Friday, January 15, 2010

Should Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/MySpace Be Blocked By Schools?

Tweens are using social media (Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/MySpace) a lot more these days - they post pics of their friends and family, watch episodes of Fred or Justin Bieber videos (that's how he was discovered, actually), and follow their favorite celebrities on Twitter (or not, as Miley Cyrus famously quit Twitter last year) (check out MsTwixt's list of Tween Celebs on Twitter) and bands on MySpace (including Honor Society, Selena Gomez and Emily Osment). And in recent days, we've all witnessed how social media has been used for good - more than $6 million has been raised in the U.S. alone towards earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, much it driven by social networks and text messages. Demi Lovato even took to Twitter to encourage her fans to get involved to help.

Some of this takes away from studying and certainly shouldn't be done in school, but should schools totally block them? The debate is on, with proponents of blocking social media sites claiming that they are a distraction at best and used for cyber-bullying at worst. Opponents of banning social media in schools are beginning to grow, claiming that they're simply a new channel (not unlike mobile phones) and can actually be used to monitor and pre-empt social problems. Slate magazine, an online opinion blog, recently ran an op-ed on the subject.

Full disclosure: MsTwixt uses social networking a lot (you can follow us on Twitter at, join our Facebook page, or see us on MySpace at, but this is about tweens using social networks.

What do you think?

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