One way to help communicate the importance of being smart and safe online to teens is to show real life examples of people not doing so, and the resulting consequences of their actions. Parents might be interested in knowing of a few examples of oversharing on Facebook that have happened recently that everyone can learn from. What is quite unexpected by most is that the examples are of two teachers.
If you were a teacher, would you tell your students they were future criminals or that they look funny? If you wouldn’t, you probably shouldn’t post it on Facebook either. Seems like common sense, but recently there were a few teachers acting as a prime example of what not to do when it comes to posting on Facebook.
One posting comes from a first grade teacher in Patterson, New Jersey that posted “I feel like a warden overseeing future criminals”. This lead to a significant number of parents who had read the post arriving at the school to pull their children from her class. The teacher was then suspended not for the Facebook post itself, but because it caused so much trouble for the school.
Another teacher took pictures of a 7-year-old girl and posted them to Facebook, making fun of the girl’s hairstyle. The girl was wearing a hairstyle she had seen in a magazine, which was braids with Jolly Ranchers tied to the ends. The caption posted by the teacher with the photo was “And y’all thought I was joking!” As you can expect, the mother of the girl did not find the situation as amusing as the teacher’s Facebook friends did.
There has of course been some debate as to whether or not people should face consequences for what they post on their personal Facebook page. Something that people can agree on though is that there is a large amount of potential anger and sadness that can be spared by just keeping some things to yourself or sharing them in a more private setting. I doubt the people mentioned feel that their controversial Facebook postings were well worth all the trouble they are dealing with now.
Facebook is a great way to stay connected with friends and give people some insight into your life. But when it comes to things such as predicting the future criminal records and mocking the not-so-mainstream fashion choices of others, it is best to keep it to yourself or stick to the old but good face-to-face conversation.