Stumbling across your teacher’s Saturday night post nowadays is a very real possibility with social media being accountable for billions of profiles of all ages.
Many teachers and students can build friendships over the years and the two parties may decide to share their social media accounts with one another. This can lead to a large amount of complications later down the road for both parties.
While it’s impossible to deny that there are some benefits to having connections on social media with teachers (I’ve added a few teachers on Facebook when I was in High School), I’ve limited myself to only a select few teachers because of the many red flags that I see.
I don’t want teachers to know about my personal life. The recent election has sparked many people to take to Facebook and Twitter to post their views on the election. Although I haven’t partaken in this, I would certainly not want my teacher to see my political view, especially if I’m still learning from that instructor.
If the teacher is particularly into politics and our political ideologies don’t match, I would not want that teacher’s relationship with me to be strained due to my views. While this can be viewed as a mark of professionalism by the teacher to ignore this, it can become an easy topic of debate between us.
I would prefer not to discover my teacher’s personal life or reveal my own personal life to my teacher. I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate having a curious student looking through their Facebook to try and learn about things from their past.
What could possibly be more awkward and more damaging to a relationship than either a student or a teacher bringing up each others past to one another. Possibly reminding them of a part of their lives they might be trying to forget or move past.
There are some benefits to potentially knowing your professor personally like that, but unless I become very close friends with that said professor, I would feel a sense of uncomfortableness around them. I would be more hesitant to ask for help on something pertaining to his or her class, or even related.
Lastly, while not as problematic at a collegiate level you cannot ignore that having these connections over social media can lead to inappropriate teacher and student relationships.
A lot of relationships now can be sparked through interaction on social media due to the ease of access. If the other looks up the person further to see how they are outside of their class, they could potentially find something that excites them in a romantic or sexual sense.
This can have a devastating effect on their work relationship, similar in fashion to a boss and worker situation. This could naturally occur in a classroom over time, however social media can be a strong catalyst in a formation of these inappropriate relationships.
Through and through, it can be argued that there are obvious benefits to having your teachers on social media, but I believe that the negative effects far outweigh their positive counterparts.