Facebook: Public vs. Home School

“Have you heard about Kim?
Did she kiss him and cry?
Did he pin the pin on?
Or was he too shy?”
–from Bye Bye Birdie

Using social media without fear of ridicule for being herself.If only social networks in high school were this innocent. My cousin born the same month and year as my daughter doesn’t have a Facebook account because it’s too dangerous socially, emotionally, and sometimes physically for teens who get caught up in FB drama.

I told her about pseudonyms and only inviting people you explicitly trust (like family and non-school friends), IF she wants to.

I’m proud of her for not getting involved in that mess, but highly disappointed that she even has to make the choice.

Though I’m certain that wherever there are teenagers working through their development there will be some amount of drama, the levels experienced in institutionalized schools with the added pressure of social media tends to escalate and enhance what once was an annoyance, or less seldom a permanent form of social humiliation. There are teens bullied at school who never feel safe, even after leaving campus, because the shaming, belittling, and even threats of violence continue online. And horrors abound if a student is caught on camera phone doing something embarrassing — what once would be forgotten in minutes or days, can last months or more as an Internet meme or YouTube video.

I’m not saying homeschoolers are inherently better people (poor socialization, cruelty, and in humane treatment of peers can happen anywhere given certain factors), but I do suggest that the current environment of public, and even private education, mixed with easy access to technology and social media, creates more opportunities for, and perpetuation of, digital bullying.

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2 thoughts on “Facebook: Public vs. Home School

  1. My parents being basic nutbars, homeschooling would have been considerably more traumatic than even Facebook drama. My (public) high school was pretty pleasant.

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    • Hi!

      That’s a very good point, and certainly homeschooling isn’t for every family, though I’m not sure I was arguing that point. I was attempting to show how an environment such as a modern school is far more prone to rampant cyber bullying than homeschooled teenagers. I’m not sure if it has to do with constant proximity of people all going through the same stage of life at the same time, with the addition of current pressures for testing rather than teaching, a host of expectations both customary and recent for teens, or if it’s the whole mix, but it is an issue facing most students in US and UK schools.

      I’m unaware of your age and pleased to hear of your mild experiences. Did you graduate recently? Or has it been a while? I ask because most people are of an age that never experienced the level of ubiquitous technology that current youth do. Teen suicide is on the rise, and many statisticians attribute the increased rate to cyber bullying.

      Knowing my cousin and her mother’s lifestyle to a certain degree, homeschooling isn’t feasible for them, and it seems she’s doing fairly well at navigating the social waters, even though murky. Ultimately, I don’t wish for everyone to be homeschooled, but rather, for every child’s education to be successful*, supportive, and safe.

      *success is a subjective term; in this case I mean to imply that every person achieves the ability to support themselves, be active citizens in their communities, and I’d hope, find their passion and follow it.

      Like

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