Facebookphobia!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ladies and gentlemen, at this moment I have no facebook page and I probably never will! I do have a linked-in account but I have never really used it. Yes I have email addresses, a class Twitter feed and this blog but that is the extent of my gloriously limited electronic imprint upon the World Wide Web. And yet, as a teacher, I actively try to foster more connectivity and networking from the students in my class to the colleagues I work with. I strongly encourage my students to become more active in using personal email accounts, Blendspace lessons, Prezi production and blogging skills inside and outside of the school curriculum!

Is it just me or does something not quite add up!

The more I think about it, the more I sound like a hypocrite of the highest order! Surely I should be eulogising Facebook and Linked-in as the ultimate digital tools of connectivity and collaboration? Yet somehow…I just can’t bring myself to do that and, if I am honest, I don’t want to!

You would be quite right to ask why I am so closed in my willingness to connect. I mean the ability to create and work within so many diverse online communities and networks surely defies any argument about being willing to connect in the first place.

Well that is where you and I may differ in our views. You see I still have a great many reservations and issues about many of the social media sites that have taken up residence in the cybersphere. And if I am brutally honest many of these issues come down to-yes you probably guessed it-PRIVACY!

My worries about online privacy generally involve my own personal hang ups combined with issues that people, who I know, have had in the past. When you have experienced or heard stories about something (in this case Facebook) that  have given you a negative image of that thing you begin to become less willing to trust that thing. Examples of this might include people who have had road accidents being less willing to travel in a car or people who have had food poisoning from a seafood restaurant not wanting to eat oysters or mussels. The point is they have their reasons for not wanting to connect with that particular medium and I have mine.

My personal distrust of social media hangouts like Facebook becomes even more polarised as I continue to read articles like Husna Najand’s article on Facebook. Her quote ‘If Facebook had it’s way, the notion of online privacy would have been further eroded to nonexistence’ only reinforces my feelings of insecurity regarding social media sites like Facebook. I mean how am I supposed to put my faith and trust in social media when I read about Facebook trying to copyright people’s social lives?

Can anybody help me?

The two questions that continue to roll around my head as Facebook and other social media go from strength to strength are:

‘How do I begin to transform my opinions regarding social media?’ and ‘Should I change my opinions regarding social media?’

At the moment, I am currently saying ‘NO!’ However, I am willing to listen! And if anybody out there can provide me with genuine reasons why I should sell my soul to the social media demon then I might just be willing to put pen to paper…

10 thoughts on “Facebookphobia!

  1. I read Husna Najand’s article – disturbing!

    I’m not sure you want to hear this, but I’ve decided never to get a Facebook account. The main reason is that it’s just not my kind of thing. I see my family and friends spending many hours on Facebook and I’m happy that I’m spending my spare time doing other things. I just feel no need at all to broadcast my life in that way.

    As a teacher I use many tools to share my students’ work with their families and with other students – I think that’s very valuable. But I don’t feel the same way about my personal life.

    I hope that helps!

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  2. How we plan to engage (or not) in social media or not is a decision we all make based on the information we have. You got to go with the way you feel until something changes it.

    At my school we just finished digital citizenship today and I realized that I was telling my students to protect their private information, but making them give it away in order to be a part of the class. I feel like such a hypocrite, but I have to go with what I think is best until something changes my mind.

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    1. Hi Ken,
      Thanks for this link. It was a super post and the sites it linked to give me a greater feeling of security
      as an educator(particularly the common sense site-I am actually going to add one of those videos to my video vault collection). However, I still don’t feel that I will be signing the contract to Facebook Utopia anytime
      soon.
      All the best
      Neil

      Like

      1. I’m glad you found it useful. Yeah, if you feel like Facebook isn’t for you, then you shouldn’t give your life to them. I gave it a try and found out that it wasn’t for me either, but now they have my info.

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  3. Hi Neil

    I haven’t got a Facebook account either. I’ll admit, that in the beginning, I was just being a bit snobby and not wanting to use it because everyone else was going on about it so much. I’ve lost that attitude (thankfully!) but I still don’t feel like I need it.

    I have other ways to connect to family and friends which work better for me. By all means, give it a go but you shouldn’t feel that you need to.

    Pal

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  4. Neil,
    I have a Facebook account, and… out of the Social Media platforms I am on, it is my least favourite. The reason I stay with it, is mainly because of the connections I have on it. Friends from schools gone by, family I do not get to see. There are so many people on it, that it does make some things easier.
    It is great for the connectivity, I can post photos and bits to my family in other parts of the world.
    The bits I dislike about it, are the Apps that live inside it. The games that others play, the requests from others using these games. I do not take part in any of these apps, because they also can see what you post.
    I try to be careful of what I post, and to whom can see it. I am aware that Facebook can pretty much do what they like with what I post, which again makes me think, “Is it worth posting?”
    I feel you can minimise your risk on Facebook, by discriminating better about what you post.

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  5. I want to help you… Because I love Facebook.
    I have friends who tend to always get into discussions about hoping to still be as private as possible despite being on Facebook. There are ways around it: the multiple privacy settings you can edit to decide what you want seen to who.
    Choosing to decide getting onto Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to me depends on what type of person you are. For example, I am a social person, therefore I spend more time updating my Facebook statuses and photographs with my family and friends both within my locality and overseas. However, I don’t feel inclined to update my Twitter account as much because I probably don’t follow some of the specific topics and interests which I see most of my Twitter friends sharing. The limitations on character count drive me mad too! And while I am on Linked In, I jump on it only once in a while.
    It also depends on where you are, how spread out your family and friends are, and if you’re content with the way your communications with them are keeping up without being on Facebook. For me, it’s the best way to stay connected.

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  6. Dear Neil,

    I also am a Facebook user. I’m sure that there may be other social networking sites out there that are better, but like Art I have it simply because it is the site that most of the people I know use.

    I do not post too often myself but instead use FB to keep abreast of news posted by family and friends back home (new babies, graduations, moves, and what not). If I see a new photo or post from someone back home I’ll click ‘like’ or occasionally write a comment to keep myself on the radar of loved ones that I get to see too rarely. I agree with Art that the apps and games can be annoying. But if you’re careful about what you click, usually you can keep your homepage free of too much clutter.

    As someone who finds it hard to keep in touch with people back home, FB is an easy and hassle-free way to stay connected with the people who matter to me. I think if you have another method that works for you like Skype, Facetime, Twitter, or good old-fashioned snail mail, you should use that instead.

    Facebook is not perfect and the articles that we read about FB for Week 2 made me rethink my use of it for a bit. But ultimately I decided that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I’ll jump ship when that balance tilts the other way.

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  7. I will have to say I agree with you! I sometimes wish I did not have Facebook! The only reason I got it was because I am overseas teaching and I want to stay “connected” with friends back home. Funny how things like this make us seem more disconnected! I really would like a good old fashioned phone call or letter (am I showing my age and sounding too old school?) to stay connected. I will state again the reason I am taking COETAIL is to see how I can effectively use technology in teaching. I still don’t know that Facebook is one of those forms of technology that I need to use though.

    Good luck on staying out of the Facebook world!

    Like

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