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Is Facebook Really That Bad?

April 2, 2012

Last week after giving the presentation to all the students in the High School I attended the EARCOS Teacher’s Conference where in all of my presentations Facebook became a topic. I continue to promote the use of it with teachers, schools and administrators.

Many of you asked on the 3,2,1, sheet if Facebook is really that bad?

No….Facebook is anything but bad. Facebook is an amazing social-network. There’s a reason why almost 1 billion people use it to connect with their friends and family around the world. What some see as bad others see as opportunities.

Facebook allows connections like never before…instant connections and with the idea of the “Wall” they constantly have your attention as new information from your connections flow to you.

Think of the Kony 2012 video….without Facebook that video is seen by less then 1 million people. With Facebook…we start a movement.

So what’s the secret?

Understanding connections.

We as a society are still struggling with this idea of connections and it freaks us out. I think what freaks everyone out is that many people still don’t really understand where their content goes when they post something.

Here’s an article I found the other day that talks about an app that you could put on your iPhone that finds single women close to where you are using GPS. How does the app work:

These are all girls with publicly visible Facebook profiles who have checked into these locations recently using Foursquare. Girls Around Me then shows you a map where all the girls in your area trackable by Foursquare area. If there’s more than one girl at a location, you see the number of girls there in a red bubble. Click on that, and you can see pictures of all the girls who are at that location at any given time. The pictures you are seeing are their social network profile pictures.

Yeah….if your profile information is public then anyone can use it. Luckily this app has now been pulled from the iTunes store and you can no longer use it. But scary for sure.

Ms. Bessette forwarded me this article about an educator who was fired for not giving her password to her Facebook page to her boss.

Someone—Hester suspects a particular parent who is Facebook friend—saw the photo and complained to the school. A few days later, the district superintendent began repeatedly asking her for access to her Facebook page. Each time, Hester refused.

Soon after, the district’s special education director wrote to Hester, saying “[I]n the absence of you voluntarily granting Lewis Cass ISD administration access to you[r] Facebook page, we will assume the worst and act accordingly.”

Crazy yeah?

Facebook isn’t the enemy…..not knowing where your content is going or who could see it is. If you know your privacy settings, if you know who you are friends with then this stuff isn’t an issue. It’s an issue when you don’t know all 600 of your friends or understand the privacy settings in Facebook. Now the question is….is that Facebook’s fault or the user?

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