As the facebook-less week draws to a close, I find myself only somewhat interested in getting back on the preeminent social network. The experience for me was moderately eye opening, but fun at the same time. I enjoyed cutting out newspaper clippings and posting them to colleagues' walls. I enjoyed asking people to be my friend. I enjoyed colleagues physically posting messages on my door asking to be friends with me. I enjoyed rejecting some of them and then dealing with the conversations that followed.
I didn't really miss it. When I logged on Saturday morning I didn't really miss much. My cousin got engaged and I hadn't heard otherwise. I'm sure I eventually would have, but it was nice to see a photo of the rock on her finger. Other than that, I didn't miss a beat. I still felt that I was connected with my friends and family when I returned.
So to sum it up, five days without facebook is cake. I returned to my original assertion that facebook employs the perfect design for procrastination and wasting time. It also allows us to vent whatever we want and obtain daily affirmation much like Stuart Smalley did with his mirror on SNL.
I admire John Spencer for sustaining for forty days and want to thank him for starting this project and taking time out of his schedule to speak with my students about this project. That experience really highlighted to my students what you can do and learn from a network. It showed that a teacher from Phoenix and a teacher from Boston can come together to orchestrate a lesson that engages students and models good digital citizenship and why it is important to take care of your digital identity.
I think my students will remember this experience and look differently at facebook, and social media in general. I think they understand that facebook is not a departure from reality and that it is just another medium by which we can engage, interact and voice our opinions and thoughts. It is not a place where we should mask our identity.