I joined Facebook last summer as part of a grad class on social networking and its potential for education. At first I thought it was just like MySpace, a twin sister with a less notorious reputation. I was soon to find out that Facebook is really the slightly more sophisticated older brother, the college-bound hairbag that spends time in coffee houses strumming his guitar.
Like any new technology, when I started poking around at Facebook’s capabilities I thought, “This is crazy”. Why do I want to tell my ridiculously large group of friends my every thought, what I had for breakfast, and what I plan on doing after work? It was difficult to fathom that those 23 people really cared. (I don’t like to brag but I am now up to 50.)
But also like any new technology, this site started to seep further and further into my daily routine. That’s right, I facebook. I facebook so much that I don’t have to capitalize my new friend’s name - I use it as a verb! As in, “So I was facebooking last night...”, which brings me to my next point.
So I was facebooking last night when I received a friend request from a student. Instinctively, my gluttonous popularity said “51, here we come!” but consciously I paused. Should I really “friend” (yeah, I use that as a verb now too) my students?
The thing is, I’m not that beatnik university student, I’m their teacher. I shouldn’t be “Katie is dot-dot-dot loving the sunshine!”, I need to be Mrs. Hanifin. Or better yet, Old Lady Hanifin - the mean one with the stink eye.
Can we be friends? Passed like a carefully-folded note under the grade school desk, I don’t know whether to check “yes” or “no”.
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