With the movie “The Social Network” recently released (I have yet to see it) I have been thinking about how it started. Even though I have not seen the movie, I have heard from several people that if they knew the history of Facebook then they would not have joined it. However, they still have a profile on there.
Then this past weekend a best friend and best friend got married. I stood up with them and I was very honored to do so. Many would say that eight people on a side is too many. That made the wedding party to be 18 people including the bride and groom. I was a little worried with that many people and how I would fit in. As the date got closer I started to find out who everyone was. Friday night I saw a program to see the names. Every single person, again 16 of us, had the title “Friend of the Couple.” No siblings, no friend of just bride or groom. We were all friends of both of them. I continued to look and as the weekend went on, I realized that all 16 of us were also friends. I never really thought about it until we were all together.
This simple (well, simple for me and not the couple) celebration was to come together to rejoice in these two wonderful people in getting married. However, where did they meet? Where did any of the wedding party meet each other? SCHOOL!!!! We are all friends that we ha met in college. Which got me to thinking. . . . .how many of us have friends BECAUSE of school?
Now I know that many people attend church and you have your social network there, but that is a choice. School, for the most part, is not a choice. So we force students together. So they make friends. If they didn’t have each other then they would have difficulties getting through the work. We force them together, to be social, to get along. . . . yet we hear, “Please be quiet”, “I’ll wait for you to stop talking”, “The weekend is over we need to do school work.”
Do we say these things too often? Think about it. For many people reading this, the internet was not around when we were in school, so that was our first social network. That is where we met people and found others with common interests.
So I guess what I’m saying is, the next time you demand silence in your classroom, or that they can only talk about your topic in your room, think about it. Are you trying to stop those connections that we all have? Are you trying to tell them not to use their networks?
What you should be doing is teach students how to be life-long learners and know how to manage their talking between work and play. We all do it. Use our social networks to live and learn!!!