Social Media Pros and Cons

Today I was researching into the pros and cons of social media usage in school,  work and for personal enjoyment. I really have to wonder a few things. First how does one keep up with this fast pace ever changing world? Is it common for people to continually jump from one media to another as the new and better service hits the airwaves? Or are people more loyal than that?

I have read about people being fired, loosing loved ones and being  totally humiliated by what was posted using varieties of social media. For instance the person whose friend, only in the interest of having fun, posts a picture of them having a really good time but is deemed inappropriate by their employer thus  bring about ramifications that were beyond comprehension of the person who posted the picture.

The conclusion that I finally came to was think twice before posting: everything is public; privacy does not exist in the world of social media. It is easy to become too casual, too personal, to disclose too much personal information, to receive too much information and to cross boundaries into relationships that might be perceived as inappropriate.

Is this a too cynical way to see things or should I be looking at this from a different angle????



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10 responses to “Social Media Pros and Cons

  1. I just posted something on George’s blog about this. I think it’s important to teach, not only children, but adults as well, about being a good digital cittizen. It is important to remember that once something is posted, pictures included, it will always be somewhere on the Net. I think a good rule of thumb is: If you wouldn’t say it or show it to your grandmother, don’t put it on the Internet.

    A person also must realize that when posting about others, you mmay affect them. This includes posting inappropriate pictures of the person or posting pictures of his/her children. I always ask if posting the picture is acceptable or not.

    • Thanks I really like the grandmother analogy. That puts things into a good perspective.

    • lorenaleibel

      I too love the grandmother analogy. Our children (17 and 22) have a facebook “police officer” watching them ALL THE TIME….grandma is their friend on facebook and grandma is on their a few times a day (and night) checking in on her grandchilfren!
      We have a technology class at my school for grade 9s. The first priority of the class is teaching the students about digital citizenship. Social Networking is not going away so we as educators may as well educate our students about how to appropriatley move around in a digital world.

  2. I agree with you that the fast paced, ever-evolving world of social media makes it very challenging to keep up and to decide where to focus your energy and time. I find I have a saturation point and it has to be working for me in some way. After giving something an honest try if it is too tedious or I am struggling with the question “What is the point of this?” or “What is this even supposed to be doing for me?” or if I find I am using it very sporadically then I abandon ship. I wrote down a quote from our first EC&I 831 class (and I think perhaps it was Alec who said it) “Facebook is about the past and who you were and Twitter is about the future and who you will be.” This really resonated with me. I use both Facebook and Twitter but for very different reasons and the relationships and connections I have because of them are very different. But I find them both valuable and they have so far stood the test of time which in the digital world life spans resemble that of a teen pop star one-hit wonder! I think the trick is to filter all of the options out there and try one or two and then add and delete as needed. I find my learning network helps identify tools to try and I respect their opinions. That being said not everyone will love the same things, it’s like flavours of ice cream I guess. I just try to be open minded and somewhat zen-like in the constant storm of social media options. I try to not let the tools rule me. 🙂

  3. I really haven’t used either Facebook nor Twitter. I don’t have a blackberry or have an internet option with my phone – that is usually dead most times. And I can’t keep checking it at work or I won’t be working here very long.
    I believe there must be a way that I could take advantage of these great tools I just need to find out what that is. Thanks for you comments.

  4. Sometimes as educators, dealing with youth still learning about decision making and arguably unfamiliar with the concepts public vs. private, it is har not to be cynical. Just this week I dealt with a discipline issue where a group of students predetermined to harass a student in the hall and videotape from a smart phone with the intent to publish on the web adding fuel to fire of controversery on my staff – should we allow cel phones into the hallways? My answer, yes. As educators, we need to address how they are using social media by making them aware of digital citizenship and netiquette all the while knowing, that some of them will choose a different path anyway. I suspect it is the same frustration my health educator colleagues feel around the issue of smoking.

    • Thanks for sharing. You know I would have wanted to just get rid of cell phones after something like that event in your hallways. Especially when you see the news and its what kids are doing now, provoking others, recording it and the posting it.

      But you are very wise, it is our job as educators to educate these kids about the right way to use these things. That is why they are doing what they are doing because so far no one has showed them the right way. It is time to stop looking the other way and educate.

  5. Not too cynical at all. I like that, in many cases, it has made people pause to think about what they say in real life. I believe that we need to see our ‘digital’ identity as simply our identity, not something that is separate. It is part of who we are, and how we act and what we say f2f should be similar to how we conduct ourselves online.

  6. Interesting…I agree that people should behave the same way they would as if they were in a face to face conversation. People tend to be quite brave when sitting behind a keyboard!

    I don’t think cell phones should be banned…I think we should show kids how to use that technology appropriately. Show them proper etiquette!

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