Who's Reading Your Facebook Account?
Recently my daughter had an incident at school with a teacher that was both shocking and upsetting to me as a parent and as a community member. As I struggled to resolve what it all meant, how to cope with it, and how to keep my cool, I turned to a carefully chosen group of people that I often turn to for advice and support.
My Facebook friends.
It was a decision that would come back to bite me.
Many of my Facebook friends are my real life friends. A few of them are virtual friends, people who I have known online for a long time. We have common interests or kids the same age. I trust their opinions, and value their sage advice. From time to time, when they have a dilemma, I try to return the favor. But my Facebook account is not an open book. Within my large group of friends I have carefully considered lists. Not everyone gets to see all my updates. Even with this distinction, I'm somewhat careful about what I share. I don't use the names of my kids friends, their school, their teachers. I don't discuss their whereabouts in real time. I don't list all the details, when the details are too sensitive or embarrassing. I'm careful to say when I don't have all the details as well.
But none of that mattered when someone, from amongst my friends, reported me and my Facebook stream to my children's principal. What followed was a discussion that truly rattled me. Not because of the "snitch" but because of the severe response my rather innocuous posts had drawn. Without even seeing what specifically I had posted, school officials demanded to meet with me and rapidly condemned me for discussing "private community affairs" in a "public forum". Without specific threats, they essentially forbade me from posting about school matters ever again. The language used was "We don't do xyz, here at abc. That's not what GOOD community members do." I felt threatened and bullied. Doubly so, because it was extremely evident that I was being tried on hearsay. It seemed rather obvious, and not just because they are not my Facebook friends, that they had not read my posts.Continued on the next page