I’m not sure what people are thinking when they are banning social media. First, that is a great way to market your programs, schools, businesses. Everyone is online constantly and seeing what is going on in the world. Why would people be putting bans on them? FEAR!
Fear that people may be distracted. Kansas University Football Coach Turner Gill has banned his players from using Twitter during the season.“We talked about a lot of things,” Gill said of his staff meeting, “what are some things that we need to do to continue to move our program forward. Someone brought up the issue about Twitter, how that can be a distraction, per se. The reason we decided to not allow our players to have a Twitter account is we feel like it will prevent us from being able to prepare our football program to move forward. Simple as that.”
Does this make sense to anyone? Do you want the program to move forward? Then allow the players that have over 1000 followers see what is going on in the football season. Allow them to Tweet when they have a practice. Allow them to Tweet when the win a game or when a game is coming up. These players may have followers all over the United States that if they knew the team was near may go to the game.
There is a fear that the players may be distracted from why they really are at school. Instead of banning, teach them how to use it properly to promote your program.
Another fear out there is that teachers won’t be professional. The state of Missouri has banned their teachers from having any website or social network FOR school unless parents and administrators have access. Well, I know that most teachers that have those already have parents looking at the site because it’s a great way to communicate with parents.
I feel that right now there are so many fears that people will do the wrong thing. Why don’t we trust people to be professional, but watch what is going on. Then, if they do something wrong, pull them aside and talk with them.
I don’t walk in the first day of school and give my students a list of don’ts. In fact, on the first day, I’m allowing them to open every cabinet and drawer in my room. Why am I letting them do this? They are inquisitive. There are about 100 drawers and cabinet doors in my classroom and adjacent storage room. The kids want to know what’s in them. If I say on the first day of school, “You are banned from them”, I will be fighting them all year as they sneak into them.
I feel that we need to put away our fears and just allow people to do as they wish. If they are using Twitter, Facebook, or anything else inappropriately, pull them aside and talk with them. Also, have you ever seen that “report” button? Yes, if things are inappropriate, then you just report it and allow the social media site to take care of it.