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INTRODUCTION

As technology evolve in time, it is evident that the present generation has been

long disclosed to the influence of what a particular technology has to offer. The

widespread use of computers, laptops, smart phones and internet might be the sole

reason why technology has become an integral part of every human activity and

tremendously turn the world into one click.

Technology is a part of our culture and our evolution and is responsible for what

we are today. (Zagalo & Branco, 2015, p. 3) and whether people can escape from it or

not, the digital revolution has already started. In fact, it has already given impact on

every facet of human life ranging from commerce, education, socialization and

communication. (Digital Age, 2017) With this, it is clearly not impossible that the

advancement of technology will continue to improve in the coming years and will bring

more people into the hook of technical nomenclature.

Furthermore, as technology plays an important role to bring more people closer to

information, the researchers are convinced that apart from the traditional media (TV,

radio and print) the existence of new media specifically of virtual space or an online

environment in which participants interact. (Clemmons, Nolen, & Hayn, 2014) using the

internet also serves as a powerful tool to influence people not only towards the trends of

the present generation but also towards various social issues revolving and present

within the global community which are poverty, hunger, health issues, state of

education, gender equality, inequality and many other more and are major concerns of

the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.


Speaking of the virtual environment, one concrete example of the virtual space is

the World Wide Web wherein it is the advanced version of Internet technology. With the

evolution and changes that took place in the creation of the World Wide Web in 1992, it

is evident how web browsers up until today allowed users to see words and pictures on

the same page and to navigate using scrollbars and clickable links. (History.com Staff,

2010; para. 9 & 10; Mitchell, 2017; World Wide Foundation, 2017, Beal, (n.d.) as cited in

Webopedia, 2017)). With the following features and graphics present, it contributes

effectivity in connecting to web users known as web interaction or human-computer

interaction.

Human-computer interaction is like a conversation happened between the

computer and the user. (Dix, Finlay, Abowd and Beale, 2004; Rouse, (n.d.) as cited in

Soft Search Quality, 2017; Caroll, (n.d.) as cited in Interaction Design Foundation, 2016)

and these interaction happens through the use of common interface styles that have an

effects on the interaction between human and computer like command line interface,

menus, natural language, question/answer, query dialog in form-fills, spreadsheets,

WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menu and Pointers) and three-dimensional interfaces. (Dix,

Finlay, Abowd and Beale, 2004; Soegaard, (n.d.) as cited in Interaction Design

Foundation, 2016). Human computer interaction also requires a dialogue between

human and computer. This dialogue is called the common interface styles. These

common interface styles are tools designed to allow users to interact and to

communicate with computers. The most common interface styles are menus, natural

language, question/answer and query dialogue, form-fills and spreadsheets, WIMP,

point and click, and threedimensional interfaces. Each common interface style has its
own effect on the computer system. (Dix, Finlay, et. Al, 2004; Soegaard, (n.d.) as cited

in Interaction Design Foundation, 2016)).

In line with this, the proponents believe that one of the reasons why Web

Interaction or Human-Computer interaction becomes an effective tool to get the

attention that later paves way to influence people is the kind of Interface design a

particular website is showcasing to the users eye. These are User Interface (UI) and

User Experience Design (UX) which are two different interface designs that lets users to

explore several information (visual or textual) in a website. User Interface is described

as the series of screens, pages, and visual elementslike buttons and icons that you

use to interact with a device (Lanoue, 2016, para. 2) while User Experience is defined

as the internal experience that person has as they interact with every aspect of

companys products and services (Lanoue, 2016, para. 3) Whereas in other means, it

is the result or consequence of the interaction being done by a user in a system.

In relation to that, one of the major demographics that has been exposed to

technology specifically on interaction with the different social media platforms are the

Millennials or young literate people when it comes to digital concern because having

grown up with widespread access to technology (D. Oblinger & J. Oblinger, 2005).

