Posted by: sherryvalenti | May 29, 2011

Facebook About Face

It seems that Facebook has been around forever.  Everyone seems to be on Facebook, including my mom!  I never put much personal information on the site and I keep my profile pretty generic.  I am not terribly concerned about my settings, but I do have everything set to “Only friends” because of the pictures I occasionally post of my children.   I find I post less of these pictures and interact less with Facebook as my friends list has expanded.  Many people on there are not my friends, so do I want them to know everything I am doing?

I recently saw The Social Network, and it really made me wonder if having a profile was the right thing to do.  After all, it seems that Zuckerberg didn’t give credit where it was due for this billion-dollar idea.  My brother-in-law deactivated his account after seeing hte movie, and I considered it as well.  I ended up keeping it because I’m “hooked”,  I guess.

I feel like they have us where they want us: we’ve been hooked in by finding long lost friends and the trade off is our personal information.  I found another post called “Farewell Facebook” that discusses this issue in more detail.

Do we take the good (collaboration, marketing) with the bad (privacy issues) with Facebook?



  1. I very much agree with you on this one. I have a Facebook account, actually two because of my “school only” account I created to communicate with students. I know I could have changed privacy settings, but honestly, I was skeptical that high school students wouldn’t hack into it. Not that I have bad kids— they just always find a way to do that type of thing if they have the interest. Anyway, I am uncomfortable seeing many details and photos on profiles that tell the public way too much, especially when those privacy settings aren’t in place. I haven’t seen The Social Network, but would like to and my view may even change further when I do. Here are some things that I think are helpful for every Facebook user to know:

  2. I have mixed feelings about Facebook as well. I don’t think people understand how much they give away to others unknowingly. And I don’t think young people should be on it at all and that really bugs me. Facebook could make it more difficult for those under 13 to create pages, but they don’t. I have some second graders who have pages and I find that to be a terrible situation. Parents think it’s cute and harmless and it isn’t. Even my 13 year old is wary of it and I am okay that she is one of a few in her peer group without a profile. All her friends are local and I don’t see a reason for it.

    That being said. I have one and I use it more than occasionally. So I really don’t know where I stand!

  3. The website you shared has some great advice, Becca. Valerie, I have thought about this with kids: do they create a profile that their parents can see, but they have another for just a group of friends? Most of the high school students I talk to are aware of the dangers and say they are pretty smart about what they post. Seems like we need some of our adults/politicians to be smart about what they do on Facebook, too!

  4. I believe the explosion of Facebook took off without the education of its possible drawbacks being able to keep up. After all, it was primarily populated with teenagers and college kids as of only 3 or 4 years ago. When you have children developing the standards and rules, there are bound to be some problems. As more adults become familiar with Facebook, I would hope they would educate their children on its proper use.

    Of course, based on the few examples from previous comments, we can see that not all parents are teaching this responsibility. Let’s allow our children to be children for as long as possible without adding the pressure of having to deal with social issues in school and online. My oldest daughter is 9 and is already inquiring about getting a page. I told her the rules state she needs to be 13, but of course other students in class already have pages. This digital world has not only made being a child more difficult, but it has made parenting more difficult as well. As teachers, if we can model responsible online social behavior for both our students and their parents, then we are doing a great service to our community.

  5. I do not have a facebook account. For one thing, I do not have time to update it all the time and I also worry about getting a teaching job. I have heard some employers look for applicants on-line and won’t hire them if they see anything they don’t like.

  6. Tim, I agree that technology has really made childhood more difficult. I can only imagine how many more issues Facebook would have brought to my teen years. I wonder what will be years from now. Can we hope that through education, things will improve? Megan, yes, I believe many employers do check Facebook pages. You can set your privacy so that anyone that searches for you cannot see your page. That’s how mine is set up. Just people that are “friends” can see my information. I don’t post often, either, and I just use it as a communication tool. I certainly can understand and respect your decision, though. If you do decide to get one, there are ways to avoid the issues you mentioned.

  7. Like Megan I refuse to get a Facebook account. I am technically very proficient and know I can restrict the privacy settings (if you really want to navigate through many different screens to do so); however, I really don’t have the time to connect to another online social network. Between texting, skyping, emailing, blogging etc. I have enough of an online footprint to keep me busy.

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