Don’t do stupid things

It’s been a while since I even thought about that advice but certainly I’ve blogged about it more than once.  Like this one.

The context was a few years ago when the Ontario Teachers’ Federation was developing and supporting a culture of responsible web and social media use by Ontario teachers.  It seems so long ago but the lesson isn’t necessarily learned.

I remember Bob Fisher from OSSTF speaking so eloquently about this and I closed that blog post off quoting him.

I think that Bob spoke for everyone when he offered the best advice of all.  With all the good that can be done,  “Don’t Do Stupid Things”.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the period at the end of that sentence marked the last time that we even thought about this.  At the risk of being called snooty again, I can’t stand by and not comment on this event which is all over the news this morning.

Just one of the stories:

Roger Stone Shares a Photo of Judge With Crosshairs Near Her Head

When I first heard about this, I figured that it would eventually be written off as “fake news” somewhere.  But, we don’t look for that now since he has formally apologised to the court.

I can’t imagine, in my mind, any case where, if charged, you should be using social media to argue their case by attacking their judge.  It would seem to me a better tact would be to take some selfies walking dogs from the local Human Society or something to build a nicer digital footprint.

This is another case of reminding yourself that people follow you on social media.  They digest your writing, look at and evaluate/share your photos and videos.  And, I would suspect that if you were in the news, every reporter or at least their media outlet would be following every move that you make on social media.  Removing a post doesn’t get rid of it.  Any computer user worth her/his salt knows how to do a screen capture.

Back to OTF and learning about all this.  The discussion at the time was whether we needed the Teacher Federations and School Districts to specifically spell out all the dos and don’ts that are necessary.  The number of scenarios is limitless – how could you cover them all?  Get way out of line and the College of Teachers can get involved.

It’s still nicely summed up with “Don’t do stupid things”.

If you’re a teacher, you don’t criticize your employer or school administration publically.  If you’re a student, you don’t do the same with your teachers.  If you’re receiving discipline from the school, you don’t take your case online.  You can’t win.  Sadly, there are some that consider social media as a place where you can always have the last word.

You just keep on stating your case until the other side gives up.

Or, takes it to the next level.

4 thoughts on “Don’t do stupid things

  1. Doug, this makes me think of those educators that just have one rule — the golden rule — in their class. I almost wonder if this rule would work for social media usage (it’s something that I think about a lot) … “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” Thoughts?


    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s very good advice, Aviva. When you look at the opposite to that, it’s a type of approach that I don’t agree with. I like to support those who are doing good things. When there are things that I don’t want to support, I tend to ignore and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not sure I agree with this. Sometimes we need to stand in opposition and the best way to do this is social media. Yes, it is stupid to oppose your board on SM, but should it be that way? Maybe healthy dissent would be good.


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