Sunday, April 13, 2014

A letter to my students

Dear Students*, 

After "researching" you via your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites (due mostly to my insomnia) I have come to some conclusions I would like to share. 

1. Your family must be very proud of their bathroom. It is features predominantly in the background of at least one of your profile photos. Next time your mother asks you to clean the bathroom, keep this in mind, as it is a major part of your selfies. 

2. Why are you flipping off the camera in every photo? Isn't the person taking the picture your friend? Or are you just trying to assure the general population who might see this photo that, were you to meet them, you would flip them off? 

3. Those activities are illegal. I have no desire to see you smoking anything or drinking out of a clearly labeled beer can. I understand publishing these photos online may be an important part of establishing your "street cred" to your friends. However if your teacher who is not your "friend" on this site can see it, so can the cops. Or your mother. Or the manager of that job you just applied for. 

4. How old is your boyfriend/girlfriend?! I mean seriously! They are drinking and have photos of them at college events. You are a freshman in high school. Yuck. See #3 regarding inappropriate photos above. 

5. When the heck did you take that photo in my classroom?! There is a strict "no phone" policy at school and in my class. How did I not only fail to take your phone, but also fail to notice you taking pictures? Even worse: the photo of you I found in drag, in my classroom, I KNOW I would have remembered that, so where was I?! 

6. Oh good, I'm on your "wall". I'm very flattered. It's quite sweet that you made a reference to me on your wall. I'm even more flattered that other students "liked it" and didn't use any profanity in the "comments" section. This isn't really a negative thing, I'm just surprised I'm as important in your life as the family bathroom, see #1. 

7. Your language. You are in my English or Spanish class. I know I have taught you basic spelling and language better than that. If you wish to express yourself using such foul language, see #3 above. 

You adore these sites and technology. I suggest, that should you ever want a job or acceptance to a college, that you quickly do some damage control and begin raising your privacy settings and deleting the photos that would make your mother blush.  Or at least wait until she's cleaned the bathroom before your next photo shoot. 


*** this is not a letter I have shared with my students, although it is under consideration.