First of all, it’s remarkable that anyone old enough to have been a teacher in the 1970s is also tech-savvy enough to use Facebook — times they are a-changin’ (and I’m sure the same folks get that reference). But it’s also very sweet that former students are on Facebook seeking out teachers who shaped their lives decades ago. Sweet enough for a lengthy New York Times article? Ehhh. But sweet nonetheless!
The New York Times, always a sucker for an kindly yet inane trend piece, ran with the impressive bait of older people using Facebook in a cohesive and effective way, and, if I may extrapolate a step outside of their teacher-praising trend, it seems that retired high school teachers should definitely sign up for Facebook, if only to have their egos stroked by old students creating groups like the 443-member Mr. Chemerka Fan Club. Mr. Chemerka was a New Jersey high school history teacher for 29 years, and he must have been awesome (after all, he taught for 29 years!). With Facebook, retired “cool” teachers can feel just the way you feel when the used-to-be hot jerk — now a lazy has-been — friends you! (Except, probably, nicer.)
Desperate for a kidney, Sarah Taylor of Pennsylvania posted her need on the site (probably not in Marketplace; that could enter illegal black-market territory). Two weeks and 197 responses later, her Facebook friend Sara Steelman volunteered her kidney, and turned out to be a match! Salon’s subheadline, “Social networking site saves a life, possibly begins trend,” sounds as though this is more of an aspirational trend than the one for teachers, but hopefully it will catch on — it sure beats FarmVille and Restaurant City!