From having social networking sites to owning the latest gadgets, Millennials are

certainly on the top of it. However the term digital natives cannot wholly or solely

construes as Millennials or synonymously linked to Millennials alone, it is because the

term digital natives is not confine and fixated on that idea. A digital native is someone

who was raised in a digital, media-saturated world. The term is often used

synonymously with Millennial, though not all digital natives are Millennials for
example, the members of the newest generation, Gen Z, are also digital natives. Plus,

not all Millennials are digital natives there are many members who had limited

access to communications technology while growing up (for example, those raised in

poverty) (Meyer, 2016, para. 9) with the newest generation (Gen Z; 2000s until today)

present on the picture, it is right to say that Millennials are only a part of the so called

Digital natives alongside with Gen Z. But in defense to that, Millennials, though being

only a parthave the most abundant characteristics of what posits Digital natives and

that is why Millennials of today are more exposed and familiar to technology.

The Pew Research Center (2017) have records and data that prove that

Millennials who are born on 1980s are already informed and knowledgeable about the

computer, internet, the World Wide Web. (para. 1) Millennials who are born on 1980s

onwards can also be described as a digital native since these natives are born on the

same year with the millennials. Digital Natives are always active on the virtual space as

they also spend a lot of time using digital technologies. They also have the tendency to

multitask when they express themselves and relate to other digital native by utilizing

digital technologies. They utilize digital technologies like computer and cellphones to

access information and to use that information for their own benefit. These digital

technologies are baked into their genes; thats why, they have a good take on

everything that is digital. (Palfrey & Gasser, 2008; The Neilsen Company, 2017). Thus, it

is right to say that millennials are great invaders of the virtual environment in the form of

Internet and are appropriate to be qualified as respondents of the research project.

In Philippine setting, Filipino millennials are born between early 1980s and 2000.

They are comprised of one-third of the total Philippine population or approximately 35


million. Half of them are students and half of them are working individuals. (Dimayuga,

2016) Moreover, the term millennial is sometimes associated with the term net

generation since this generation is born on the digital age, which began on 1980s

(Palfrey and Gasser, 2008; D. Oblinger & J. Oblinger, 2005). Furthermore, according to

Oblinger (2005), the millennial ages are somehow similar to the age of college students,

which are 18 to 22 years old. And, in alignment with Oblingers statement, the State

University.com (2017) asserted that the average age of college students in the

Philippines are 17 20 years old.

As to the context of the user-interaction of millennials in various navigation around

the Internet, it was found out that they are mostly inclined to social media accounts like

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. which became an avenue of the most visited social

networking websites popular among them. As stated, Today, around 90% of Millennials

(currently teens and young adults) have at least one social media account but many of

them have also more than one such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. In our

2015 research with young adults, the average reported number of social media

accounts was 4 (Meyer, 2016).

More than the social media accounts being widely interacted and participated by

most of millennials, the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in

higher education also dwells into the idea of e-learning websites wherein it presents

significant issues and various academic context. The Internet, especially, has become

a critical enabler of social and economic change, transforming how government,

business and citizens interact and offering new ways of addressing development

challenges (de Leusse, 2015, para. 1).


With this, it also paved way for certain organizations, companies and the

government itself to have their official websites presented wherein they can share their

own Vision, Mission, Objectives, offered programs and more that many people can visit

and interact. As stated, The government decides that the Web can be utilize for

commercial purpose, so various companies, organization set up their own websites

(History.com Staff, 2010).

In line with that, one of the most influential organizations in the world that have put

up their own website is the United Nations (UN). United Nations is an international

organization formed in 1945 to increase political and economic cooperation among

member countries. The organization works on economic and social development

programs, improving human rights and reducing global conflicts. (Investopedia Staff,

2017, para. 1). As the UN Organization formally introduced and reintroduced the 17

Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda (adopted from the proposed 8 Millennium

Development Goals of the year 2000) and its target of 169 countries last September

2015 in New York, it has been asserted that Internet is a unique platform for

innovation, creativity, economic opportunity and social inclusion, which can make a

major contribution to achieving these as the briefing describes the Internets potential

and identifies priorities for action. (Internet Society, 2015, para. 1) These can be

applied through their newly released official SDGs platform website that the ICT greatly

provides. The spread of information and communications technology and global

interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the

digital divide and to develop knowledge societies. (UN DESA, 2016; Kathy Brown,

2016, para. 3) and Internet offers an opportunity to disseminate significant information


involving the UNs Sustainable Goals which can paved way for the people to access the

information and be influenced by the connection of SDGs to social reality issues. (de

Leusse, 2015). Therefore, the use of technology in sharing persuasive image about

SDGs to the public through the UN SDG platform website can be a significant tool in

supporting, promoting and making an impact for the people, like millennials to

understand and be influenced by the different social and economic issues on SDGs for

greater awareness, knowledge and how the use of information can be widely spread to

various publics.

