Where’s the Line?

17 Jan

facebookFacebook puts us in a weird position.  For whatever reason people are compelled to befriend every person they ever knew:  Relatives, close friends, school friends, co-workers, teachers, employers, people met at a distant friend’s party, someone you saw on the street one time, on and on.

But then a strange thing happens–you are actually reading about that person on a frequent basis–and (worse) they are reading about you.  It can get awkward in a hurry.  For instance, many people post about how they got drunk on the weekend or whatever–but what about when grandma reads that?  Or worse–the boss, when you called in sick to work that Monday?  What happens if you get in a fight with someone–you don’t want to be dramatic and delete them, but then again, you don’t want to see them all the time either.  Exes–that’s all that needs to be said about that obvious dilemma.  So there’s that kind of thing.

But this post is about boundaries.  Is it OK for current students to “friend” their teacher or professor who grades them?  I sort of think this is too much, a sort of conflict of interest.  I see it as akin to baking cookies for the judge in any competition. . .  Here’s another question–the one that really inspired the quote:  Can you ever really get comfortable and chummy with a person who has been an authority figure, or on the other side of the coin, a subordinate?

I am from a very small town.  As such pretty much everyone I ever attended school with, or was dustdeviltaught by, is a friend on my Facebook page.  Also as such, I have a LOT of things restricted from their view.  Let these people remember me as innocent, sober, virginal, etc. . .  Let them remember me the way they initially knew me, that is.  Apparently, everyone from my town does not have this policy.

Some 30-ish year old gal from the class above mine posted a pic and in it her bosoms were all but hanging out of her top.  She WAS dressed, and the pic was presumably showcasing something else, but her girls poked MY eyes out.  And of course some same-aged dudes made some obnoxious comments about how nice she was looking in the pic.  Which WAS posted for all her friends (and maybe public) to see right on her wall.  Here’s the thing though, one of the (40-50 year old) male, middle school teachers commented, “Yeah, nice one, Cathy!” (maybe smilie face instead of exclamation, which is even worse) on the pic.  And one of the same-aged dudes called the teacher a fat ‘ol pervert and told him to go elsewhere.  Several other people “liked” that comment, including the gal herself.  The teacher (also my friend) made a big post on his own wall how he was deleting the girl, gave her initials for those who weren’t mutual friends with both, and said it was because she “liked” the fat ‘ol perve comment under her pic.

anti-facebookHere’s what I see:  1)  A LOT of unnecessary  silly drama for small-minded, small town people with nothing better to do.  2)  The gal DID post a questionable pic, and did not restrict which FB friends got to see it.  So therefore, any comments garnered, I think–are fair game.  3) I think it was in extremely poor taste for a former authority figure of any kind to sexually acknowledge a former student’s pic–no matter how old the student currently is or how public (or sexy/inappropriate) the pic.  4)  I find it incredibly immature to delete a person for “liking” any number of things on Facebook–get a grip.  And to write your own post telling about your deletion, and giving initials (disclosing the individual’s identity), at 40+ years old is pathetic.

Also, just for the record–I ALREADY had that particular teacher on my most severely restricted list so he is technically a friend, but can hardly see anything on my page–least of all any pics.  This scene made me glad for that prior decision.

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