Showing posts with label Buddies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buddies. Show all posts

Friday, July 30, 2010

Facebook lost my data - so what?

This is creepy.
I've been reading the "Facebook data got stolen" story and I thought back to discussions with students over Facebook privacy settings. Chime in with any you've told students along the way.
  1. Change your name and information. Your friends know you are "Vlad the Imposter", living in Pennsylvania and no one else needs to know. If they know you, then you can be found. Otherwise, who the hell cares? Make up stuff for the fields. My personal religion, apparently, is Viking and I am a Scot. If all your information is an inside joke, then your future is a little more secure. None of the "About Me" fields needs to be filled out. Anyone who knows you already knows it. Anyone who doesn't doesn't need to.
  2. Set every privacy rating to "friends only" ... not "friends of friends." That way, you control who sees it by controlling who your friends are, instead of handing that power to friends who "friend" everyone in sight.
  3. Starting "un-friending" people, beginning with any teachers in this building. Teachers can have a class page or something but there is no valid reason for teachers and students to be "friends." A whole bunch of kids at my school were "friends" with the assistant principal -- WTF? That ended quickly when that same AP busted some "friends" for photos which the kids say weren't what she thought they were. Week-long suspensions, lost trust, bad feelings, anger at the school were the start.
  4. I am a mandatory reporter. I explain that at the beginning of school. Information seen on Facebook is included.
  5. Facebook is a data business, fueled by your data. Why are you giving away everything for no return? Do you realize how easy it is for stupid people in power to ruin your life, or at the least make it miserable for a while?
  6. Make a second account for the public and keep it clean, professional and basically friendless. That's the one that people at work can see. The other one? No comment.
  7. Make a third account, just for the hell of it. Invent a person and give him one, too. Don't attack or slander anyone with it, though.
Some folks might ask why Facebook is set up to be so open about everyone's information and I think it's a generational thing. Mark Zuckerberg is a college kid still. He thinks that everyone should be able to see everything about everyone -- it's the norm for college and no one ever gets hurt. If I were still in college, I'd probably agree.

But I'm not in college and I have to play by different rules. Grownup rules. I live in a world where everything you say and post "can and will be held against you" and will probably be misinterpreted to my detriment.

Everything my friends say (even if it nothing to do with me) will be used against me as well. I don't want my friends (outside of school) to be writing things on my wall that my students can read. My friends don't have the same understanding of 'Things That Will Get You Fired' (h/t Richie!) and I don't expect them to vet their posts accordingly. Why should students be able to read that my friends are planning a whiskey-soaked bash prior to going off to war?

Remember the teacher who got fired for attending a bachlorette party at which someone she had no control over did something stupid? Remember the college professor who was reprimanded for appearing in a post-championship celebratory photo - holding a beer? Everyone was. It was a celebration. Only the female professor got the reprimand. She's fighting, of course, but who wants that hassle?

In the other direction, I don't want my students (or their parents) to know things about some of my friends either -- too many "guilt by association" things happen when parents get information.

"None of your business" should be the Facebook motto but it isn't.

Kids deserve the same privacy because they are still feeling out their world. Kids brag and bullshit and should be able to continue to do so online without repercussion.

Educcrats tend to forget the grain of salt.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cellphones and Teenagers.

Over at Joanne Jacobs, Sexting is Popular among teenagers:
More than a quarter: involved in sexting
One third sent or received explicit photos.
14 percent said they suspect the pictures were shared without permission
Seventeen percent of those who received naked pictures said they passed them along to someone else, often to more than just one person.
I'm not surprised. Cellphones (with their current abilities and prices) are so new that everyone has difficulty. Society hasn't set the rules yet. We're close, but it's gonna take time. It always takes time for society to figure itself out.

I recall going to an Everclear concert at a local club. They were playing loud and furious and an audience member held a camera high above his head to record the whole song. Everyone else was doing the same thing but this guy was close to the stage and the camera was right in front of Alex's face and the guy kept it aimed right at him. He stopped the song in the middle. "Dude, you're weirding me out."

We have the same situation in schools with texting during class and the constant NEED to have the phone on vibrate or "too high for teachers", the same situation with over-controlling boyfriends and their new way of keeping track, the same situation with impulsiveness and what the older group deems irresponsibility.

Give a kid unlimited candy and he will eat too much of it.
Give a kid unlimited hours in front of a tv, he will sit there and veg.
Give a kid a computer in his room and he'll spend all his time on it.
Give a kid unlimited use of a cellphone, he will misuse it.
The same with videogames.
The same with sports.
The same with books.
The same with sex.

The parents who give their kids unlimited and uncontrolled use of a toy unleash the limitless ability of the teenager to waste all his time with it and do something stupid or intelligent, wasteful or pretty cool, annoying, funny or thoughtless.

Adolescence is the time when controls are needed to establish boundaries and learn the appropriate use of everything. Limit choices.

Finally, a note to the parents of high-school students:
Please don't try to claim that the current cellphone with all of its bells and whistles is necessary - only the "call parents" option is necessary. Everything else on that phone will be misused.