Glendale, California’s school district is paying over $40,000 to a firm to report on the14,000 middle and high school students’ posts on their Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. At first, it sounds outlandish, the sort of thing we read in 1984. But what if I told you that just last spring, the same firm that the Glendale school district is paying for was able to successfully intervene with a student who was having suicidal thoughts that he posted on social media? Take into consideration that, according to the superintendent of the schools, there have been two cases of students committing suicide in the district and you have a plausible motive. The question I ask here is, would you like it if your statuses and tweets were being monitored? Personally, I can see both sides of the argument and it’s tough for me to take a position. On one hand, you have your personal thoughts and feelings basically being searched and looked a throughly by somebody who you don’t even know. That same argument can be turned around though. With these people monitoring you, you have the added security feeling that someone is watching, kind of like a guardian angel of your social media. For example, the firm found out about a student holding what looked to be a gun in a photo posted on social media. While it ended up being fake, the fact that the school was able to talk to the student about the situation shows that a further situation could have (and probably was) avoided.
Here’s the link to the article if anyone wants to check it out.