I've always wanted to ask a tech savvy audience if I have an irrational fear of Facebook.  I actively discourage the young people I know not to have a personal Facebook account.  I've always felt that the concept was open to abuse and predatory.  

Tags: Facebook, net safety, tools for cyberbullying

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I have to disagree. In the end, social networks are a TOOL. Like all tools, they can be used well or they can be abused. A kid can stab another kid with a pencil, but that doesn't mean we should take all the pencils out of school. Social networks like Facebook can be used to communicate with people across the globe, to connect with experts, to share ideas and experiences, and to collaborate with and learn from others. 

In the end, no matter your feelings about social networks, they are a way of life now. Kids will most likely use them. Many companies REQUIRE employees to use them. And there are entire careers based on social networking -- I have quite a few friends whose ENTIRE job is to maintain the Facebook and Twitter account for their company. As teachers, our job is to prepare students for this world -- we need to teach them how to safely and appropriately use such networks. Which is why closed, starter networks like Edmodo and My Big Campus are so great -- they allow us to get kids started in a safe, controlled environment so that when they do enter the real world of Facebook, they are prepared.

Just my two cents.

Thanks for your thoughts, Katy and for not howling me down :)

Hi Sandra,

I too was quite afraid to use facebook and other forms of social media and internet contact.  However, I currently have an open facebook page which is somewhat daunting considering that I work in a school environment. 

I thought long and hard about having an open profile, yet in light of safety and students I feel that by maintaining this profile I am role modeling an appropriate use of facebook.  There are no personal details available beyond my name and birth date and I am careful that photos do not contain images that could identify myself or where I live.

I feel that we often warn young people of dangers without educating about safe and appropriate use of tools and technologies that are going to remain a large part of their life.

 

Eiren

 

Thank you Eiren,

I thought I was the only person in  the Universe who actively reviled against Facebook :)  

I purposely left my initial comment open to any reaction.  Just to pick up on an earlier comment about educational tools and pencils, my point was a little more subtle and philosophical which I think you obviously picked up on and appreciate.  

It's difficult to be a young person, I speak from experience as I was one once :)

It must be more difficult today than in any time in history to be young and also deal with social media and hormones.  It's never happened before?  Adults don't know how to deal.  Imagine, if you are a young sensitive soul and without any positive support network.  I think this is why there are so many mass shooting in American schools.  I actually get it, it's sheer frustration.  In my day, you just went to Woodstock.

Best.

Sandra

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