Having used facebook (yes, they spell it without a capital “f”) and especially its use, and recent growth in Japan, as a subject for lessons in my English school, Smith’s School of English, Kawanishi, I thought that it might prove to be a useful tool for my students in improving their English. Blogging regularly in English on their facebook pages would not only be good practice for students, but would help them by more conscious of using good spelling and grammar as their writing would be viewed by others. In addition, they could share ideas with students and teachers at other SSE schools whom they could “befriend”.
So I started raising the idea with students. 3 or 4 of them already had accounts and are now friends with me and the SSE page as well as other students and teachers. A further 4 or 5 have joined this group. But the vast majority of students have proved unwilling to join facebook. I have always asked for the reason for the refusal, and the replies have been varied as well as puzzling to me. A few have told me that if they joined they would receive hundreds of emails a day (2 of them specifically said about 500), and they were too busy to deal with this. Others said that there was a security risk, and that their credit card details, addresses, telephone numbers etc. would be made public (this especially in the light of Sony’s recent problems), and others said that they did not want their identities to be made public. None of these students were willing to listen to any of my arguments against their reasons, and all claimed to know people who had suffered these problems.
I know nobody who has suffered these problems, so to me this remains a puzzle. Do any of you know the answer?
Smith’s School of English, Kawanishi