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are our shared vision of

humanity and a social contract between the worlds leaders and the people. (UN

Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, (n.d.) as cited in UN News Center, 2016, para. 2) As

mentioned, since that the 17 SDGs are shared vision among the world including the

governing leaders and the people around them, this means that the following SDGs are

also applicable and shared to other countries as well especially to those countries who

are mainly state members of the UN Organization. So in relation to the locale of the

research project, we have grasped that the following SDGs are also introduced in the

Philippine context. The Philippines being one of the Asian countries also supports the

launched Sustainable Development Goals for the community. As stated, Philippines is

one of the 193 member states that adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable

Development on 25 September last year during the United Nations General Assembly in

New York. The Agenda, which consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169

targets and 230 indicators, is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity (United

Nations Development of the Philippines, 2016, para. 3) In hindsight, the UNDP focuses
in making the SDGs Information-bound and effective as they consider it their top most

priority supporting the 2030 Agenda.

In addition, the UNDP implementing the 17 SDG goals also delves into the

common economic issues that the country of the Philippines is experiencing such as

poverty and environmental issues. Like what UNDP Administrator Helen Clark (2016)

stated, The SDGs provide us with a common plan and agenda to tackle some of the

pressing challenges facing our world such as poverty, climate change and conflict.

UNDP has the experience and expertise to drive progress and help support countries

on the path to sustainable development. (As cited in United Nations Development

Programme, 2016, para. 3)

With this, apart from the social media accounts such as Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter,

Instagram etc., millennials are also proven to have an awareness and knowledge on

the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The basis of this conclusion is the

Corporate Citizenships research entitled Advancing the Sustainable Development

Goals: Business action and Millennials views. According to their research, 90% percent

of the millennials used on the research have a high awareness and 42% have good

understanding on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals since there are some

opportunities like Project Everyone of the filmmaker Richard Curtis that shares the

Sustainable Development Goal to all people on the planet. However, there are no data

that determines the percentage of Filipino millennials who have good understanding

and high awareness on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,

especially on the website itself.

Moving on, in terms of the Communication tradition, the researchers used the
Socio Psychological Tradition since the heart of the study embodies interaction and

influence specifically of the Filipino Millennials exposure and interaction with the UNs

Sustainable Development Goals Platform Website and how the persuasive messages

found in the website influence them to SDGs Information sharing. Patrick (2013)

asserted that socio psychological tradition is a discipline that studies individuals and

its specific focus on interpersonal interaction and influences. She also asserted, The

psychological aspect of this approach views persons as entities with characteristics that

cause them to act in independent ways. (para. 1) Moreover, it is a communication

tradition that deals with communication as an interpersonal interaction and influence. It

epitomizes the scientific or objective perspective in analyzing communication theories.

The scholars in this tradition believe there are communication truths that can be

discovered by careful, systematic observations. In this tradition, scholars or

communication theorists seek information through various methods such as surveys or

controlled experiments. (Em Griffin, 2012) This means that Socio Psychological tradition

is really concerned with the interaction happening and the influence it holds. Talking

about influence on attitude change, this research is grounded on the belief that a person

cannot obtain attitude change if no persuasion happens in the first place because

according to Arason, Wilson, & Akert (2005) changing ones attitude is an attempt of

persuasive communication; thats why, the theories Elaboration Likelihood Model is

used to elucidate the concept of persuasive communication in changing attitude of a

person. (Whitford, (n.d.)) Moreover, Petty and Brinol (2015) proved in their study that

comprehensive theories of persuasion like Elaboration Likelihood Model have been

used to explain the process of underlying attitude change and the variables that affect
attitude in various events. (p. 510) Same as it goes with the Theory of Reasoned Action

by Martin Fishbein and Icek Ajzen (1980) which is also a socio psychological theory that

explains the phenomena regarding information sharing. The model above defines the

links between beliefs, attitudes, norms, intentions, and behaviors of individuals.

