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Monday Musings, 9/20/2021, Part 1

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not reflect the opinions of the companies discussed.


I was given the task to investigate five apps of my choice to discover any possible uses in an educational setting. I chose Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, and YouTube. I was surprised at what I discovered. Each of the five will be discussed in separate posts.


Facebook

Facebook is an American company owned by Mark Zuckerberg. Most experts agree that Facebook is currently the most popular social media app in the United States, if not the world. Since 2004, Facebook users have been able to connect with their friends and family and discover new friends. Facebook Live Streaming has become ubiquitous since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. Churches have successfully integrated Facebook Live Streaming to allow parishioners to virtually attend worship services.


However, I perceive at least four problems with using Facebook in an educational setting.


!. Underage use. It's too easy to sign up for an account. Facebook claims its users must be at least 13, but they do not verify that information. Underage users must first be "reported" to Facebook before any investigation takes place. (Diwanji, 2021).


2. Addiction. Kids using Facebook are often obsessed with checking their account. Experts call this "Fear of Missing Out" or "FoMO." This behavior exhibits addictive tendencies that, for some, can lead to other more dangerous addictions. (Beyens et al., 2021).


3. Maturity. Brains are still developing in children and adolescents. They have not gained the experience or maturity to know how much or what type of information to share on Facebook.


4. Privacy and Free Speech. It is widely known that Facebook gathers users' information for things like political manipulation, mass surveillance, fake news, conspiracy theories, and so much more. Facebook has taken a liberal stance by deleting accounts of conservative and Christian individuals. While children rarely possess their own political beliefs, their use of Facebook, with its leftist policies, easily leads to the conclusion that children are being swayed in the direction Facebood desires.


A bright note for Facebook is its Facebook for Education program. It offers a more secure channel for students to learn things like coding and computer science. Facebook for Education will continue to grow, and I believe this is a fantastic leap forward for educators!


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YouTube The final app I investigated was YouTube. YouTube is an American video creation app created in 2005, owned by Alphabet, Inc., the parent company of Google. By 2019, over 500 hours of video con

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