Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites have brought a whole new meaning to this phrase. While I understand that such media and cyber tools can be very useful and entertaining, I am apprehensive to buy in. As a middle school teacher I constantly hear my students talking about who posted this or who tweeted that. My least favorite word in the English language right now is "hashtag" (is that even a real word??). #Cra-cra#supercute#OMG! It's about enough to drive an old fart like me insane! My biggest concern is the detrimental affect it can have on the lives of highly impressionable young people. The false sense of anonymity, the absence of genuine face-to-face social interaction, and the risk of misinterpretation due to lack of context all make these trends potentially dangerous for teenagers like my students.
However, I know that social media is the future of socializing and news reporting. I'm sure if I had a business or played on a high profile sports team I would find it more useful than simply personal entertainment. Until I am forced into it, I'll rely on old fashioned phone calls and e-mails when interacting with my students and their parents and I'll save Facebook for my personal friends and family only. (Actually, I am lying because I do use an app called "Remind 101" which allows me to text my students without them knowing my real phone number. I just like to live up to the façade that I can live in the dark ages when the internet was in its first 20 years of existence, young people still dialed the kind of phones that plugged into the wall, and you had your closest friends' phone numbers memorized, not stored in your contacts list.)