. Together with its population of “successful” pairings between individuals, it seems that an increase in reach of communication– which arises from technology– has indeed benefited people in making new relationships.

Technology has also changed the way people interact with businesses and the economy, giving companies more productive workers and even more active patrons. Especially due to developments in the smartphone technology, people are now more connected than they have ever been. Employees can be mobilised to work by the delivery of one text message, due to the omnipresence of a mobile phone signal, not to mention the fact that the internet allows workers to collaborate with others despite geographical boundaries. A lack of depth in relationships has its benefits, such as how the lack of emotion in a text-based message can lead to heightened productivity, without employees being preoccupied with personal sentiments and unclear communication which arise from verbal communication. Even the relationship between corporations and its customers has changed, with companies being able to reach wider audiences via internet advertising, and customers being able to send feedback to economic entities and allowing them to make improvements on products and services– such as how an online petition from students persuaded a Mexican restaurant to serve free water. As such, new relationships shaped by technology with a lack of quality in communication and a wider reach can benefit businesses and the people around them.

Tutor's Comments:

The introduction raises a refreshing stance on the impact of technology on relationships today. Clear thesis statement too.

The first body paragraph raises a popular counterargument on how technology impacts the depth of relationships.

The second paragraph takes on the issue of relationships in commerce.

Linguistically, the essay is written incisively and with clarity.

Social Media: ‘Oversharing does not equate to Honesty’

In the context of social media platforms, comment on the phrase 'oversharing does not equate to honesty'.

~ excerpted from Girvan Tay’s essay (Raffles Junior College, Year 6 2015)

In this technology-enabled day and age, our news feeds are constantly bursting with new posts, opinions, images and the like; yet for the most part, there exists a facade to establish a veneer of happiness and acceptability, sometimes masking a more sinister depression beneath the visages of smiles and cheerful posts. While oversharing, to some extent, does eventually result in greater honesty, it is a more prevalent phenomenon that oversharing does not equate to honesty, due to its masking of the truth on the part of readers and the possible applications available to establish a false image.

The argument exists that oversharing can open the doors to greater honesty. Social media, by its definition, is user-generated, user-regulated media which is policed by an extensive—potentially global–audience. As such, owing to the fact that there are numerous individuals reading and evaluating one’s posts, dishonesty is (theoretically) called out more quickly. This, in turn, can pave the road for greater honesty. Oversharing–or the act of sharing a sizeable chunk of personal information online–is thus compelled by such forces to become a more truthful act, as the more one posts, the more one’s deception can be quickly detected. This can be seen in the example of the debacle involving Amy Cheong, the NTUC executive who was punished severely for one racist remark on her social networking page. Communal policing is thus, to a large extent, effective in quickly seizing the underlying thoughts and opinions that people share online and punishing them for it, should requital be necessary. Moreover, a private US security contractor recently announced that it is developing software to detect variations across an individual’s posts to determine a person’s true intentions and affiliations. This is something which technological moguls such as Facebook or Google can use to customize interfaces for users. Evidently, the more posts one has online, the more one is likely to slip up and reveal his true nature, or similarly, express their true underlying affiliations and thoughts–which can be red-flagged and called out. As such, the individual is compelled to become more truthful, and only post what he truly thinks or feels, in order to avoid unwanted attention or consequences–or avoid posting at all–hence, making for a more truthful nature of posts online.

Yet, this argument fails to acknowledge the darker, more insidious nature of social media –that it defines who you are in the eyes of others. A study conducted in the United Kingdom revealed that nearly 60% of teenagers get their first impression of others from the posts on their Facebook page, and increasingly, employees and college admission boards too preview the social media profiles and posts of candidates. Faced with such scrutiny, the motivation to lie, to construct an embellished image of oneself is much higher than what optimists might think, to the extent that people are willing to spend time and effort churning out a slew of carefully manipulated posts in order to boost the image others have of them. This is seen in a recent US-based study which highlights that out of the plethora of happy posts online, there are nearly twice as many sad incidents in these individual’s lives. A Singaporean study by the Nanyang Technological University also revealed that most teenagers rigorously filter and edit their posts online to convey the best possible image of themselves, with ‘sad’ or genuine posts constituting a mere 13% of our news feeds. Evidently, the act of oversharing does not necessarily equate to increased honesty. The instances cited highlight the prevalence of individuals doctoring their posts to show the more favourable versions of themselves. Oversharing one’s opinions and thoughts therefore does not equate to honesty.

In conclusion, while dishonesty on social media may occasionally be weeded out, for the most part, the fact that social media is now the go-to platform to learn more about individuals and news, and that people often feel pressured to abide by the optimistic trends that keep such media ‘social’, make the act of oversharing not only inconsistent with honesty, but can also motivate people to be dishonest online.

Tutor's Comments: ​

Cogently written with clearly expressed arguments.

Good use of varied but concrete evidence to support writer’s assertions.