A few days ago I had a situation over an image I posted on a social network and I also had a friend have a situation that happened after he posted a pretty standard Facebook post. In both instances we used the THINK Method. T= Is it True? H= Is it Hurtful? I= Is it Inspiring? N= Is it Necessary?” K= Is it Kind? Well, sadly we missed the N part of Think. His post was: “Just finished cleaning mom’s basement and now I’m going to run out to get dinner for everyone.” Well, as sweet and simple as that sound the mom turned around and posted: “Don’t say that, sounds like I never clean my house!” I had something happen a few years ago myself. My wife recently did a post asking for prayers over a family member who was in a horrible situation. She didn’t mentioned the name, location and used the THINK method well. However, she received a text a few days later saying: “Don’t post that, the family member is asking for privacy.” My point is: when we do make sure we are posting something to a social network or any shape or form we don’t know how someone else is going to interpret it. Sad to say it does send the wrong message to students and educators who are trying to teach Digital Citizenship.
Something that was a large part of me starting Genius Hour with my students was that blogging was to a huge part of their projects. I taught the students the THINK method as part of the lessons because they had to understand they were putting something out in the world. They couldn’t just say whatever they said, they had to really read what they were not only posting but also how they react to a post. I once ready where a student said one of their classmate’s project looked ugly because they drew it wrong. That made the student upset because they wrote in the post that the drawing wasn’t the best and they were going to try again so it came out better. The student THINK about the post they just immediately commented on the picture that was taken. They didn’t bother taking time to read the post and didn’t THINK. That is something that is great about the THINK method it goes both ways. The original posters of something from Facebook to Periscope know they are checking everything to make sure its all good. However, how someone interrupts the post and then doesn’t THINK is where problems could occur. My friend’s mother could have replied: “Thank you again son.” Then in private told them: “Don’t say that again on Facebook, it makes it sound like I don’t keep the house clean.” In my situation all the times I have taken pictures or anything, never once was I told: “Don’t share anything specific in the house because it might make people want to steal something.” Which in my case I would have solved the problem before it even happened. That’s the key into the THINK method. Knowledge, when we know something ahead of time we can use it more effectively in all our social network uses both in and out of the classroom. So remember next time THINK before and if you believe you have done all the right checks. THINK Again.