MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, SURABAYA – Prof. Hyun-Jun Kim, a distinguished Cultural Anthropology professor from Kangwon National University, South Korea, mentioned that Muhammadiyah possesses various strengths. The dedication of the younger generation to its mission across leadership levels is notable. With a substantial following and diverse institutions, Muhammadiyah ensures a consistent flow of activities. Harnessing this social capital can boost its popularity in the virtual world.
“In Muhammadiyah, the potent organizational image can discourage activists from expressing opinions or taking independent actions, leading to hesitancy without proper authorization or guidance,” said Prof. Hyun-Jun Kim in a discussion forum on ‘Muhammadiyah Image in the Virtual World: Observations from Korea’ conducted by the Muhammadiyah Council for Cadre Development and Human Resources of East Java on Monday (August 7).
Nonetheless, embracing creative freedom becomes crucial for gaining prominence online, where a light-hearted and humorous approach is often favored, in contrast to Muhammadiyah’s more scholarly and severe culture.
With Indonesians spending an average of eight hours online daily, exceeding the global average of six hours, Prof. Hyun-Jun underlined the urgent necessity for Muhammadiyah to promptly adapt and excel in the virtual realm.
“It’s crucial for Muhammadiyah to support individuals engaging with Social Networking Services (SNS) creatively, while refraining from direct virtual intervention. Providing space for self-expression and embracing member initiatives online is essential,” said Prof. Hyun-Jun Kim.
Furthermore, Prof. Hyun-Jun Kim observed that Muhammadiyah’s influence in the virtual realm is less significant than its tangible social activities.
“Muhammadiyah members should recognize the significant role of the virtual world in spreading their ideas. Just as Muhammadiyah successfully embraced modern trends like establishing schools when it was founded, today, with Indonesians spending more time online than the global average, Muhammadiyah should similarly adapt its approach for the virtual realm,” said Prof. Hyun-Jun Kim.
Prof. Hyun-Jun Kim added the online reach is constrained by the absence of influential Muhammadiyah figures who can effectively represent the organization while preserving their distinctiveness.