A month ago, I posted this simple announcement to a public Facebook group for teachers in my county: “There is a new private Facebook group for CCSD teachers on the right of the political spectrum. Message me if you’re interested.”
Among the comments I got were these:
“I’m just curious…what do teachers on the right of the political spectrum support? Unequal access to quality education? Removing free breakfast and lunch from schools, so that students can worry about being hungry instead of learning?”
“Maybe a different profession????”
“Is this where you guys rally to vote yourselves out of a job or figure out ways to turn in your students or their parents?”
“The request…is a slap in the face.”
“There are teachers there? Really?”
“You guys need your own page!!! I agree!”
In addition, one woman tracked down my salary information as listed elsewhere online, screenshot it, and posted it, with a threat that I was being watched.
I never replied to any of those comments, but I wonder if any of these people realize how ironic their complaints are–their hostility illustrates exactly why I wanted to make a place where conservative teachers could talk without being insulted.
Or maybe I should have just said, “Do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump.”
Yes, about 90% of Mormons will vote for Mitt Romney. About 90% of Mormons always vote for a Republican.
Yes, about 90% of blacks will vote for Barack Obama. About 90% of blacks always vote for a Democrat.
Stop complaining about negative attack ads. If we didn’t actually respond to them, then campaigns would stop making them. Blame the voters, not the candidates.
Stop complaining that everybody’s talking about the election. Huge decisions about the future of our jobs, military, and health care, among other things, hinge on who wins. I think we can put our favorite sitcoms on the backburner for one more week for that.
Too much political talk on Facebook? See above. You have three options: drop all of your friends, don’t check Facebook for a while, or realize that living in a free democracy means being surrounded by citizen debate which you may not like or be interested in. Deal with it.
I’ve been doing this all wrong. I need to stop using Facebook to reconnect with old friends, get to know acquaintances better, and keep in touch with distant loved ones. That’s boring. From now on, I’m only going to friend freaks and morons–people whose wild and inane posts will entertain me far more than the mundane posts by people I actually like.
People see a 15-year-old girl holding a baby, and they assume she’s a skank. No one knows that she was kidnapped by aliens and had the embryo implanted as part of a government experiment to cross-breed humans and aliens.
People see an overweight woman and call her names. What they don’t know is that she gained that weight by rescuing a hundred blind orphans from a burning hospital.
People see an old man with scars on his face, and most of them think, “That’s unfortunate for him, but I’ll get to know him and look for all the good in his personality. The scars aren’t really a big deal.” What these ignorant morons don’t know is that he’s a psychopath who kills puppies in their sleep. You can tell because of the scars.
I saw this article on Drudge Report this morning, about teachers in New York getting fired for improper interactions with students on Facebook. Rightfully so, too–these “teachers” are malicious perverts who deserve what they get.
I’ve seen plenty of teachers on Facebook, and interacting with students online in other ways. Their level of interaction varies from not having any student “friends” at all to frequent contact with many students. Everything I’ve seen appears to be kosher, and I hope that there aren’t any problems around here.
When I started using Facebook last year, I didn’t have a student policy in mind, but I immediately realized I needed one. What I quickly settled on was this: I wouldn’t “friend” current students or accept requests from them, but I would be open to being friends with former students. That seems reasonable to me.
Maybe the most important thing to remember is that it is a public forum–ultimately, everything online is. Conducting ourselves with such in mind will lead to fewer problems now and no regrets later.
Last week I saw a popular wall post on Facebook that caught my attention. It’s a diatribe consisting of a list of perceived failures of George Bush, phrased to suggest that people should be angry about him, not at President Obama’s health care plan. (The beginning and closing references to people being angry now make this look like it’s aimed at tea parties.) All of these points needed clarification and some, frankly, were so off target that they begged for outright refutation. My notes on each are below:
YOU WANT TO GET MAD? We had eight years of Bush and Cheney, but now you get mad!
1. You didn’t get mad …when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President. The Supreme Court did not “appoint” a president; the U.S. Supreme Court merely stopped the Florida state Supreme Court from ordering an illegal recount after they had already illegally extended the deadline for a previous recount. Gore lost all of those recounts, anyway.
2. You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy. Allowing experts in a field to give input is now “dictating policy?” When did the administration copy and paste any company’s plan into law? Liberals are supposed to love “following the money”; where are the sudden surges in energy company profits because of these alleged shady deals?
3. You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got ousted. Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity was revealed by anti-Iraq war State department official Richard Armitage, who was not a member of Bush’s inner circle and who resigned when Colin Powell did, who told a reporter about it as part of a conversation about her husband’s visit to Africa. Even the Obama administration has rejected the Wilson’s attempt to sue Armitage and others for damages.
Facebook recently passed MySpace as the most popular social networking site. Last year, at the urging of a close friend, I got a Facebook account, but I never used it. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t care about it. I recently read of a guy who connected with tons of acquaintances from high school that way, and formed some pretty strong online friendships with them, stronger than he’d had back in school.
But, frankly, I’m not interested in shallow connections with tons of old acquaintances and strangers. I didn’t bother to go to my own high school reunion because I figure if there’s anyone I really care to see, I’d have looked them up sometime in the intervening decade. Somehow, life has gone on just fine. I’m perfectly content with my very small circle of close associates, and I have a hard time keeping up with them as it is. Any desire I have to interact with people beyond my immediate sphere of real world influence is more than adequately served by blogging.
And Facebook would just eat up more time that could be better spent having a real life, enjoying my family, serving my church, and working on non-electronic goals. There’s at least one Luddite left in this cyber world of ours!
Accordingly, I deleted my Facebook account last week. I hate clutter, and it was just collecting dust (I take Walden way too seriously). If anyone wants to contact me without posting a comment on a specific blog entry, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m not saying Facebook is bad, but it’s probably an extraneous indulgence for most of us, another distraction that only gives the illusion of significance. At least it would be for me.