You get online. You connect to your students with Facebook or Twitter. You follow their blog. You are suddenly a presence in a world that has mostly given the cover of anonymity.
You teach your students how to use Social Media to their advantage to get a good job, to impress scholarship boards. You teach them how to research, how to research and connect to people, mentors, colleagues, and subject matter experts. You will be the role model.
What is the effect on you and your status updates? Will you start to rethink how that update might be perceived? Say it is about a well known club where a friend had too much to drink. Will you tweet about that this time? Are your children Facebook friends? Are there children a Facebook friend? Is their boss your friend? The clients? Your clients?
If you recognize that your updates are a record of your life that will be kept forever, and thus track-able by your grandchildren... will that affect what you update? And since you enjoy being connected and updating about your life because you see the potential in passing on your life and values to your family in a way your grandfather couldn't do, will that begin to change your decision making process so that you can continue to update at the usual rate?
What if you pass that record-keeping idea on to your students. Will it effect their decisions? Will it cause them to think, "what is my status update going to be about this situation?" or "what will my friend tweet?". Or, "I don't want my area code to be on Texts From Last Night."
At an inconsequential level, will it cause you to go ahead and run grammar check on your "stream-of-consciousness" blog because you are in education and as you type, the concept of "affect" or "effect" has escaped you?
I ask you consistently, "what are the stakes of not engaging our students online?"
What is the potential?