I use both Facebook and Twitter (and to a far lesser extent, Google Plus) to engage with teachers and other professionals. I also use them both to curate information I’ve found online.
I have also found that I automate a lot more to Twitter than I do to Facebook. I use Buffer App to schedule posts that I think are interesting. And I retweet a lot on Twitter, but do not “share” so much on Facebook.
The other thing I’ve noticed is that I tend to interact a lot more on Facebook. I have a large number of family members that I’m connected with, and I have “groups” I’ve joined for things like photography, Discovery Education, hiking, and more.
In both instances, I post things that are serious along with things that I find humorous. What I try NOT to do is post things that are inflammatory (although I’ve slipped up a few times now and again). I do realize that my posts are public, and I can be reprimanded, or even fired, if I cross a line.
Which leads me to the purpose of this post. In my hometown of Cleveland, TN, the Bradley County Schools system has been going through a rough patch as problems have surfaced between the board of education and the director of schools. It isn’t a new thing. Its been going on for about two years, but it has come to a head recently when Mr. McDaniel, Director of Bradley County Schools, asked the board to consider buying out his contract. And even though I have known of this situation and talked with various board members about the issues, this request caught me by surprise.
And that’s when the Internet blew up.
What I’ve noticed as I’ve followed this situation online is that people who post to Twitter are more often positive and consoling to Mr. McDaniel personally. He has used a hashtag that I really like: #FindTheGoodAndPraiseIt. This is based on a quote from Alex Haley, a man who chronicled some of our nation’s most embarrassing and painful moments in his book, Roots. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through them and seeing how appreciative everyone has been of the work he has done.
And then there’s Facebook.
Facebook has gone ugly. People are posting inflammatory remarks about board members, about the process, and more. Threats are made. Names are called. It reads like an episode of The Real Housewives combined with reality shows from MTV. Its bad.
Here is a (mild) case in point:
This discussion comes from the Bradley County Education Alliance page on Facebook. Now, I have no idea who this Nancy Graham woman is. But I do know that Alycce Childers Bunch is my daughter. I’ve read the entire exchange, and Alycce has her facts exactly right. And yet the response from people who are angry and upset is “We don’t need no stinkin’ facts.” Oh, and the fact that we should go stick our heads in toilets. (She has since deleted this post, but that doesn’t delete all the screenshots people have taken of the post).
Believe me, I’ve been there. I’ve been emotionally charged, written posts I’ve regretted, and either not pushed “post” or deleted it after the fact. And, like the post above, it may have been too late for me. I try not to make the world an uglier place than it already is.
What are your thoughts about how Twitter and Facebook stack up with each other with regard to person to person interactions?