Commentary

We want E-mail!

I have the privilege of taking multiple classes with a very intelligent group of students. There are about sixty of us in our honors program, and each student is expected to contribute to the success of the program. This includes not only maintaining a high GPA, but also participating in various professional events throughout the semester.

Facebook has been the primary communication source for the past two years. Our adviser posts event dates and other information on a Facebook group and sends out an event invitation to each student.

I expect this to change within the next year. Students have started to complain about the use of Facebook in our program. We sent out a request for feedback regarding our “issue” and here are the more common responses:

I don’t check my Facebook every day.

Shocker. Seriously. I didn’t believe this one at first because I see the number of students that use Facebook as a way to procrastinate every time I walk through the library.

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But I can think of two possible explanations. First, this isn’t your average group of students. They can successfully balance their academics and social life, and they would like their virtual lives to do the same. Zuckerberg wanted to put the social life of college online. The honors program isn’t part of our social life, so maybe Zuckerberg’s intentions aren’t meant to expand beyond that.

Also, Facebook may be slowly becoming MySpace. Everything gets old, and I don’t think Facebook is the exception to this. Some students said that if it weren’t for the honors program they would cancel their Facebook account. This will probably happen very soon.

Facebook is unprofessional.

Of course, this is subjective. But I won’t say that I disagree. It seems contradictory to use social media as a primary source of communication for a program that is based on professionalism. At the very least, wouldn’t LinkedIn make more sense?

I would prefer e-mail.

This was nearly unanimous. Students check their e-mail religiously. This is partly in hopes of having an 8am class canceled, but also because we receive countless e-mails from professors that generally have a much greater effect on our lives than a wall post. We take e-mail seriously. Plus, the Facebook drama is getting old.

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I check my Facebook just about everyday—I won’t deny that. But it is becoming more of a “sign-on, sign-off” relationship because of the lack of important content.

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