I would have never expected such a scene in English class. Not for a simple wall post anyway. A little while ago, as I logged onto my Facebook account, I saw that my friend had tagged me in one of her posts. As I clicked on the notification, I saw that she had found a picture of a random guy that looked very similar, if not exactly, like the well-known, sassy, and sarcastically clever English teacher, Jeremy Dickstein. We all had a couple of laughs, posted a few comments, and made a few jokes. No big deal right?
A couple of days later, as I walked into English class and put my bag down. I then saw
the printed out, black and white copy of the picture of the Dickstein
look-a-like, taped to the back of the chair that was right in front of my usual
seat…It was obviously the grade 12’s that had class with
him right before I did. They probably saw the joke on Facebook, and thought
that my friend and I were so damn funny, that they wanted to be part of the
inside joke too. At least that’s what I thought, or better yet, what I wanted
to believe. I remember feeling incredibly smug.
So I had a good laugh and showed it to my
friends who immediately laughed along with me. Little did I know that my
laughter was just 75 minutes away from turning into a heart attack. As the
lunch bell rang, our whole English class started to pack up their stuff.
However, before we all headed off to lunch, Dickstein made sure to say one last
thing. He grabs the picture and holds it up for everyone to see. He says that
he was the one who printed it out. I start to panic a little bit, but I refused
to believe it; there’s no way he could’ve seen that post. He continues talking,
reminding us that anything that is posted on the internet can be seen by
anyone, that just because your security settings are set to “only friends”, it doesn’t
necessarily mean that in the end only your friends are going to see your posts
and shares and comments and likes.
At this point, he’s staring right at me and my
friend, with a smirk on his face. As we started screaming of embarrassment with
our hands over our mouths, Dickstein decides to mention that he’s seen all of
our comments too. My friend runs out of class, speechless and ashamed. But the
only thing that I’m thinking of, are my comments. What in the world did I say?!
Without even asking I take my other friend’s iPhone and try to log onto Facebook
as fast as possible. And to make the situation even better, there’s no Wi-Fi,
and Facebook isn’t working. I look around, and the first thing I see is
Dickstein, with the biggest smile on his face, filled with joy and
satisfaction. He explains to me that he had dressed like the guy in the picture
and that throughout the whole class he tried his best to stand just like him,
just so somebody would notice. I try to calm down but it’s useless. I hold out
my hand and apologize to him countless times. He accepts the apology and walks
out of class, still laughing, along with Mr. DeSilva, who was just one of the
other teachers that knew what Dickstein had planned for us that day.
Right at that moment, I realized that I had
just gotten “trolled” (for lack of a better word) by my own English teacher. I
know that you’ve heard this a thousand times before, whether it was from your
parents and/or teachers, and I know that you think it’s repetitive and that
everybody’s just paranoid, but don’t think that something like this will never
happen to you. Next time you’re sharing, tweeting, or re-blogging something
that you think is so funny on the internet, stop for a moment and consider the
fact that anyone could be seeing it. And it’s not just about security settings,
word of mouth can spread just as fast as internet posts. As for me? I haven’t
shared a single post since that day, and now I can’t walk into English class
without being a little paranoid.