Privacy in social media is not something that I’m overly concerned with personally. I am very careful about what I post online and like to think that I have a common sense approach. I personally do not spend much time worrying about what I post on my base camp site or NLS because everything I post there is meant in a professional context and I conduct myself as such.
I like to keep a clear line between my personal and professional life. I have two Twitter accounts for instance, so that it’s easy to keep them separate. I feel like the people in my networks appreciate that as well. My personal Twitter friends don’t want to see all my likes and retweets about educational topics and people seeking me out professionally may not want the latest information on the tour Prince is now planning in Europe.
All of my personal accounts are set with privacy settings, not because I ever post anything inappropriate like Carly McKinney, but because not all the world needs to know where I am and who I am with at all times. I do feel that as teachers we are allowed to have a life outside of school, however, if you choose to advertise it on social media, you lose the right to your privacy over it. You open that door.
I don’t connect with my students or anyone under the age of 18 on social media other than family members. First of all, my students are way too young in my opinion to be engaging in social media. Second, I think it helps to keep a healthy respect and distance.
People have mentioned someone taking an unflattering moment and posting it online. Unfortunately, that is the world we live in at this point and it’s a valid concern. However, worrying about something you can’t control is not healthy. I choose not to feed into that fear.
As parents and educators, it is our job to teach the children in our care how to navigate all of this because they don’t remember a time without it. My advice to my own kids has always been that if you wouldn’t stand on a street corner and yell it, or tell it to your grandma then the internet is not the platform for it. I’m proud to say that they seem to understand that.