Note to my Facebook “friends”

I commit little time to Facebook. I am neither a luddite nor a snob. I have written online since 2002 and maintain multiple blogs. I wrote initially as an employed academic and now as a retired hobbyist. Most of the material I generate concerns the role of technology in education. I stray into politics because educators must spend time explaining their work and their circumstances. Like anyone, I comment on issues I have opinions about.

One difference between Facebook and the sources hosting my contents is that what is written on Facebook is pushed to people and folks have to make an effort to find what I write elsewhere. The difference here has significance consequences. What I write probably generates 15-20 views a day. I wrote a short Christmas letter and because I thought family members might be interested I linked to this letter from Facebook. The letter received several hundred views.

I must say I have mixed feelings about Facebook. I am interested in people I have not seen in decades, but some of their values and political opinions are very different from my own. It does not take long to discover that I am a liberal – I am for universal health care, helping those less fortunate, against assault weapons, and for educators.

It is not that I am afraid to argue over important issues. I spent nearly 40 years as an academic and verbal interaction arguing various issues is what we do. Whether competing for grant money or to have our suggestions implemented, these arguments have very real consequences and can be intense. However, the way we defend our positions follows certain rules. We are not given more respect because we speak louder or are insulting. This only changes when in private company or after a few beers. What we do in a public space requires logic and data. Since we must interact online and you cannot buy me drinks I will likely stay away from much in the way of interaction.

So, I hope this rationale for my activity level makes some sense. I will continue to check into my account and see what is there once a week or so.

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