Sunday, January 28, 2018

What Would Julie Do

In this day of posting all of our thoughts online, it's really hard to remain professional sometimes.  I am thankful on a daily basis that Facebook and Twitter didn't exist when I was growing up.  I'm also thankful that we didn't have cellphones and texting when I was a kid.  Don't get me wrong.  I wouldn't go back.  I love technology.  I just know that I would not have handled it well as a kid. 

When I was growing up, when we got upset, we talked to our friends about it.  Or we talked to our other friends about it.  But it was over within a short time.  Now, every single thought that people have gets posted online.  People attack the person that is the subject of the problem and it's going viral in seconds.  "Can you believe this person said this?"  Or "Can you believe this school allows this?"  The comments from all the people on these posts can be terrible!  It's bullying from behind a screen and it gets so far out of control that the person it's about gets his/her life ruined.  All from one post that could have been solved by talking it out with the person in real life.  

I've seen many posts about my school district and I just want to jump in and comment.  I rarely say anything because as a teacher, I try to remain professional.  What the people typing don't stop to think about is we can all see what they are saying.  It feels like we are overhearing a conversation we aren't supposed to be in but it's on social media.  It's a weird situation to be in.  We see people talking about us but we don't want to engage because it isn't appropriate.  But being attacked doesn't feel good either.  

One thing I've noticed is that people post things to get people to jump on their side when a quick phone call would fix the issue.  

Example (that I just made up):

"Can you believe my kid got this note from his teacher today?"
"What?  I would go down there!"
"Are you serious?  What is wrong with that teacher?"
"You poor thing!"

 A different way to handle the note that the parent doesn't understand:

"Hi, Mr./Mrs. _____________.  I didn't understand the note you sent home with my son."
"It means______________"
"OH!  That makes sense!  Thanks!"

Then no one else is involved and the school isn't ripped apart all over social media for a misunderstanding or something that the entire world doesn't need to be involved in.  

I've learned that if I'm upset about something and I want to post about it, I think about three things:  what will my kids think, what would my employer think, and will my mom call me and ask me what it means and why did I post it.  If any of these things are questionable, then I don't post.  That's why I rarely post anything.  Social media can be good but it's not a place to share all the things that are in my head.  You're welcome.  

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