Many (I dunno, 3?) years ago, I joined Facebook during the summer.  It was back when the site automatically matched people up based on their class schedule.  About a month before school started, I quit: As students were populating their schedules, they were showing up as friends on my profile page, frequently with pictures taken at some party or another.  (Heavens!  College kids partying . . . what *will* we tell the elders?)

The problem was that I hadn’t yet met most of these students, and I was pretty sure they weren’t looking to have me “meet” them by seeing a picture of them half-naked, flipping off the camera.  So, I wrote it off as a student thing, and closed my account.

Now that it’s all safe for grown-ups, though . . . I’m back.  (Mostly due to some steady nagging from various people.)  If, for some reason, you’re desperate for more JBJ content, or just need more Facebook notches, you can find me here.

If you’re looking for actual interesting internet content tonight, try last night’s Bookslut post, or the updated links in the post below.

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7 Responses to *Sigh*

  1. Frothy McBaldman says:

    I’m afraid to go back to Facebook. I signed on two years ago at the behest of one of the student support offices at a former gig. There was some sort of wholesome purpose involved (I think they wanted us to urge our students to exercise caution as far as broadcasting personal information), but I’ve since repressed the experience. It was a little unsettling to observe my students in their state of nature, such as it is, but seeing the churchmice–the sharp ones who were thinking deep thoughts but could not be persuaded to field softball queries in class–dancing on tables? That broke my little heart.

  2. Alex says:

    I believe it would have been a benefit to you to have joined facebook in years prior- it’s current incarnation is very messy with custom apps. It provides for some really cool functionality, but at a certain point (I believe when I became a zombie/pirate/dark jedi with 17 superwall posts) I stopped caring.

    Regarding Churchmice: Well, from the students perspective, there are obviously aspects of ourselves that we are apparently comfortable with showing. I wouldn’t discount the churchmice for their table-dancing proclivities. Many of us know these activities are going to be available online, and you could almost say we (all students, not just the CM) are playing an act because of that fact. ( I’d hate to advertise my odd sense of humor, but in my facebook, my latest photo’s involve me in a secret santa party opening and then being assaulted with a particular pink phallic object, against my will of course, and though the pictures do not show this, everyone during the act was chanting “Facebook!”.) Sometimes the churchmice want to let their hair down, and though we students do not normally allow the professor’s in on this aspect of life, we are obviously ok with the possibility. Does this make it better or worse? We shall see.

    Then again, this is the student whom a particular victorian literature teacher asked me in front of the entire class, with no prior context: “Whats this I hear about you and a lapdance?”

  3. jbj says:

    @lapdance: It’s not true that there was “no prior context”–I learned about it from a class-related website. That makes it fair game, right?

    Plus, I just assume you’re lying when you say you would “hate to advertise [your] odd sense of humor.”

    @”a benefit”: I do not think this word means what you think it means.

    @churchmice: To be honest, I’m largely with Frothy here–I have been, in the main, comfortable with having class- and school-related activity determine most of what I think about my students. I’m still somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing.

  4. Frothy McBaldman says:

    I certainly don’t begrudge the churchmiceishly inclined their constitutional right to throw down on the weekend, but that behavioral discrepancy makes me cry on the inside, like clowns do. Seeing gaggles of students table dancing, on stage at Rocky Horror, or leading their fraternity brethren in what must be a chorus of “Frere Jacques” convinces me that they must have the public gumption to field the occasional lob.

  5. Alex says:

    Lapdance: I meant to the class. Literally, it’s 8 in the morning, no one is awake. You very plainly walked in, put down your bag, took off your headphones, and looked me in the eye and asked the question. Needless to say, the class woke up.

    Benefit: Eh, I was tired. The sentence was supposed to read: You would have appreciated facebook before the latest changes.

    Churchmice: I’ll need to meditate on this. I hadn’t taken into consideration the whole Softball queries part of it. I was too quick to define the situation as a student/teacher relations issue. In terms of classroom confidence, You could make and argument for supposed power. Table dancing, Rocky Horror, Some horrific frat party are all surrounded by familiar peers. In the class, not only are you surrounded by somewhat unfamiliar peers, but you are also tasked with confronting an apparent superior force: the professor. This combination of Social awkwardness + Authority could question the otherwise headstrong youth. It is in this sense that I am happy to take JBJ’s classes in the future: my respect for him as a professor will allow for proper class procedures, but my familiarity with him will give me greater confidence in class*- it is here that the picture issue becomes a good thing in my eyes. More familiarity with the students lives can bolster a student’s confidence in class. I am not suggesting one comment on the activities on facebook: JBJ mentioning my past party pictures would certainly be a faux pas (with anyone else, I am pretty much an open book). It is a slightly more personal relationship, be it through wiki’s, blogs, AIM, facebook, whatever, that can rid the world of the churchmice.

    *Although, the fact that I have class with you that ends late thursday and then another early friday morning does leave me to wonder if I will suffer some kind of JBJ overdose. I’ll be spouting victorian slang and bleeding opium in no time.

  6. David LaPierre says:

    At the risk of sounding like an old codger (admittedly, I have a Facebook account and a cell phone, neither of which are used that often), I see both cellphones and “social networking” sites as indicative of the same woesome trend: the death of privacy. I’m thinking of going Amish…

  7. jbj says:

    @JBJ overdose: In the fall, my Thursday night class and Friday morning class were in the same room, less than 12 hours apart. I love teaching the survey, and it was a good section of students–but on Friday mornings, I did not like that room very much!

    @death of privacy: This is obviously a Very Complicated Question. As the Churchmouse implies, a certain amount of this is performed. (The equivalent is students who think that, on the basis of my willingness to tell certain kinds of stories in class, or to look like an idiot, that we’re BFF. A former student noted that it wasn’t until her 3rd class or so with me that she started to distinguish between my teaching persona & my “real” personality. Likewise, blogself != actual self.)

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