Today The Wired Campus had an article entitled Facebook: Not Just for Students Anymore. It discussed (briefly) the idea of professors setting up facebook profiles and issues this raises. This article linked to a longer piece, For Professors, ‘Friending’ Can be Fraught. This article is a slightly more melodramatic representation of facebook.
Granted, there are issues with faculty (and TAs) being on facebook. As a TA, I make it a point never to accept the friend requests of my students until the end of the semester once grades are submitted. But I have no problem with facebook friending my advisor, my undergrad profs, or other profs or staff within my research group. The trick seems to be in how people use facebook. I try to ensure that my page passes the mom test. I don’t have anything on my page that I wouldn’t mind my mother seeing. (For others this could be the Grandma test or the little brother test or, perhaps, the professor test.)
I enjoy having professors on facebook. It’s fun to see that you are beating your advisor at Scrabble (or vice versa) and that your minister has thrown a turkey at a professor (thanks SuperPoke). Sure I probably watch my content a little more closely than I did two years ago, but to be honest, it’s something that I should be doing anyways.