What Does it Mean to Be a Facebook Friend? (Part III)

Teachers are proceeding with caution when it comes to becoming Facebook friends with their students. Although some analysts believe that teachers should get involved in the world of social media, they should be very hesitant to use these sites to communicate with their students.

Because the social media interactions are highly personal having a Facebook relationship is very different from the student-teacher classroom relationship. As one adviser explained, “It’s a question of maintaining an appropriate teacher-student relationship and respecting those boundaries.” This adviser does not think it is appropriate for teachers to interact with their students on social media sites.

Since Facebook friends are meant to be your peers, family or friends, teachers just do not fit into those categories.

On the other hand, if the teachers want to remain relevant to their students, as people that they can relate to on several levels, teachers should not shun the social media craze.

Steve Dotto, former host of the “Dotto Tech TV Show” explains, “Teachers and all adults have to be part of the social networking world and understand it. If the adults in society aren’t there, we can’t help our kids through it.”

This adviser is quick to point out, however, that he does not mean that students and teachers should become Facebook friends. It would not be correct for students to see personal photos of their teachers up on Facebook, or even worse, the development of extremely inappropriate relationships between students and teachers as a result of their Facebook friendship.

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