A Change Would Do You Good

One of my favorite features of Facebook is the Memories tab. I keep a journal, but rather sporadically, so for reminders about what was happening in my life in the past, Facebook is a more consistent reminder of the day to day. There are certainly challenges with this, perhaps the chief being, the difficulty of accessing that information in an easy way. That said, I find it fascinating to have an easy way to look back every morning to see what I was doing/thinking on that day from one to ten years ago.

In April, the above Facebook Memory popped up. What was especially ironic (in an Alanis Morissette sort of way) was that I had agreed, just days earlier, to teach 8th grade English next year. I was initially hesitant about the change because I’ll be returning to school in October after a couple months of parental leave, and it didn’t seem the ideal time to pick up a new prep, much less a new subject. But it was a move that I think will have long-term benefits for the school because it will give us a teacher at each grade level in the middle school who will be teaching both History and English, hopefully facilitating increased communication and collaboration between the departments. I also think ultimately it will be a good move for me, if perhaps a bit of a bumpy start. I’ve taught 7th grade and 8th grade History for the past five years, and, as Sheryl Crow says, sometimes a change would do you good.

Where I’ve Gone

Perhaps not directly related to teaching and learning, but certainly about social media use. A letter to my Facebook friends…

Hi friends,

I’ve been wrestling with Facebook for awhile. With its privacy policies/settings, with ads suggesting we should lose weight or find a hot mate, with suggestions to connect with people we’d rather not.

I love hearing what’s going on in your lives, but for me the net effect of Facebook is that this news more often turns into a tool for comparison in ways that aren’t healthy or productive. I want to rejoice with you in happy news and share with you in sorrow, but with Facebook, I find that all too often you become scrolling thumbnail images and demographic details to which I find myself wishing I measured up. A point brought home to me by this video…

I know that we all have lives more complicated and messy than our status updates and photos, but it’s hard to remember that at times.

I’ve resisted stepping away from Facebook because it feels like stepping away from community, stepping out of the loop. To be blunt, I worry that stepping away from Facebook means being forgotten. So I hope that you’ll continue to keep in touch- via letter, email, or phone. Let me know what’s going on in your life or if you’re out and about somewhere fun in the Triangle.

This is an experiment. I may come crawling or skipping back. But for now, thanks for reading.


EDIT: Thanks to Steve J. Moore who reminded me of this video