A few weeks ago we had a member of the Victoria Police Department come to speak to our students about the inherent dangers of posting private information on their social media accounts. There were many collective gasps in the crowd as he explained that, posing as a 14-year-old girl, he had been ‘creeping’ on many of them and, in fact, some of them had accepted him as a friend.
The amount of time and energy young people put into social media sites like Facebook is hard to grasp for many of us. As an educator, I feel it important to not judge ‘kids these days’. I try to listen to their music, understand their slang and to learn as much as I can about social media. Indeed, I have jumped headlong onto the social media bandwagon (this blog is one example of this); in many ways it is part of my job as it helps me spread the word about our school. Twitter , Linkedin, Facebook and other similar sites are terrific ways to spread and access information quickly while both the recipient and author can continue being mobile.
Currently I am in North Vietnam sharing information about our school to prospective families. Facebook is not accessible here to the average citizen. Depending on who you talk to, it is either banned by the government or a firewall problem. Regardless, as impossible as it may seem to many young people in Canada, people here still have to visit one another if they want to share news– mobile communication at its finest.
And chat they do. On street corners, while walking or riding their scooters, in shops and in hallways. The din of humans interacting – face to face – is everywhere.
I have to be honest, there is something totally innocent and refreshing about it.