It reminds us all about the added weight of responsibility we all carry as role models.
I agree that we as people should be able to have whatever the heck we want on our Facebook page, we aren’t merely people.
Is that being overly dramatic? Of course it is, and I 100% mean it to be. Pure and simple, we’re more of a role model than Barry Bonds, Britney Spears or Jay Z will ever be. Quite simply, we represent the good guys, the ones who have the best interests of the students in mind, the ones who care enough to stick with them and help them learn whether they like it or not. And that, if for no other reason, means that we need to be careful how we represent ourselves in public. And yes, online is public ;)
If you don't think people are really looking at your Facebook pages or Googling you, think again. Here is a blog post from talk show radio host Kim Komando instructing parents how to find all kinds of information about YOU!
A tv station in Arizona ran a November sweeps piece on what they found on Arizona teachers' social network pages. "Teachers Expose Private Lives" dug up all kinds on new hires across the state, told where and what they teach, and tried to confront many on air.
Unfortunately for some teachers, the damage was done a long time ago. People post stuff or make crazy decisions and end up paying for them every time a perspective employer runs their name through a search engine. That stuff just doesn't go away.
Not only is it important that we protect our own images online, it is crucial we teach our students about the digital tracks they are leaving behind them. Let's try to prevent some of the regret before it happens.