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To ‘Facebook’ or not to ‘Facebook’. That is the question.

16/12/2011

Ok, here it is! The question on everyone’s lips – should we use Facebook, i.e. adopt, adapt and become adept, or just ignore the whole thing since Facebook gets so many different responses?

I must announce my bias, that I’m for any technological advancement that is sure to make my life (including work & academic life) easier, so that I can get on with the essential things in life, like enjoying a trip to the seaside and go for a walk on the beach with my family. Therefore, I’m keen to know anything and everything there’s to know about anything and everything there’s to know about anything that can assist me with becoming more efficient and effective in life.

But, here’s the big but, when something like Facebook comes along (and I mean everything that’s new, especially technologically), we seem to be able to dismiss it with such ease that it’s not useful, that it’s addictive, that it’s wasting time…Or, on the other hand, we can easily jump on the bandwagon and praise it endlessly, driving everyone else around us insane with remarks such as ‘Ah, it’s great! It’s wonderful!’ or even worse ‘Ah, you’ll love it!’

So, are we being selfish? Totally judgemental? Highly critical? Perhaps all to a certain extent. Then why do we jump to these conclusions? If someone’s on Facebook, does that mean he/she’s wasting time? Especially company time? What if, what if, it’s simply to get in touch with another colleague online?

What about the students? If they’re on Facebook, are they not learning? Or is it simply a case of ‘I’m the teacher, you’re the student therefore you must listen to me!’

I’d like to take a moderate stance on this topic, no, not necessarily the ‘sitting on the fence’ stance, but the one that is more guiding and informative. I haven’t really formed an opinion myself on whether to Facebook or not. I’d like to think that I’m in a position to know available tools and choose the right one, at the right time, for the right purpose. If I don’t know about everything that is available, and I admit, I don’t know everything, then I’d like to be able to contact those who may know. I just feel safer that way. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be ‘connected’ with people, especially friends, even if I don’t stay in touch regularly. Is that simply a case of being a gregarious creature?

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One Comment
  1. Joanne permalink
    17/12/2011 8:43 am

    I’m in the ‘gregarious’ category with FB use – it’s been great to connect with family and friends after decades or nearly lifetimes in some cases.

    But as a language learner, FB has a place for me as well. I read conversations in another language (or try!) and that introduces the difference between formal language and what you might see or hear in conversation. I use the chat aspect & find it a real challenge to reply ‘real-time’ in another language. Have to think fast & although difficult, it does sharpen my thinking. We’ve got to think outside the square & use whatever is around us to both teach & learn.

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