Twitter came up at work today. We were in a session for fine arts teachers and the morning session wrapped up with cautions about information on MySpace, Facebook, blogs, and the whole online world. I wish I could go back and replay everything because I missed some things that were said, but there were side conversations and distractions so I didn't hear everything.
The administrator was describing information that he found online with a simple search. That never worried me in the past because I made a conscious decision not to be anonymous. It's impossible anyway. What was unsettling was the story of someone who lost their job because a parent complained that their MySpace profile had music with foul language. This is where I'm not clear whether I heard everything, but the person apparently lost his job and is having a hard time finding another one. I know that there are probably details that are off kilter but this has always been something I am concerned about.
I enjoy my job, but it seems unfair that teachers have to give up their interests because of their job. What other profession has to do that? There are many stories of people who have lost their job because a parent didn't like what they found online. Some of them are, of course, completely legitimate concerns, but some like the above story are not. I already know that once you are in that situation, that most school districts will not stand behind you.
Now I don't think I put anything inappropriate on my online homes, but the point is that it doesn't matter whether I think it is appropriate or any reasonable person thinks its appropriate or inappropriate. Logic doesn't prevail in these situations and that is scary.
As to Twitter, I didn't really hear what the administrator said because all my friends at my table turned around to look at me and started whispering to me about Twitter. It sounds like he definitely knew how it worked. I'd dearly like to know how but it was definitely not from me.
I need to win the lottery so I can stop worrying about my job. That may be a problem though because I keep forgetting to buy a ticket.