It's not that Facebook wasn't a good idea. In theory, it was an excellent idea. A forum where folks can go to share their thoughts, photos and updates from their lives and their families. Here is the issue with it however - there is no filter. Anyone can share anything.
Anyone. This means truly anyone. Need you have experience in the area you are sharing about? Nope. Do you have to have taken a class (or even read an article) about the thing you are commenting on? Not at all. Anyone can share anything.
We've always been free to share anything, but prior to social media everyone didn't have a voice. Now to be fair, it just isn't Facebook's fault. Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, blogging, and even the comments section on YouTube or any media site should share equal parts of the blame. Until these things came to life, not everyone had a platform and information was vetted by some sort of gatekeeper before it was posted (if it found a place to be posted at all).
Now some good certainly has come from all of this, but more and more I am beginning to believe we, as a society, are worse off than previous generations thanks to the ability given to everyone to share their ideas and beliefs. The world has always been filled with idiotic, racist, sexist, and other stupid thoughts...but prior to the Internet and social media specifically, many people were unable to share those thoughts because they did not have a platform.
But I suppose this is the price we pay for all good inventions. They all have their good sides and their bad sides.
As a full-time high school teacher, I think I can officially speak for my colleagues everywhere and say that once the calendar flips to May, we've officially rounded the corner and are headed towards the finish line.
The end is in sight. Another school year is about to wrap up, and, according to both faculty and students, not a moment too soon.
But recently online I was reminded just how much these upcoming three months off appear to some people when I was told that teacher's contracts are practically "entitlement programs" and that we should be "professionals" and spend our time away from the kids in professional development so that students wouldn't have to take those days off during the year.
I called this person out of touch. And quite frankly, they are. They are out of touch with how teachers are paid, how teachers work, how students best learn and what students need. I tried to argue my points, to educate this person if you will, but he had an answer for everything (as those who are wrong usually tend to do). So I did something I usually don't do.
I dropped it.
This isn't usual for sure if you know me. I like to debate. Arguments are a pastime of sorts for me, but in this particular case I stepped back and decided it wasn't worth it. No matter what I said, what data I presented, what facts I threw at him, his mind was made up - and nothing was going to change it.
It doesn't matter that even though we "only work 180 days" I figured out my hourly wage based on the time working and it made me cry. It doesn't matter that even though I will spent time with my kids and take a few trips this summer that much of the time I will be developing new curriculum, lessons and more. And it didn't matter that even though I get "all this time off" that we are not paid for any of it. I should be happy to come in on my own time and learn if I care about my job. He had all the answers (and more)
Let's get something straight right away: the medium of "television," the means of telling stories and providing entertainment by way of pictures and sound, is not dead...never will be dead, and will in fact outlive us all. But the method in which we consume it...well now that is a different story.
I've had a dream, although it is a far-fetched one, to work at NBC one day. Specifically, at 30 Rockefeller in Manhattan. Earlier this year I typed up some sub plans in the basement of the building while traveling in New York, but that doesn't mean I am going to cross this goal off the bucket list just let.
However, the longer it takes me to accomplish this goal, the more I am becoming convinced that NBC as we know it will not be a thing in about 15-20 years...especially after reading this article from Advertising Age magazine:
Read the article and then come back here and tell me what you think. Is NBC (along with CBS, ABC and FOX) dead as we know them? Or is Ms. Palmer blowing things out of proportion?
What happens in a year's time. Well a whole hell of a lot actually. This time last year, April 8, 2016, was the last time I updated this blog. And I am not even going to begin the type out the laundry list of things that have happened since then. Some of it has been good. Some has been bad. Some have been very public changes (i.e. elections), others have been more private (i.e. none of your damn business).
Either way, I'm thinking I'm back...least for a little bit. I spent a lot of last year writing for some publications (click here to read), but as of right now I think I am needing a break. Plus as we approach summer I'm going to have some cool things to share with everyone...so it is time. Let's fire back up the blog machine and see where it takes us.
Right now this is as far as it is taking us. You can't expect me to cannonball back into the pool now can you?
Chris Thomas is a full-time teacher, part-time freelance writing, father of three, and most importantly, a very, very tired man.
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