Last night, I battled with Facebook, and lost. I was trying to send every one of my regular teacher-friends on FB a best-wishes message to cheer them on at the start of a new academic year. Obviously, given the time constraints, I was not able to write a completely personalised message for every recipient, but I still addressed each person by their own name.
But after the first 20 messages or so, I got a warning from FB accusing me of using FB ‘in a way not intended for the Message function’. It then required me to go through a security check for each subsequent message by typing in the security code shown on the screen. This turned my messaging into a big hassle, as the security code was like Greek, and I had to type in each code three or four times to get it right. Still I persisted, but the process was slowed down enormously as FB was dragging me back all the time.
After another 10 messages, I had an idea: Why not post the message on their Wall instead! So I went for the Wall, and for the next 10 messages, everything went well. Then, the warning popped up again: FB was suspecting that I was spamming. The security check code came on again, but I persisted, although progress returned to a snail’s pace.
Ten more posts on people’s Walls later, disaster struck. FB logged me out completely, saying that they suspected spamming or phishing. It then asked me a couple of security questions, like my mother’s maiden name, and forced me to change my password, before allowing me to log on again.
I lost completely to FB.
So, if you haven’t received a best-wishes message from me for the new academic year, it is not because I have forgotten you. It is because the idiots at FB cannot tell a genuine message from a spam letter. And I’d like to re-send my greetings to you here. I understand my greetings will not be of any material help to you, as you will still have to face unmotivated students, unreasonable parents, and sometimes unsupportive colleagues, on your own. But I hope this will still give you an extra ounce of energy to face the back-to-back challenges lying ahead.
Teaching can be a stressful job. I wish you a smooth and rewarding 2012-13 school year. All the best.