(Theories Used in IS Research Wiki, 2016) On the other hand, the researchers would

also like to pinpoint out that Persuasion and Influence are two different terms and it

goes to the point that persuasion is just under Social Influence since Social influence is

a broad process and it takes many forms and persuasion is just an umbrella term of

influence. Persuasion is a form of social influence in which an audience is intentionally

encouraged to adopt an idea, attitude, or course of action by symbolic means. (The

University of Texas at Austin, 2017) However, in another account, the persuasion that

the researchers is dealing with their study pertains more of the persuasive messages

and its influence on attitude change and information sharing that are found in the

website platform of the UNs Sustainable Goals and does not account with Aristotles art

of persuasion or rhetoric means.

Furthermore, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals being an

intergovernmental organization has specifics sustainable development agenda that

presents a clear, universal mandate to the world to invest in nature. (International

Union for Conservation of Nature, 2015, para. 11) To further explain, this proves that the

United Nation really aims to promote the goals they established in order to achieve a

sustainable global community. This claim is proven on the United Conference on

Sustainable Development or the Rio+20 where they created an outcome document

called the The Future We Want that identifies the principles of Sustainable
Development Goals and shows evidence that Sustainable Development Goals Platform

Website is about promoting economically, socially and environmentally sustainable

future for our planet and for present and future generations (United Nations

Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2017, para. 5)

In addition to that, the United Nation recognized that everyone has a part to take in

the agenda they want try to pursue. In 2015, more than 190 world leaders committed to

17 Sustainable Development Goals to help us all end extreme poverty, fight inequality &

injustice and fix climate change. We each have a role to play if were going to achieve

these goals of a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable world. (Global Giving

Foundation, 2016; UN, 2016)

In terms of the novelty, the research is novel because what the researchers are

dealing with is a newly released knowledge platform website of the 17 Sustainable

Development Goals proposed by a prominent international organization, United Nations,

which will last for 30 years apart from the common user-interaction studies in social

media sites among millennials. With the notion considering that we are already in the

digital age, the Internet can be a platform use as certain steps to achieve the mission

and vision of the SDGs but also need to consider the strive of other least developed

countries who are limited to access affordable internet by the year 2020 (Kathy Brown,

2016, para. 4). But as far as what the avenue of Internet can offer to share educational

information, Of course the Internet is not the answer to the challenges of poverty,

inequality and environmental degradation. But it offers new ways of sharing and

analyzing informationnew tools for delivering on the SDGs (Kathy Brown, 2016, para.
4), this means that although the SDG website may not be the direct solution for the

social and economic problem, it can be a starting point and a platform for people to be

knowledgeable about it which can paved way to influence large number of people.

In line with this, the proponents believe that millennials interacting and engaging

more in a knowledgeable platform website such as UNs can contribute to a bigger body

of knowledge, sustainable goals empowerment and restore humanity. Besides that, we

think that having millennials as participants is highly important since millennials has

already the power to influence and establish a strong voice supporting a particular

cause with the help of the richness of the Information and Communication Technology.

With more than half the worlds population currently under the age of 30, millennials

have the power to drive lasting changethey can take action in their peer groups,

families and communities to stand up for gender equality and womens empowerment,

to call out gender-based violence and discrimination, and to promote ideas of positive

masculinity.(UN WOMEN, 2016, para. 20 & 21).

Lastly, the study also explores on how the proxemics interaction of the users takes

place on it and how the information from the website becomes influential in terms of the

significant issues involving the SDGs being shared.

