Almost immediately upon posting “A Fine Balance,” I started asking myself why I was so concerned about my Facebook privacy, particularly after viewing Everything is a Remix, Part 4: System Failure. In this video, Kirby notes that we are fiercely territorial about our own creations, but often “forget” this when we ourselves want to borrow. At the extreme is Disney, who shamelessly “borrowed” many of their stories to create their classic cartoons, and yet refuse to allow kids to draw their own version of Mickey Mouse to place on a cake (see opening scene of Shirky’s SOPA video).
In “A Fine Balance,” my own thoughts center on both sides of the extreme, depending on what I myself own. This is slightly perturbing and I believe cause for deeper reflections.
I first saw Dr. Ned Hallowell several years ago at a NESA Conference in Thailand, and I was thrilled to see him again recently. Among his several titles, he has written one of my favorite books for teachers and parents, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness.
In this phenomenal book, he talks about five key principles that affect adult happiness, the first being to create a sense of connection. Dr. Hallowell states that, “Nothing promotes success more powerfully than the force of connection,” and that “at its most basic, connection is love.” Yet, this is a highly undervalued commodity, and in our society today, we are far more confortable with conflict than we are with the vulnerable state of love.
Perhaps, it is that we lack trust.
Dr. Andy Hargreaves recently wrote a book titled Professional Capital, in which he talks about social and human capital.
The key to both of these is types of capital is that we need to operate with the goal to “bring together the community to work together because it is the strength of the community that makes a difference.” Hargreaves goes on to state that, “teachers who work in collaboration and engage in professional dialogue operate in teams with high levels of trust which results in increased student achievement.”
If we zoom in on this example in the world at large, can we not say that an increase in trust would increase our human achievement?
Steve Barkley, who has written Instructional Coaching with the End in Mind, defines collegial teams as those in which teachers work together and their decisions are highly influenced by each other. He states that, “until a school becomes collegial, it will not reach maximum student achievement.” What do we need to work collegially?
My original question still looms. Why the concern about my Facebook privacy? Do I really care if strangers see a picture of my daughters? Yes and no. It depends on what they are doing with the picture. I will be highly flattered if someone shares a picture of my baby because she is adorable and highly disturbed if someone were to try to sell it and make money off of it or worse. I have to trust that the picture will be used for good before I can be comfortable releasing the picture.
And therein lies the concern. We are a society consumed with conflict, so much so that we are trying to stop sharing on the web. I am all for sharing if we can operate from a place of love and trust. And therefore, I am revising my view of online privacy. At the risk of sounding preachy, and as my gurus above advocate, we must get to a better place, a place where we are working together for the common good. A place where love and trust are the norm.