Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's Your Facebook "Code?"

One of the things I find myself working to improve is my ability to "filter"....to not verbalize a thought simply because it crosses my mind. For two reasons, first, as a student, my grade card often included the comment "Talks Too Much," and second, what is humorous to me isn't always humorous to others.... For the most part though, I think I am less likely to "filter" when using FB. Is that dangerous? Is that more dangerous because I am in education?

I have a number of Facebook friends that are involved in education, teaching or otherwise. I want to ask those folks to offer their advice. What's your "code" when participating in FB.... Please answer the questions and/or offer ANY additional thoughts.

1. What line of judgement do you use when accepting or declining friends?

2. How do you decide what is or is not okay to list as your status?

3. What guide do you go by in posting pictures?

4. Do you believe educators are/should be held to a higher standard on FB? Why/Why not?

I hope to get responses from colleagues as well as educators from other schools. Join me in the conversation....What's your FB Code?


  1. My line of judgement is "Would I be okay if _____ (my boss) saw/read this?" This goes for questions 1,2,and 3. #4.Yes I am and should be held to a higher standard because...when I decided to become a teacher, I decided to commit to be a role model. I see it as part of my job to teach young people to be professional, or well-mannered. While I don't friend students, I also don't feel I lead a double life, that is one image in the classroom and then another image outside of my chosen career. My facebook code is to be real, but as a professional educator, my choice is to be a role model.

  2. I just read this article in Wired that covers a lot of what you say, although it does have a few ridiculous things in it.

    1.) I don't use facebook(yet) because I'm still trying to figure this out. I feel that Facebook is more personal than I am willing to be with students. I will use Twitter though, and my rule of thumb is kids can follow me, but I won't follow them. I block all followers who have questionable content so that parents won't see adult film stars on my profile page. I think that unless you have a facebook account completely devoted to your teaching persona, you should never let a student see it (past or present).

    2.) For status, I strive for substantive updates with info, links, or news. I will send a song or video (checked for content ALWAYS) to make me seem more human. Too much impersonal stuff makes me look like I'm being insincere.
    3.) I once posted a picture of me holding my new baby, and a kid photoshopped his head onto the baby's. That wasn't so bad, but I realized he could have done a lot worse. I try to use photos of myself only occasionally, and ones that don't show me in a negative light.

    4.) I do believe they should-- we do at all times anyway. We can't show up in the grocery store or at a parade looking like we just woke up because we'd never hear the end of it. I think that we need to be a part of these online tools, but we need to practice good modeling, just like we do anyway in real life.