In terms of the motivation for the conduct of the study, the genius behind the

inspiration as to why the researchers are motivated to do the study is because the

researchers are aware that their working topic or the heart of their study will have a

great contribution to the community in both national and international level. Secondly,

the study embodies important and crucial information which are significantly related to

social issues dwelling on the United Nation Sustainable Goals which are timely, helpful
and relevant topic of interest. Lastly, the study itself is within the peak of interest of both

researchers as they are also one with the United Nations Sustainable Development

agenda to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change, while

insuring that no one is left behind.

As for the research gap, being a relatively new disquisition, the research gap had

explored this context. The study about HCI and UN's Sustainable Development Goals:

Responsibilities, Barriers and Opportunities by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology,

Lancaster University, Ericsson and more only explored the context of user-interaction

involving the SDGs through the ways of the Human-Computer Interaction team itself

who takes the field by offering a certain workshop format wherein its main benefit as

what stated, to develop a common vision of how to work with the SDGs, to

collaboratively explore how we could contribute to the goals and to be inspired - by

each other - in our research. With this, they set up an interactive and creative workshop

for the respondents to engage in learning the SDG and respondents had prepared

before the workshop by reading selected SDGs materials. It was also stated that the

workshops include activities like presenting pre-prepared pecha kucha activity,

discussion, writing a summary paper and more. The very aim of the researchers on this

study as stated, To engage and enlarge the S-HCI (research) community, our goal is

also engage representatives from neighboring research communities (ICT for

Development, Critical Design, Value-Sensitive Design etc.) as well as industry

representatives (HCI practitioners and designers). (Eriksson, Pargman, Bates, Maria,

Gulliksen, et al., 2016, para. 2) The research journal dwells more on the part of the

Human-Communication interaction team itself and how their strategies, strengths and
actions can be found effective to share or disseminate the SDGs website information to

the people despite the criticisms and how their action contributes to let people know

more about the SDGs for societys transformation. This basically means that the

counterpart of the respondents only served as the tool to find out the HCI students ways

or strategies on how they could widely spread the SDG information, the effectiveness

of their workshop format that respondent's need to engage with and not literally the

respondent's Human-Computer Interaction in a given space or the exposure of the

respondents in the official UN SDGs platform, the influence of the website platform in

relation to the significant social issues of the 17 SDGs proposed and how information

sharing of the SDGs happen.

In terms of the significance, the researchers decided to come up with a study

regarding millennials user-interaction in a virtual space involving the UNs Sustainable

Development Goals for the fact that it is an influential e-learning tool for the various

salient issues revolving around the SDGs and what it can contributes to the society

even extending to the world. Like what UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon postulates,

The seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the to-do list for people and

planet as it also signifies the blueprint for success. (UN DESA, 2016, para. 1; UN News

Center, 2015, para. 3) But, despite the engaging and inspirational mission and vision of

the how the timely and dynamic SDGs present, it still depends on how the e-learning

platform website can be a helpful and effective tool among the people to widely call for

action because even though the goals were adopted by Member States, it is up to

everyone civil society, businesses and citizens alike to achieve them, bring the

goals closer to people and help make them more understandable and relatable to
everyday life (Gallach, 2016, as cited by United Nations Department Of Economic And

Social Affairs, 2016, para. 2). This conclude that direct exposure to e-learning websites

such as the SDG Platform website wont solve the social issues easily but can be a tool

for the people to disseminate the information to the public for a better knowledge,

understanding and awareness.

In terms of the studys future contributions, the proponents believe that their study

can become an additional input to the existing body of knowledge regarding social

psychological, persuasive communication, development communication and united

nation development studies. Secondly, Communication studies can utilize the study for

educating Filipino millennial college students who are active users of interactive

computer technologies like websites regarding Global goals, its impact to the society,

and for the communication of development and sustainability of the country. Thirdly,

other communication researchers can also utilize that study to further study the user

interaction and exploration on the Sustainable Development Goals Platform Website

and its influence on SDGs information sharing. Fourthly, Development studies students,

practitioners, and professionals can use it as a guide for developing a campaign that will

promote the website to the public, to engage them to the 17 Sustainable Development

Goals and to be influenced by the issues presented on the website. Lastly, it can be a

guide for future researchers who also do future researches related to United Nations

Sustainable goals or User Interaction in a virtual space indicating influence and

information sharing.