THE VIKINGS' CALL
I know I'm much older than most of you and after you read this you'll be convinced I'm a cranky old man. Am I the only one who feels that the social media is a threat to civility.
I hope you read this as a constructive observation and not an inditement.
When I left education six years ago on a permanent basis Facebook, texting and blogging were in their infancy and not a part of the fabric of our society. Six years later it seems to dominate our culture.
There was a time when it was considered impolite to use a cell phone in a restaurant, now most teens can't sit at a table without having their phones on and texting. Sometimes to the people sitting across from them. What happened to conversation?
In ancient times, like the 50's and 60's, if you had a disagreement with someone you kept it private and tried to resolve it in a gentlemanly fashion. If that didn't work you both went home with bumps and bruises.
Today if someone has a problem it's all over Facebook and blogs and instead of the problem being contained you have everyone adding to the tension. How is that solving the problem?
Misinformation and rumors are rampant. At the beginning of the year when we were experiencing problems with transportation, which I admit happened, the hysteria that was created was something I had never experienced before in sixteen years as a Superintendent of Schools. It made our ability to fix the problems that much more complex because people were convinced that the rumors were true.
No one understands better than a School Superintendent that people like to vent and have support when they are angry and upset. Everyone wants to feel empowered but using various social media outlets to engender and incite conflict is just plain wrong.
As an adult I thought we had an obligation to set a standard for decorum that young people could emulate. Lets reignite that social contract and obligation so that our young people will emulate that behavior and respond in a responsible and civil manner.
Thank you for letting me vent.
John A. Moretti
Superintendent of Schools