Does Crackbook (oops!) Facebook make you unhappy? :-(

 Sweden’s Largest Facebook Study is a very interesting read.  A lot of what this recent report states are things we may have guessed or assumed about Facebook (FB) and its over 845 million users.

Facebook is used for connecting with friends & family and “as a personal showcase”.  It’s the “showcase” part that is interesting because we arguably can not help comparing our lives to others.  So do you compare yourself to others on Facebook?  What are your status updates about?  Do you ever feel depressed about what you see or what others write about or post on your wall?  Are you addicted to Facebook?

I like Facebook!  It allows me to connect with close friends and family all over the world.  It’s easy to upload photos which the grandparents of my children seem to really appreciate.  I like to take my turn at a Scrabble game via FB every couple of days too.

There are some things on FB which I dislike.  I don’t like all the apps and I don’t subscribe to most of them.

Some unfortunate pitfalls I have witnessed personally about Facebook:

  1. Last year I remember hearing my neighbour on her phone in the backyard crying and yelling about something someone (I’m guessing the person on the other end of the phone conversation) had written on her Facebook page.  I was outside hanging out my washing and my neighbour was angry and she sounded very upset.  I couldn’t help but wonder how all this trauma could occur from a Facebook post!  Obviously some people like to provoke others on Facebook.  I believe I have avoided this type of Facebook abuse by keeping my Facebook “friends” to a minimum (mainly very close friends & family); I am not trying to collect Friends on Facebook.
  2. I know of many people who are offended when another FB user “deletes” them from their friends list.  Does deleting a FB “friend” automatically mean that you are NOT friends in real life?  I would disagree.
  3. I have also personally had a friend tell me that my life on FB looked “perfect” and so it made her jealous and therefore she had stopped contacting me for a while.  The lack of contact had hurt me and had been a bit confusing to deal with at the time.  Don’t we all know that people will usually only post and “showcase” the good stuff in their lives?  Maybe not.  Why would you want to post about the boring, mundane, trivial or depressing moments in your life?

Cyberbullying on Facebook, especially for school-aged FB users

What about the teenagers or young adults in our schools that are using Facebook?  Does the “showcase” of their lives on FB give a distorted view to others and does that impact them negatively?

I have personally seen and also read of instances where teenagers post unflattering photos of FB friends and then the rest of their friends have “fun” posting “funny”, arguably hurtful, comments about the photo…..this is a form of cyberbullying!  The person who is in this photo could ask to delete the photo but (as in many bullying & cyberbullying issues) this could lead to more ridicule so they just hope it passes soon instead.  Cyberbullying and bullying can negatively impact teaching and learning and so it is important that teachers are aware of these issues, EVEN if the cyberbullying is occurring outside of school hours.

As a pre-service teacher and parent there are some things that concern me about FB use.   As with most ICT, I believe that understanding the impact of your web presence and also having knowledge of netiquette and your own digital footprint is an important part of your digital citizenship.  Teaching in schools today should include discussion and activities about digital citizenship.

9 comments on “Does Crackbook (oops!) Facebook make you unhappy? :-(

  1. Renee says:

    That was a great blog about Facebook Elke. I feel as though I may be the only few people left on the planet that has not joined the facebook revolution. Part of me believes that I’m doing it for privacy reasons and part for the simple fact that I want to be one of the minority. I want to talk to family and friends face to face. I want to get my photos ‘developed’ at the camera shop and show people over coffee. I want to live my life and not have to show people I’m living my life. I fully agree that Facebook is great for people to keep in touch when distance is between them. But for my friends and family who live all in the same surrounding suburb, please don’t expect me anytime soon to join Facebook just so I can “keep in touch”.

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    • elketeaches says:

      Hi Renee. You are so lucky to have friends and family all in the same area, I wish! 🙂

      Interestingly, along with all the good stuff that globalisation and the accessibility available due to the Internet has given us, one of the negative effects is the physical separation of the extended family (due to the accessibility & flexibility of travel, work etc.) So families are spread over distances and countries which causes other issues, like requiring daycare and finding homes/help for the elderly. Some of this results in a fractured community and so people start creating online communities or connect online with family etc. In some respects it’s kind of sad, but you can also look at it positively; for example, we figure out ways to remain in contact with family online, we try to make more friends and contribute to the community in the hopes that we can help others who are feeling the negative effects of not having family close by.

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  2. Another great issue Elke. The debate around facebook definitely polarises people and over the last two days there has been some interesting debate around the issue of facebook on Radio National, they are available as podcasts. Personally I love facebook, I have 35 friends, mostly family & people who live a considerable distance away. It allows me to keep abreast of significant happenings in their lives, children’s marriages, grandchildren, travels. When my children travel I am able to follow,not in a sinister way, their journey & have a link to contact them of any major happenings at home.
    I agree issues around digital citizenship, netiquette & digital footprints are now part of our environment & important issues to know about & introduce into our learning environments. We can’t dismiss this significant communication link with 845 million users many of whom will be in our classrooms it is important to understand this form of social communication & networking.

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    • elketeaches says:

      Good point about not dismissing a tool that has that many users Victoria. Most likely our students will have an account at some point in their school years……at what age this is appropriate is another blog post in the future! 🙂 But whatever the age I think the worst parents & teachers can do is to ignore it and not teach the pros & cons and ethics of using FB or any other social networking tool.

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  3. Elke on a completely different topic, how do I link my blog page to EDC 3100 study desk. Your’s comes up in a rolling progression under EDC 3100 blogs as I’m sure you are aware, like mine to as well. Am slowly finding my way around this area but hampered by time constraints. Thanks again for your support in my journey.

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    • elketeaches says:

      Hi Victoria. In our online forum look for the post called “BLOG” (it’s the 12th post down the list at this moment). In there you want to comment that you have started a blog and paste the URL of your blog here, DJ will see it and add it to the feed roll.

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  4. […] the end of my recent post, “Does Crackbook (oops!) Facebook make you unhappy?”, I touched on the idea that it is important that learners understand and have […]

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  5. Margaret says:

    Well I could not imagine my family life now without Facebook! Having said that I do not think it overwhelms my lifestyle; thanks to my family inputs.

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