I have been using Facebook for the past 3 years. Mostly, because it was there and partly to understand my learners and how to interact in this digital world. Since I am a technology teacher I wanted to be involved with all modes of online experience.
Here is what Pew Internet and American Life Project has to say about social online networks.
Most adults, like teens, are using online social networks to connect with people they already know.
A large share of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years -- from 8% in 2005 to 35% now, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project's December 2008 tracking survey.
Recently, my Facebook account was hacked, and resolved thanks to the good folks at Facebook. When I wrote about that a few weeks ago here at TechLearning , Donnel Richardson asked if after the hack I thought Facebook was worth it, he stated;
“It sounds like you have spent quite a bit of time on this problem. Do you still think having a Facebook account is worth the trouble?He goes on to say, I just read an article from a local newspaper journalist about Facebook. He mentioned that although he has written thousands of blog posts, he has kept the whole phenomenon of social networking - My Space, Facebook, Twitter - considerably farther than arm's length away.
I am right there, he says, with the journalist. I have intentionally stayed away from My Space because of how it might influence my young daughters. I feel it isn't safe for them.”
I responded in the comments with an enthusiastic , “Yes, yes, yes, Facebook is worth it, here is an example, my son left me a message that he was OK after the earthquake in Costa Rica. I had not even heard there was an earthquake, he didn't have international phone service, but thought quickly and stopped by an internet cafe and left me a quick message.”
I would encourage parents and teachers to get an online account and begin networking with your family and siblings and create your online profile. WE need to understand this world if we are to understand our learners. I use my Facebook professionally and personally with my friends and family. You may wonder why I am on top, well this was a message I received in my email from my other son, “Daniel added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Daniel in order for you to be friends on Facebook.
Daniel says, "No sending me stupid things online.
Welcome to our friendship."
Why am I on top? I have a good relationship with my son and frequently talk to him,up to this point he had not wanted to friend me, he thought it too weird. But when he decided that he would friend me on Facebook, I was very excited. Since I am online frequently, it is easy for me to get updates online and to give updates to my friends and family. I probably wouldn't call or text and tell him that I just shoveled another 12 inches of snow off the deck, but it is something I would take a photo of and put on my Facebook page and if he was around he would know how my day was going. It is just another way to stay connected. Hm, I am wondering if this blog post will be considered a stupid online thing. Hope not, I'd rather focus on Welcome to our friendship! Thanks Dan.