The Buddy System

Sweet mother of pearl! Its Wednesday August 3, 2011, I haven't won the lottery, so i guess I'm going to work today, and this is The Side. Time's working against me today, so this rambler needs to get ramblin'.


Here's a neat one for you: if you are a teacher in Missouri you are not allowed to send private messages to your students on Facebook. This one has gotten reported wrong by the media repeatedly, saying it was illegal for teachers to be Facebook "friends" with their students. There's a real level of silliness to this.

I understand why they wanted this in place. Law makers and concerned parents want any online interaction between students and teachers to be public so no wrong doings are afoot. Lawmakers have gone after the most visible target here, which I doubt will do much good. There's a ton of other social media sites as well as thousands of online forums all of which have private messaging options. That's not even factoring in e-mail.

I nearly typed "good old-fashioned e-mail". Yeesh.

So, if I'm a student looking to improve my grade by less than proper means, I've just got one more little hurdle to get around in doing so. There is something more interesting than the actual story to me and that's how it was misreported. It was reported that there was a ban on being Facebook "friends" with students. Notice how I keep putting quotes around the word "friends" when discussing Facebook. Words, as we hopefully know, have meaning, and those meanings can be subjective to people.

When I say the word friend, I am referring to someone I know and think well of. This is a person whom through interaction with me has gained a level of trust. The definition of "friend" on Facebook is different. It pretty much means someone you are linked to on the site. There are people with hundreds or even thousands of 'friends" and they don't have the slightest clue about anything about those people. Now, I do have people in my life that I've met online that I do consider to be real friends I'm referring mainly to "friending" people for the sake of numbers or just maybe liking a post they've made and adding them to a friend list. This isn't a Facebook rant, because there're tons of forums in which you can build a "friendlist".

Now consider someone whose idea of the word friend is strictly traditional. The concept of adding someone to a "friendlist" who isn't a real friend is weird. Moreover, when its their kid and they finds out their kid and the kid's teacher are "friends" it can be a bit creepy for them. Of course, the media is going to report things that way because weird, creepy stuff gives them ratings. Oh, and the that whole "we've gotta save the children" bit plays well too.

So if you are in Missouri, and you think your little cheerleader is now safe for being e-stalked by the Coach McFeelyhands, you'll likely sleep soundly tonight thankful that the courts and Government are doing your parenting for you. If your not stupid you'll be talking to your kid and checking up with what they're up to online. Don't squawk to me about giving your kid privacy either. If you think there's a chance that something might be up, get to snooping. They'll hate you now, but that's just how it goes.

You're their parent, not their "friend".


Personally, I think Jolene be trifflin'. How dare she try to take Dolly's man!

This loco-motive is a puffin' smoke, so your e-daddy has gone for broke. See y'all Friday.


Linda Butler said...

No commentary on the Marvel Kirby boycott? I am disappointed.

Marty Nozz said...

First I've heard of it. Did a quick read-up. It'll go nowhere. I did my last post about the court decision. The Kirby heirs shouldn't get squat.