The Crestiad

Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923

The Pre-Graduate Friend Dilemma

Bryanne Hornung, Front Page Editor

Social networking is a key tool that almost every college student uses on a daily basis. Everyone has a Facebook or Twitter or some kind of networking site. We are constantly using them to keep in touch with our friends, family, coworkers, and now even our professors.

Some think it’s unprofessional to friend your teachers on Facebook or Twitter. In high school it’s strictly prohibited because there would be too much gray area for an inappropriate student- teacher relationship. Once you get into college, it’s another story. Research has shown that it’s more produc- tive to be friends online than not.

There are some professors on our campus that will be your “friend” on Facebook,
one of them being Precious Yamaguchi, an assistant new media professor. She believes that social media is a part of our college life and would be difficult not to use it.

“I don’t mind to have my students as my friends on Facebook because it’s part of our college life. It would be difficult to pretend to not have a personal life,” said Yamaguchi.

“I encourage my students to even friend guest speakers for networking purposes.” I personally believe that Facebook and

other social media sites give classroom work an aspect that enhances learning. Having classes that work with social media instead of against it makes students want to learn and be active in class. In today’s job market having a Facebook or Twitter and knowing how to use them properly could push you ahead.

Classrooms can use Facebook in class- work without having the professor as your friend, like in the class “Social Media: Promises and Pitfalls” taught by Elizabeth Ortiz, an assistant professor of communi- cation. Ortiz doesn’t believe in friending students until they graduate.

“I don’t connect with my students on my Facebook page until after graduation be- cause I don’t necessarily need to know what they’re doing every minute of the day,” said Ortiz. “I really prefer hearing student’s news directly from them.”

I think it really depends on how you use Facebook to even consider being friends with your professors. You have to think before you post, and most people do not
do that. According to Kenza Glass, ESL specialist and director of the Multicultural Center, you should try to keep a professional relationship with your professors.

“It may not always be appropriate to friend your professor on FB [Facebook]. First, it may compromise the professional relationship the faculty strives to have in the classroom. Seeing students post about their social exploits, not going to class, or com- plaining about schoolwork or other courses can be awkward at best. Consider too that each person uses FB for a different reason.”

So it brings us back to the question: Is it ok to be friends with your professor on Facebook? Personally, I think it is, if you keep your profile professional. I also think you have to look at the relationship you have with your professor. I would only friend professors that could potentially help your future career. It is always safe, though, to wait until after graduation.

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2013 by in 2013, Opinion and tagged .
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