To Facebook or not to Facebook….

Went to a workshop recently where the presenter was saying she was terrified of Facebook and that 80% of year 4s were using it and that her daughter’s account was hacked and some pretty horrible things were posted.  So I get that, but isn’t cyberspace like any other space?  It’s populated with some nasty specimens as well as some amazing people.  When we see attacks why do we blame the space in which it happens and not the actual people.  Schoolgirls fighting and it’s all caught on mobile phones…so ban phones? Huh?  Shouldn’t we be teaching how to exist safely in these new spaces?  I don’t think they can be completely sanitised, any more than we can reduce crime to zero in our “real” communities.  But we can keep ourselves safe from persecution.  We all have our strategies. We make our houses secure, we teach our kids safe, self-protection behaviours, shouldn’t we be doing the same on the NET? Why blame the space or the tool?  Facebook isn’t innocent, but the irony is a group was set up on facebook, threatening to leave facebook if privacy issues were not addressed and then the media caught hold of it and suddenly there was action.  So facebook was used by it’s users in it’s own regulation.  How cool is that!  I embrace the way the Internet is democratising knowledge, giving a voice to the previously silenced, but I am not stupid enough to see it as the TRUTH, THE WAY and THE LIGHT – it’s another space in which to play, to be, to protest….but it’s never going to be a completely safe place.  If it was, no-one would use it??  And I don’t believe the year 4 statistic, but if it was factual then parents are allowing their children on the Internet, providing personal information and lying about their age…would they allow this behaviour in any other context?  I have a friend who won’t let her son on facebook, but lets him walk to the shops by himself, there are no roads to cross, but I would be more afraid of this than letting him be on facebook under passive supervision.  Why is that?  Hmmmmm, something to ponder…..!

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About talkychalky

Teacher, ICT user, Thinker!
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