What a name, look at that… Facebook, some might think it is a book…
Over the last weekend in Herald Sun was an article about students having teachers as friends on hub websites such as facebook.com or myspace.com. There are mixed reviews and Victorian Institute of Teaching feels that it is not appropriate. Now the school’s stance: “please keep that in mind” we were told. “Students are not your friends”, the principal told us.
But what kind of friendship is on such websites? I see people there like: I have 1037 friends. What means to be friend with somebody? What kind of friendship is on myspace.com? These websites exploited human nature’s main fair: loneliness. You are not lonely anymore if you exist online. You got mail therefore you exist. It’s easy.
The VIT is perhaps trying to take some preventive measures as for cyber bullying etc. Fair enough. But those websites already have such phishing and abuse report buttons, that anybody could press if they feel like not safe in the internet, and VIT position is futile. They can not control somebody’s private life, the internet, or the food that is being served in the staffroom. And lets face (book) it: teachers have a provate life and they should be free to do whatever they want to do in their private life, that’s why it is called private.Let the police deal with the offenders and the educational bodies deal with educational issues.