Facebook – To stay or go?

This is a constant debate i have with myself, and it’s an argument that has gone on for a long time with various teachers that i work with and who i collaborate with on twitter. I do see Facebook as one of those things i love to hate and as an ICT Teacher think it is important that I use it, if only for 1 reason, the students use it, so why do i think it’s important i do?  Before i start this, I’m not an addict, I’ll log onto Facebook when working maybe once a week (may even be 2 when I’m really busy) I scan it quick then leave. But i have a hard time justifying my presence there, knowing that i am not their consumer I am their product.

The case for staying

I think it’s important to identify with the networks students currently use, this helps me identify with how they work and communicate as well as showing me things that have changed from an e-safety point of view. I frequently end my lessons with the phrase “Facebook privacy policies have changed, so check yours tonight” as I think students identify with the issue of esafety far more on facebook than they do on other social networks like Twitter.

I also think on of the more successful schemes of work i have come up with in recent years was the “Facebook database unit” as it provides masses of scope for differentiation, extension etc. and could i really identify with it as much if i wasn’t a member and how could i promote an active approach to e-safety online if i didn’t have the information there?

The case for going

Ohh Facebook, how do i loathe thee. I look at Facebook(FB) sometimes with the amount of inane gibber on there and think “why am I part of this?”. I’m not a man of 1000’s of friends, i have barely 100, and most of these are relations of old uni friends, but i still look at it sometimes and think, what is the point of the stuff people put on there?  I also hate that it becomes my “boredom zone” if I’m sat in front of the telly and it’s something that i don’t want to watch, i switch off and end up drifting onto FB and surfing pictures of stuff, and i truly hate myself for that, the Facebook stalking people do.

I also hate the games (The kind where you have to log in every day to click your imaginary fields to make sure your crops grow, what an endless waste of time!) I love gaming, i really do, but at least with my Xbox, i can choose when to play and am not penalised because I forgot that my blueberries expired today at 4:23pm!

The conscious decision

In spite of all this, i have found one positive outlook for Facebook the ICT Teachers group.  If i have a question i want to ask for work and i can’t do it in my 140 Twitter characters, this is certainly a positive thing to use. I guess it boils down to all web technologies, its no good unless you are using it for a positive purpose.

So, in conclusion, my Facebook profile is being slimmed down, My friends down to just the people i have talked to in the last year(or close family), I’m willing to go through the slow procedure of withdrawal, but I’m not quite willing to go cold turkey just yet.

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