Sunday, August 30, 2009

Multiple Profiles on Facebook

An interesting post on the Teach Paperless blog made me think about the way that teens create and recreate their identities when they use social networking sites like facebook. On Teach Paperless, there's a discussion going about teens and college students who establish more than one account so that they can create a public persona while also keeping other aspects of their lives private.

I feel like this is a huge step forward for teens and college students. The notion that you can keep the antics and enjoyments of your private life mixed with information about your career or education is a short-sighted one. I know that I am super careful about what I say and write on my facebook because I have such a wide variety of contacts as "friends". If I write an inside joke or allude to something that seems unsavory, who knows how it could be construed?

This is something I am definitely going to keep in mind for this fall. Once my students get their laptops (yay for 1:1), I am going to ask them to create new student accounts on facebook. This way, we can use some of the amazing features of facebook without the hassle of trying to keep our personal and private lives separate. That said, I still want to have some discussions with students about keeping all of their online writing and photos appropriate for potential employers and colleagues. We still have a long, long way to go before teens, college students, and even some adults understand that pictures of serious partying are not okay, ever.

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