Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Facebook’s Future

Will Facebook continue to be the go-to site for social networking? Will it have another face in the future? According to a recent New York Times article, Facebook Exile, Facebook has reached its peak and is seeing people sign off for a variety of reasons. As of today, September 2, 2009, 85 comments were posted to the article. The topic remains controversial. What role does Facebook play in defining the new sociology of online social networking? Will it see the same kind of decline that sites like MySpace have experienced? Are young people signing on? What about the generation of students in the K-12 population? How does their time on Facebook affect their learning in school? What does their membership on Facebook imply for classroom teachers? Let us know your thoughts, and check out the NYT's article and some of the commented posted about the article. Post any links to other articles you have read about the future of Facebook or its impact on student learning today.
Image from By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN, from the Aug. 29, 2009 NYT article.


Kim G (KG) said...

Facebook has become too open-ended. The once started social networking site has been taken over by people trying to "push" their views, products, etc on their "friends". Also, as a teacher and reluctant member of Facebook, I have had former students request "friendship". I don't feel this is appropriate for many reasons and it compromises my privacy outside of the classroom. Should parents allow their children to "befriend" their teachers? Should teachers be encouraging this type of online friendship with their students? Are we blurring or even crossing the lines?

Meg said...

I whole-heartedly disagree with Leif Harmsen that facebook is becoming controlling in any way. Facebook is just another website. I feel that the age group facebook had originally targeted view all of the advertisements as "white noise," just like any other pop ups or advertisements. The people in the article also mentioned privacy being an issue; if privacy is an issue, they should have never considered creating a page with any personal information and then posting it online. There are also privacy controls and settings that can be changed according to their needs. It's not like facebook is airing all of their imformation without their control.

Jess K said...

"What especially galls him [Harmsen] is the commercialization and corporate regulation of personal and social life." This concept is intriguing but I do not necessarily agree that posting a few ads on a networking site is going to regulate one's personal and social life or choices. I have to agree with Meg that ads nowadays are seen more as "white noise." We are in an era of commercialism and corperations wherever we turn whether on the internet, the streets, or the television. What we need to be teaching children is how to regulate their wants so that they do not succumb to the corperate world so easily. I do agree that facebook has become quite stalkerish and people are loosing themselves in the pages of information available. It is becoming more of a popularity contest where people detach themselves and try to make their lives seem great rather than a tool for communication and networking. I've contemplated deleting mine for several of the reasons listed in the article. At the same time if it does not consume your life, you enjoy the applications and keeping in touch with old friends, and are aware of the numerous privacy settings, I do not see it being a problem nor do I see it disappearing from the internet any time soon.

Jen said...

I joined facebook the first year it came out, my freshman year of college. I will agree and admit that over the years the excitement of facebook and my usage of the website has severely decreased. Due to all the media over the site, I have grown weary of the site. I think facebook is a legit website as long as you are smart about it. Everything on my profile is private that only my 'friends' can see. You can't even search for me, and if you happen to find me, you can't see my picture. This allows me the maximum control over my information. However, I am a big believer that teachers should not be on facebook. When I start applying for jobs, I will delete my account. There is no need for teachers to be on facebook and I am wholeheartedly against teachers being friends with students on facebook. I think it is inappropriate and crossing boundaries. I don't agree that facebook is this evil entity that is sucking the privacy out of people, but it should be used with a bit of caution. As long as you monitor your site and are smart about the information you share, facebook is not as big of a deal as some create it out to be.

Kate said...

I do not think that facebook will be disappearing anytime soon. I use facebook often to keep in touch with friends who are living in other states and other parts of the world. Regarding privacy, there are many privacy settings that allow a person to control what is shown and what is hidden. I have changed my settings so that only my friends are allowed to access my page and pictures. I also do not have any personal information anywhere on my page. For example I only have posted that I am a teacher. I have not included where or what grade I teach. Less information is better. I am a teacher and I have facebook. When students request to be friends with me, I "ignore" their request because I do not feel it is appropriate for teachers and students to be friends on facebook. However, as long as adults are smart and have privacy settings intact, I believe it is a legitimate site that is best used to keep in touch with friends.
Also, the younger generation is on facebook, which supports my thoughts that facebook will be with us for quite some time. My students all say that they have it. Personally, I don't agree that children should have it as the internet can be dangerous if proper supervision is not implemented. I would say that facebook is not necessary for children in middle school or even high school as they are able to see their friends easily. I joined facebook in college, which is an appropriate age to join.

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