I don’t care how many ba-zillion folks have signed on or who from my network uses it or any of the other crap that the folks at Facebook have sold as reasons as to why everyone must have an account. I refused to get one.
Perhaps it is because I am a bit of a rebel and don’t like to do what everyone else is doing. Perhaps it is because Facebook constantly tweaking the site annoys the hell out of me (one day I am a ‘fan’ the next second I ‘like’ you). Maybe I don’t want you to stalk me online. It has been all of those reasons and more.
But, there may be hope for me to drink the Kool-Aid afterall. I am supremely impressed by Mark Zuckerberg’s move to donate 100 million dollars to improve the Newark public school system. That’s a hell of a lot of cash and the kids of Newark really deserve it. While I’m at it, super-shouts outs to Mayor Cory Booker who is truly an innovator and gets things done by any means necessary.
Remember the film Lean on Me? It was the movie where the troubled Eastside High School was depicted and Pricipal Joe Clark was forever immortalized. That school was located in Newark and yes folks, it was THAT bad and still suffers from high drop out rates and low test scores. That story is one of many for the Newark school system.
Now, I, like most, am not sure exactly why Zuckerberg chose Newark. Clearly, it is far removed from where he grew up and his experiences at Harvard could never prepare him for living the day in the life of a Newark public school student who deals with the pressures of not only a poor school system but several other issues tied to poverty, discrimination and much more.
It could be publicity for The Social Network. Or not. I will say that I am proud of what he has done and hope that the gift is the beginning of more of our social media start ups doing good work right here at home where there are many pressing matters that need to be addressed. Furthermore, I challenge MZ to take it a step further: start a summer or after school program at Facebook where inner-city kids get to learn more about social media technology so that they can become prepared to enter into the field where diversity is still lacking (I will leave this for another blog post).
This philanthropic move of the week has inspired me greatly. I ‘like’ it. So, when I sign up for my Facebook account you’ll be the first to know and have the full background on what it to to convert me into a believer.