I recently came across this video that was created by Steve Johnson which serves as a good reminder that all of us have a digital footprint and we are in control of the content that we generate that follows us around in cyberspace.
The image above is from my office and there is a story behind it. My husband, who really wants to make sure I stay gainfully employed, gave me this sign as a reminder that everything I say online can be seen by anyone at anytime. About two years ago I blasted my tech department on Twitter and the comments came back to haunt me. I learned my lesson about what I can and cannot say in such a public venue and I have been extraordinarily careful with what I post online. I do not completely censor myself, but I am very aware of what I am saying and how my words might be perceived by my colleagues, supervisors, students, and others who might be watching what I say online.
Steven Anderson wrote a post on the impact social media has had on relationships. This is just one of the many conversations that has been happening lately regarding the types of friendships we form with the people we spend time with online. As we spend time engaging in conversations with the same people again and again, we start to feel very comfortable and it becomes evident that there is a level of trust just as there is in face-to-face relationships. In fact, I am not even sure anymore if there is a need to make a distinction between “online” and “f2f” friends. The biggest difference, which is the entire point of this post, is the way in which we communicate with the two groups. With the friends we see everyday we have conversations that do not take place for the world to see. We talk at the mall or over lunch, but for the most part the conversations are private.
This is not necessarily the case with our online friends. Many of us have had private one-on-one conversations with various people in our PLN using Skype, Google Chat or some other service, but many of these conversations take place on Twitter out in the open for the world to see. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment when we are bantering back and forth and say something that you will regret. I am not saying that it is wrong to engage in personal conversations that are not related to education. I strongly believe the most engaging people on Twitter are the ones who strike a healthy balance between education related and personal tweets. Over the last couple of months I have noticed that people are getting way too comfortable with what they broadcast on Twitter. Why do I care? I could quietly unfollow these people, but that would not bring any attention to this issue. I also enjoy these people and I don’t want to unfollow them. I am just concerned that I might be demonstrating Twitter to someone and some inappropriate Tweets will show up.
Maybe this isn’t an issue. Maybe I am being overly sensitive. I am not trying to play the role of Twitter Police, but we are colleagues and friends and we owe it to each other to point out when we think something has been said that is inappropriate. All of us need to remember to think before we tweet.
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On this day..
- Getting it WRONG: The Economist on Educational Technology, Testing and School Reform - 2013
- Leveraging YouTube to Tell The Story of Your Non-Profit - 2012
- Add Video Annotations to a YouTube Video - 2012
- FAQs About iPads and Media in the Classroom - 2012
- How to Talk to Your Students About Copyright - 2011
- Avoid Double Cross-Posts from Twitter to Facebook using Visibli and Selective Tweets - 2011
- Finding Balance - 2009
- Podcast265: Digital Learning Objects on the Open Web - 2008
- Empowering student picture book publishing with BigUniverse - 2008
- OHA Day 1 - No Ghost Sightings so far! - 2008