Facebook and College
By Kristyn, age 20, Massachusetts
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Facebook. As simple as it sounds, your face and a whole book filled with information anyone can read about you. Sounds kind of frightening, but this is a broad definition.
Some of you are probably psyched that Facebook has allowed you to join groups dealing with your college, and maybe even help select your roommate. However, believe me when I tell you that with all the good that comes with Facebook, there comes a little bad as well.
Before you start your classes in the fall you'll want to think about what you have on your Facebook and other social networking sites. Then you'll want to think about how you would feel if one of your RA's, professors, or even the Dean of Students saw your information. It's creepy to think about, but this happens every day. You network yourself for the world to see on the internet, so it's important to censor and manage what you display on your profile.
Their first weeks of school some students will post pictures of themselves drinking in a dorm room because of the excitement over their freedom. Yet, when your RA friends you on the book, and sees that you broke the rules, and they have full proof in pictures, there's a good chance you could get in trouble with Residential Life (or the equivalent at your school), and potentially get kicked off campus.
Also, don't ever put your phone number or your campus address on your profile page because you're making it easier for hackers and stalkers to invade your privacy.
Another important factor: Don't write anything on your FB status that you wouldn't want anyone seeing. If you have a cute professor, he friend requests you, and you think nothing of it, next thing you know you're writing "skipping class to party". He has full proof and can hold it against you ... or your grade.
I know that everyone thinks they're smart when it comes to internet safety, but you really need to ask yourself, "Is this picture ok to post on Facebook? And how would my potential boss in 4 years feel about this picture?"
It is very important, when you get a free minute, to review the terms and use policies of Facebook and other sites you use. You may learn a new thing or two, like, as of January 2008, Facebook owns the rights to anything you post, so if a future employee wants to dig up an incriminating photo or bad information, it is very possible.
So remember, before you sign up for Facebook, or before you update your status, think about who is seeing it, and just how much information you're giving away.