An elementary school teacher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, used the viral sharing power of Facebook to teach her 6th-grade students a lesson in how quickly information can spread over social media.
The teacher, Melissa Bour, became disturbed when she saw many of her students on Facebook taking selfies while posing in revealing clothing and giving the middle finger to the camera. After she spoke to them about their behavior and felt they didn’t listen, Bour decided to take matters into her own hands by penning an open letter to Facebook users that asked them to like and share the letter.
The letter, which asked users all around the world to comment on it, sought to prove to her students that the things they say online can take on a life of their own and spread faster than imaginable. She proved her point: the letter has already drawn comments from users in almost every state, and has been commented on by users in Germany, Luxembourg, Japan and more.
“My generation was the one that kind of made Facebook big, and we have a tendency to overshare,” she said. “These students are just falling into that. You have to remind them that just because everyone else is sharing doesn’t mean you have to share… My sheet of paper with the green writing on it made it around the world, so what do you think is going to happen to students who have inappropriate things up, and how far is that going to reach?”