Friday, February 27, 2009

Musings on Facebook

Today I got my first Facebook Friend Request from a previous student. Up until now my friends (i.e., a couple strong ties mixed up with a whole bunch of weak ties), have consisted primarily of high school, college, and grad school friends, mixed with some much-needed friends connected in no way what-so-ever to academics.

I always realized that my students were probably on Facebook, and that they could easily look me up. I just didn't think any of them would actually want to be my friend on Facebook - and I certainly did not think it appropriate to be Facebook friends while one of my students was enrolled in one of my classes.*

So now I've taken the plunge and accepted the friend request from my former student. It's a new day.

*Upon retrospect, I think my feeling on this is kind of interesting. Even though Facebook exists in virtual reality, I automatically transferred the taboos against teacher/student fraternizing in the real world to the virtual world. Hmm...

3 comments:

bookmobile said...

My dad joined Facebook, and I helped my mom do so recently. When I saw the add request from my dad, I felt kinda weird, although many of my Facebook "friends" are my cousins. I don't know why this is. That is somewhat related to how you feel about your students on Facebook. Facebook, such as it is, is a world apart from your students, and it's a world apart from my parents. When worlds collide, no matter how benign it is in reality, it just feels strange.

Anyhow, how are ya?

s said...

omg--how could your students facebook you--they would know "your stripper name" and see pictures of what you did with your hubby on spring break. (you did actually take a break this year, yes?) my aunt is on facebook--my 70 year old aunt--which i forgot when i published that my favorite swear word (according to quiz) was fuck off.

Janet said...

I was initially uncomfortable about this too, until I took a closer look at my privacy options on facebook and realized that I had a lot of control over who could see which aspects of my facebook pages (http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=67640558973&h=o_Os_&u=HGSG-). I have a special group for students, professional contacts, etc. that blocks information that I find too personal to share.