"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." -Maya Angelou
Although I would not consider myself an "old" person, I did not officially have an "online presence" until about 2008 on Facebook. There are now individuals who will be able to document their entire lives online in the cloud. These individuals will be learning from adults who have not had this technology around them their entire lives. With everything now being shared, there will need to be a considerable amount of teaching for all ages on how to maneuver the online community.
One of the largest lessons in social media is to understand that everything you post has a potential reaction or consequence. There is not an "undo" button for the internet. Once you hit "post", there is no way to get something back. It is like squeezing toothpaste out of the tube and trying to put it back in, it just doesn't work.
The first year I was at Piedmont, I sent out RA placement emails and watched social media for their reactions. Although the majority of the staff were very pleased with their building, two of my staff members had "choice words" about living in a freshmen building. I met with both of them and we discussed their concerns, but also discussed the potential consequences of their posts.
Although they were just reacting to the email, they didn't take the time to think how their post would effect themselves or others. We discussed how posted not only represents yourself, but represents where you have come from, who you work for and what groups you are a part of. We discussed how a supervisor could fire them to make room for other candidates who actually would be excited for the opportunity. We also discussed how a coworker or future student in their building may feel if they knew their RA/coworker did not want to work with them. After these meetings, the two statuses were removed and the school year went very smoothly for these two individuals. Things could have gone very differently.
There is a lot of catching up to do for my generation to properly teach our students how to appropriately handle social media, but if there is an app for a one year old, I'm sure there is an app for me. Have a good night, world!
Question time: What social media lesson would you want to teach an individual?