Facebook Resolution

Facebook really isn’t that evil.

As mentioned before, I am presenting to students at my school in the new year about Facebook.  I’m taking a different approach then most Facebook assemblies that focus on safety and privacy.  As a Facebook user, I’m tired of this assembly and lecture:

  • “Facebook is selling your info!”,
  • “Facebook is not secure”,
  • “Creepy people are looking at your info”, “
  • Step One: Go into Privacy Settings, Step Two: blah, blah,blah”.

Why is it that many adults focus on this part of social media instead of appreciating a teen’s desire to be social while teaching them the skills needed to empathetic and positive leaders online.

We aren’t teaching the social skills required to use the tool effectively and when kids get in trouble (bullying, sexting, etc) we are punishing them and blaming the tool.  It’s time to be more proactive.

So far, I have come up with a short list of strategies to actually help students be better “Facebook Citizens.” One skill that I’m focussing on, conflict resolution,  is totally different online than in person and a different five step method is needed to assist students:


  • Step 1: Re-read the direct message or wall post – did it really say what you thought?; could it be a typo or texting error?
  • Step 2: Ask for clarification ask the person to explain their intent with the message; is the intent the same as your perception?
  • Step 3: Be clear and concise with your response think about what you are writing; make sure that your message can’t be taken the wrong way and that your tone is clear (no digital yelling, sarcasm, etc.)
  • Step 4: Log off Step away from the computer for a couple of hours and calm down; come up with a plan for next steps; talk with a friend in person
  • Step 5: Print and Redirectprint/forward the conversation and give to an adult; report the problem to the police/school

What are some of the other skills needed?  In a online survey, one person added that students needed “maturity beyond that of most grade 7 or 8 students”.  Can we teach maturity or is teaching the skills required enough?



One thought on “Facebook Resolution

  1. Digital Citizenship first. Facebook second. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen in that order, so we’re back-pedalling to some degree. However, the necessity for good conversation with students about ethical choices and socially responsible decision making when it comes to Facebook (and other social media tools) is critical.
    I like the 5 steps – go Jeff!

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