College students love facebook! I’ve been on facebook for a few years now. Okay, I admit it. I, too, got caught up in all the excitement of being on facebook and being able to keep in touch with my friends and students without actually having to be with them. I love virtual reality! I love being informed when someone’s birthday is coming up, so I can wish them a Happy Birthday without actually seeing them and having to buy them a present. I also like how everyone posts pictures to their profile I and can view them anonymously. This is a fair exchange because I also post my pictures for everyone else’s voyeuristic pleasure. I guess it’s in all of us. The strangest part for me is sending these virtual drinks to one another. I’ve sent my fair share of drinks to my facebook friends. And I must admit that I also enjoy receiving them even though I prefer actual drinks. I also enjoy the status messages, reading them and writing my own creative messages. I try to change mine every couple of days. I used to change them everyday, but then everyone falsely accused me of being addicted to facebook.
This past semester was quite unusual, though. I mentioned to the class that the Spanish 104 syllabus was posted on my website. One student was so amazed by this tidbit of information that he said in disbelief, “You have a webpage?” I repeated that I had a webpage where the syllabus was posted. Then he asked if I was on facebook. Of course, I was. He was in total shock. Then, he asked, “Would you be my friend on facebook?” His question through me offguard for a moment, but then I said, “Sure! “I’ll be your friend on facebook.” Later that day, Ryan and I were friends on facebook. I wasn’t sure what to think of this whole situation. The next day, I said to the whole class, after I was sure every single student was paying attention, “I have a very special announcement to make. Ryan and I are now friends on facebook!” The entire class was impressed by my announcement and they said I was so cool. Of course, then other students asked if they could also be my friends on facebook. I said, “Sure!” As usually happens, some students wanted extra credit for becoming my friend. I said there would be no extra credit. This would be a strictly voluntary activity. Our friendship would be its own reward. Everyday, one or two more students would become my friends, and when they did, I would announce to the class that I had new friends on facebook. I’m not sure why, but the students looked forward to hearing their name announced in class. Well, facebook added an interesting dimension to teaching Spanish. Perhaps because it had nothing to do with Spanish class!