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Education Opinion

Can we be friends?

By Katie Hanifin — May 30, 2009 1 min read
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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”.

The opinions expressed in Teaching Generation Tech are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.