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…