Social media has been integrated into the every day lives of both students and professors. But what is the proper etiquette when it comes to friending one another on social networking sites?
Using social media can sometimes cause controversies. Some of these might include accepting a friend request on Facebook from a professor.
Everyone has a different opinions about social media and what it has become, but is it acceptable to accept the request from a professor?
“If it’s a professor I didn’t know well, I wouldn’t accept the request, but if the professor is someone I have a close relationship with, then most definitely,” Kaylee Murphy, junior from Owensboro, Ky., said.
Some students said they would consider accepting the request as another line of communication from professor to student.
“Yes, I would accept the request because it would be easier to communicate with your professors,” Jordan Norber, sophomore from St. Louis, Mo., said. “You can even choose which things your professor can see in the settings if you’re worried about them creeping on you, other than that it would be a real convenience.”
The beauty of social media is keeping up with news, friends, family and everyone in between. With Facebook and other social media sites, users have the option to enforce privacy settings to either private or public. There is the option to set a profile to allow search engines to find it or only certain people. This tool would come in handy if the user does not want their professor or others to see personal posts.
Others might not feel very comfortable accepting such a request.
“It would depend on the situation,” Elizabeth Hernandez, freshman from Murray, said. “In high school, I had teachers as friends on Facebook and they reminded us of homework for the next day. (Today), I wouldn’t accept the request, because teachers in high school are different than professors in college.”
For many students, social media is a way to get rid of frustrations or post silly comments online. For others, it is a way to beat boredom. Some people take social media very seriously, while others find no harm in it, but is it socially acceptable?
“Yes, it is totally socially acceptable,” Murphy said. “I am friends with some of my current and past professors. I have seen some people have conversations on Facebook with their professors. I don’t think of it as an awkward request.”
The difference between high school and college is that many form lasting relationships with their college professors. In many high schools, most students might grow close to some of their teachers, but it is unlikely they will become friends with their teachers on Facebook. Students such as Hernandez disagree when it comes to confirming the request.
At the end of the day, whether students accept it or not, it is their choice to confirm or deny the request from professors on social media. Just because they send the request, does not mean it has to be accepted. It’s OK to click ‘not now.’
Story by McKenzie Willett, Staff Writer