Professor-Student Interactions in a Digital Age

A new app, blog post, tweet or text- whatever it may be; more and more people are falling victim to their overly demanding electronic devices.

So much of our day is spent responding to a text message or typing up an email. We often forget our communication with others extends far beyond what lies behind that of a computer screen.

Each interaction we make serves as a form of communication. A handshake, gesture or even an unconscious movement or response that we may not think twice about can suggest a personal message of mood or attitude.

So much of our time here at college is spent with professors or faculty members. It’s important to draw upon some of the pros and cons of professor-student interactions, since they are constant and inescapable during your collegiate years.

In class, via email and Moodle or even all of those hours at the library- the work handed in serves as a representation of the student and how much effort was put into the assignment.

It is absolutely necessary to be comfortable with your professors in and outside of the classroom. Manhattan College prides itself on being a small, close-knit community. Anybody who has explored the college’s campus or surrounding area after work-hours may find that it is not too uncommon to bump into a professor or faculty member.

With all of the available digital amenities these days, it seems as if professors (and students) can be accessed at almost anytime of the day. And with our generation’s constant demand for more, it’s not too far fetched for many to feel comfortable with a 4 a.m. email.

Unfortunately, this is where the line can sometimes begin to blur. Just because somebody can be accessed, does that mean they should?

It’s expected for young students such as us to complete the given task, regardless of when and how it gets done. Often, our work doesn’t get completed between the normal office hours of nine to five, Monday through Friday.

Many of us know firsthand that our work sometimes demands that we compromise our weekends, late nights and even early mornings to making sure the job gets done- whatever it may be. The same goes for professors and faculty members as well.

The professionalism that was at one time both assumed and upheld between professor-student relationships is quickly depleting. This lacking is largely due to our generation’s digital craze.

It’s slowly becoming the norm for more and more students to become friends with a professor on Facebook and to follow his or her [personal and professional] Twitter account(s).

Emails and office hours are the two main forms of communication outside of the classroom between most students and professors- but for how much longer? Traditional, and seemingly  more appropriate, means of communication are becoming a thing of the past.

As the digital craze continues, electronics will continue to have an impact on the future of professor-student interactions. As we foster these relationships, faculty and students alike need to remain aware of our generation’s demand for wanting more and more.