Thursday, November 26, 2009

Does it stay on FB?

Remember the saying some cruise lines like to tell their guests - what happens on the ship stays on the ship? Were it so on FaceBook. But when you inadvertently say things on FaceBook, remember your grandmother, your employer, your teacher, and your principal may all be reading what you said about them.
I recently was asked to talk someone's parents into allowing their child on FB. I spent the time explaining to her why we should NOT be on FB. One of my biggest reasons (and I teach in a Christian school) is that it damages our witness. There are far more people in the world that are convinced FB is a bad thing than those who are convinced it is a good thing.
Other persuasive reasons found me today in my aggregator. Leigh Zeitz reports that research by Aryn Karpinski and Adam Duberstein compared the grades of students who use FB to those not using FB. They surveyed 219 students from Ohio State University, finding that FB users in the study had GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5. However, students in the study who didn't use FB had GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0. They also found that FB users studied an average of 1 - 5 hours a week but non-users studied between 11 - 15 hours. The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association in April of this year. While the study results needs to be replicated on a larger scale, these preliminary results are enough for me. With all, and I mean all, my students on FB, I have no need to damage my reputation.

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:3,
But among you there must not be even a hint of immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.
As someone who is looking for fulltime employment, and someone who is employed in the field of education, I think it is an asset NOT to have a FB. How many of those K12 parents will breathe easier knowing their child's teacher is not on FB? Those are the people paying the bills, whether it is private or public education.
I wrote this for you bluenugget.
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Photo courtesy of AJC1 covered under an attribution-noncommercial 2.0 generic creative commons license available at


Jane Nicholls said...

Hi Durff
I'm sorry but I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. FB is not in itself inherently evil, such as money is not in itself inherently evil. As the bible says 'the love of money' and you know how the rest goes.

We can't bury our heads in the sands. Students use FB, they don't email anymore, that's for us old people. I for one am on FB to be friends with my own children and it also allows me to connect with my friends, both those who I have known for a long time and those I know through teaching. FB is another networking tool, just like Twitter and Ning and so on. We need to be familiar with what technology our students are using etc. Our students know how to play with technology, it is our job to help them be safe and know how to learn with technology.

I have seen FB used by students to support each other and make connections and other good things. As always it is in how a tool is used not what the tool is that matters. A knife in the hand of a master chef for example.

I enjoy using my FB account and I resent, as a Christian, anyone stating that to do so, is in any way immoral.

Mr. RCollins said...

While I'm still on the fence on whether having a Facebook account is good or bad (I view my own page as more of a public blog), the OSU study didn't really mean anything:

From the WSJ (
'In fact, the Ohio State study cautioned, "It cannot be stated if Facebook use causes a student to study less hours per week or have a lower GPA."'

Dave Sherman said...

Wow. Am I reading this post correctly? Are you saying, via the Bible, that Facebook is the cause of immorality and impurity?

What a stretch. Are you implying that Facebook members more likely to steal, murder, lie, cheat, or visit brothels than those not on Facebook?

This is offensive to Christians and non-Christians (like me) who are using Facebook and other Web 2.0 tools to meet old friends, and to learn new things. Do Twitter and Ning fit into the same category as Facebook? What about blogging (or is that off the list because you have a blog?).

I was really surprised to read this in your blog. I will definitely continue to keep reading your posts, but I will do so with a totally different set of filters. If this is how you see Web 2.0 tools, then we are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum.

Pamela Pritchard said...

I agree with you about FB damaging our witness. Too many times some people not all people that are using FB forget that employers are reading what they are writing. It is a great social networking place but not a place to "air your laundry" or "battle with the family". It is a great place to keep up and stay in contact with family and friends. It is a great place to learn from each other. However, many times it is used the wrong way.
I appreciated you post.