Sometimes I change my status updates on Facebook or I tweet something out and instead of it being ignored, responded to, favorited or whatever the cool kids are doing these days, the responses end up going in a direction I did not intend or could have even predicted. Remember that time I wrote a funny little status update about my van slowly centimeter-ing its way down the driveway? I mean, to me, the entire scene was hilarious. I was in my house and my carâ€”that was turned off!â€”was moving, albeit slooooowly, down the driveway. Seeing as there was really nothing I could do about it, I social media-d it. I *am* a blogger, you knowâ€”it’s really what any decent one of us would have done.
But then the responses came inâ€”and I was shocked by how un-hilarious people found it. I got comments and tweets and even emails telling me how irresponsible and unsafe I was. Irresponsible? Unsafe? I was in my home and my car was movingâ€”the actually only unsafe thing I could probably do is go outside to my car. But, you know, people are quick to jump on me. I’m actually not really even sure whyâ€”maybe it’s because I’m only funny some of the time? You see, funny people? Their tweets and Facebook status updates are understood. My tweets and Facebook status updates? NOT SO MUCH.
Dear Ali, stop trying to be funny.
The other day I tweeted something and was a little surprisedâ€”againâ€”at the direction the responses went.
That’s such an invasion of privacy, Ali!
I can’t believe you do that, Ali. That’s gross.Â
Wow, I hope she’s googling you too.Â
That’s crossing a line, I think.Â
Um. I’m glad I’m not YOUR kid’s teacher.Â
How would *you* feel if they were at home googling you now?
Really? Unless there was a serious concern for safety or something, I would never Google students or their families.
I teach my HS students about the balance of can and should as it relates to SM etiquette, prof vs personal. #justmyopinion 🙂
I was not expecting this response at all.
Honestly, I don’t really feel the need to defend my social media actions or my real-life actions, but, well, for the sake of a little background here, I will tell you this.Â My three kids will be going to a brand-new school next year. It’s across the street from our house (major win, I’d say), sure, but I don’t know a single other parent in the school, I don’t know the administration, I don’t know any of the teachers. I will be sending my three young childrenâ€”who are just 11, 9, and 7â€”to spend the hours between nine in the morning and three in the afternoon with strangers; people I knowÂ absolutelyÂ not a single thing about.
In years pastâ€”when my kids went to a school where I knew many parents, faculty members, kids, and teachersâ€”the verymoment I found out the name of a child’s teacher, I’d ask around. “Hey person who I know very well! Have any of your kids had Ms. First? What do you know about her? Is she tough? Sweet? Young? Old? Did your kids love her? Learn a lot from her? Did she push your child or did she allow your child to do the pushing? Does she give a lot of homework? Does she give a lot of feedback? Does she intervene in social situations?”
These seem like normal questions.Â It’s nice to get a sense of a teacher going in.Â I know that every kid has a different experience with every teacher.Â I have seen this first-hand. A teacher might be the perfect, snug fit for my daughter, but not a great match-up for my son. You can never tell. Ever.
I think it’s nice to know a little bit in advance.Â I don’t care what Ms. First does on the weekends with her friends. I don’t care if Ms. First drives a Honda. I don’t care if she goes to a cottage, where she buys her groceries, what reality tv she likes to watch.
I’m not looking for DIRT; I’m looking for information.
I’m not looking for PERSONAL information; I’m looking for PROFESSIONAL information.Â
How many years has she been teaching? Does she have any advance degrees? Has she ever won any teaching awards? Does she have a speciality? Where did she go to college? Do people think she’s an okay teacher, a good teacher, a great teacher?
Does she drink white or red wine? Does she wear skinny jeans? What street does she live on? Has she ever inhaled? Does she watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?Â
So, yes, I did try to make that status a funny one, something I thought people would get a good giggle out of. I mean, in my head it was funny. (Maybe I’m just not funny.)
And yes, I did google their namesâ€”I make absolutely NOT A SINGLE apology for this. With no warm-blooded, real-life person around me to ask and with the world at my googling fingertips, why shouldn’t I? Why WOULDN’T you? To me, it seems like the more responsible to thing to do.
These are my children I’m looking out forâ€”my three most important treasures, my entire world.
But you can go ahead and think that it’s gross.