Think before you post

One of the many wonderful things about the internet is that you can be as anonymous as you want to be. I chose to attach my real name and my real picture to this blog, but I didn’t have to. I could just as easily have used a pseudonym and a fake picture.

While I share a lot of very personal things here, I also have lines I won’t cross – things I won’t discuss. I am very much aware of the fact that everything I write on this blog is completely public. My family can see it. My co-workers can see it. My daughter’s teachers can see it. One day, my daughter will be able to see it. And well, some things are just not appropriate for public sharing.

If I really wanted to share those things publicly, I would do so anonymously. It’s just common sense.

I am becoming increasingly disturbed by those who don’t seem to give a second thought to anything they post on the web – particularly those who are teachers.

The other day, I read about a middle school teacher who was Tweeting about her drunken escapades. What’s worse is that she had students who followed her, so it wasn’t just a possibility that her students would see her Tweets, but almost guaranteed. If you really must share such things, how difficult is it to create a private account that your students (and their parents . . . and your boss) can’t see?

When I taught 3rd grade, I lived in the same neighborhood as my students. I wouldn’t even walk down the street smoking a cigarette because I didn’t want one of my kids to see me!

This article was even worse. A teacher posted a Facebook status about his views against marriage equality. That, in and of itself, doesn’t bother me. He’s entitled to his views, as bigoted as they are. What I object to is that fact the he is Facebook friends with some of his students and thought nothing of posting something that could be hurtful to them.

Once again, he could have easily posted the update privately and shared it with select individuals. He chose to share it publicly and with his students and I just can’t understand that.

I don’t think any teacher should friend his students on Facebook to begin with, but if you’re going to do it, be mindful of your posts. I am adamantly against censorship, but this is just common decency.

Before you post something online, ask yourself if you would say the same things out loud to the same audience.


14 responses to this post.

  1. Stupid is as stupid does…


  2. The lack of common sense astounds me too. I see people posting a lot of TMI updates on FB and I wonder why. Some are teachers, talking about how they advocate physical punishment of children which really could look badly when their boss and co-workers see it.


    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Suzanne!

      I never understood the people who post on FB or Twitter complaining about their jobs or their bosses or their friends and family members (or in the case of teachers, their students) and then they’re shocked when there are consequences.


  3. Agreed! It boggles my mind that people don’t think about the consequences. What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet.


    • Exactly!! So many people don’t seem to realize that once something is posted online, it’s there for the entire world to see and there’s no taking it back. I’ve seen efforts to get that through the heads of teens, but I think a lot of adults need to learn that lesson as well!


  4. Couldn’t agree more!


  5. Posted by Karen on May 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

    geez, most middle school students should not be on facebook, the age limit begins at 13…where are the parents? but agreed with your post


    • I was 13 before the start of 7th grade, so it’s definitely possible that the kids are old enough for Facebook. But if it were my kid, I definitely wouldn’t allow her to be FB friends with her teacher. And if I saw updates like that that the teacher was sharing with students, I’d definitely go straight to the school!


  6. Posted by Anne Katherine on May 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I, too agree with everything you’ve said. It astounded me when my older 2 went through middle school. Actually, if I think back it was when my son was in 5th grade when he came home telling me that the music teacher was expressing her protest to the fact that we were sending troops to Iran. Now, whether I agreed with her or not did not matter. The first thing I thought was– “what if one of the kids in the class has a mom or dad in the military?” I mean, really.
    And I have no problem with teachers expressing different views in the classroom and encouraging true debate. But honestly, if they are doing things right neither I nor my child should know what their political inclinations really are. But the reality is I knew who most of my kids’ teachers voted for.
    I loved your comment about the cigarette – and am so glad you said that! Because the fact is if you are a teacher you are an automatic role model. If you don’t like it there are a ton of jobs you can get where you are not expected to be so. But that’s just the reality– and when you are in any public forum you have to behave appropriately. Not that you can’t have a private life, but as you said, there are ways to do things discretely. Ugh.
    Thanks, Dayle, for another dose of common sense 🙂


    • “And I have no problem with teachers expressing different views in the classroom and encouraging true debate. But honestly, if they are doing things right neither I nor my child should know what their political inclinations really are.”

      That is definitely an important distinction, Anne and I agree with you completely! Encourage friendly debate among your students, but don’t influence them.

      I believe teachers are just as entitled to their freedom of speech as anyone else, but like I said, if you wouldn’t say something out loud to the same audience, don’t post it online. Would this teacher have stood in front of his students and said what he posted on FB? I highly doubt it. But there’s that sense of privacy that just isn’t always (usually) there.


  7. True Dat Dayle! Great post!


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