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Facebook-and Being an Authentic Human Being

Updated on May 17, 2011
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Part one: The Teachers Room

Those of you who grew up in my generation knew the teachers room at the school was off-limits to students for a variety of reasons, none of which had anything to do with giving them a break. When we walked by the teachers room smoke oozed out from under the door, and when the door opened we saw our instructors sitting on couches and smoking, talking about things we were not supposed to know they did. Like partying. Having 'sex'. Drinking. In other words: being human.

In this day and age there are still teachers rooms and lounge areas for teachers to relax. But there are public spaces as well that teachers are part of....like Facebook.

At a recent conference I was in a group discussing how much "information" was available on FB and how teachers might not want to "Friend" their students. Whilke I agree current students may not be a good idea, I maintain that I have nothing to hide. I am who I am here, there and in the classroom. You do not get a watered down version of me in any place. I strive to be authentic, and know I am imperfect.

Some of my best FB pals are my former students. They enrich my life in all ways and although I may not interact with them each and every day, they are part of who I have become and I welcome their joys, successes and even sad moments of sharing with me.

The teacher's room is not a place to hide from the realities of the world. If we are authentically ourselves there is no need to fear anything. I welcome my students calling me "Aley" as well...and find not once have I been disrespected by not being called "Mrs"....some call me professor and that is a joy, but not necessary. I have had more schooling than they have, but I am not exempt from learning more in life. Let them teach me too. I thank them for all their insights, widsom and love.

Open the doors, let the smoke dissapate. We are all one.

Part Two: Are you being real?

For those of you who are not teachers, but who have friends from different parts of your life...are you being REAL or are you worried about revealing WHO you are for fear of judgment?

The world is full of judgmental people, some searching to pick a fight with you at the smallest provocation. People who will not agree with your lifestyle, your values, your beliefs and your opinions. How you respond to these people is up to you, but remaining steadfastly true to who you are is vital! I have remained authentically myself despite friends and relatives who seek to change who I am, or de-friend me for no apparent reason. In the long run does it seem like a good idea to even try to keep people who fundamentally against you for being who you are?

Maybe it is my age, or maybe it is my experience in being the focus of judgment, but I am all over that kind of pressure in my life. I seek to stay close to those who are meaningful in my life and while we may not agree on everything, have something enough in common for me to remain a friend. I am reminded by the great enlightenment thinker Voltaire:

"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

Yes, peeps, we can agree to disagree and still remain friends! WOW!

Facebook is one of the best inventions of the past decade and yet social networking is only in its infancy right now. In order to make use of this wonderful technology to its fullest potential we need to unmask those parts of our lives that we are somehow fearful of disclosing, or at the very least remain authentically real in our interactions with all those with whom we friend. There is such a profound difference in the life of people are are not afraid to be who they are, "warts and all"...after all we are simply human, imperfect and works in progress. What can be wrong with that?


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    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      I agree too much information publicly is not in order, however...if one had nothing to hide...why not? I find that many people take this too far....ie: Rep Anthony Weiner, whose sharing offends and makes others recoil. Perhaps it might be said that those who are not working from a position of positivity and genuine agenda-less positionality need to limit their use of any social media for the sake of their integrity.

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 

      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      From the heart but is it always wise to pass on the negative aspects of life, isn't it better to inspire people to improve themselves, not only at work but also at play.

      Confession is good for the soul, so they say, but a private place not a public one would seem the way to go.

      You are obviously a very nice, loving person, but we can let our shields down rather more than we ought at times

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      thank you baygirl! I cannot stress the enjoyment I find there, but you must be a participant in the community or may not get the full pleasure. A pal of mine said no one ever came by her wall and she felt "dissed". I asked her if she visited others walls, or posted things and she said she "did not". Hence her experience, although her choice, was impacted by her inability to interact there. I'm not saying this is your experience, but have noticed this with many who are there. Thanks for coming by!!!

    • profile image

      baygirl33 

      7 years ago

      Thanks Aley!

      I love that about the kids writing their own obituaries.

      I have taught English ,drama and speaking for many years.

      I am also on FB but don't seem to get as much pleasure from it as you seem to. Maybe I'll go back and see what I've been missing.

      Happy Hubbing !

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      :) Good for you!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      7 years ago

      Well said, indeed! I have no qualms about being myself on Facebook - however silly I may sometimes sound! :D

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thanks BG28! I came back from my conference with a renewed sense of who I am and how I want to remain ...it sure was a great feeling..!

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 

      7 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Kudos, bravo, Well said....

      I love social networking. It has given me an opportunity to keep in touch with people I might not have been able to otherwise. However, I am not a closed book. I don't keep my profile secret and locked up. But then again, I don't put anything on their that I am afraid to have exposed.

      I love how you compared it to the teacher's lounge. What a great explanation. While it might not be good to have them as friends while they are current students, I see no reason why a person should push another away.

      Once again, this was beautiful and I say Kudos to the wonderful way you think! :)

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