In the evolving face of technology today, college students
use forums such as Facebook and MySpace in ever increasing numbers.
These internet sites provide great opportunities to its users
to socially connect with other students and to establish networks
that are far reaching and limitless. However, like all great
things, Facebook does have its foibles. The following is
a list that you need to think carefully about when using online
social networking sites.
- Do take advantage of the opportunities presented by Facebook.
The ability to connect and interact with people who share your
interests is a unique and important experience.
- Don't get comfortable behind perceived anonymity. What
you put on Facebook and how you conduct yourself on-line is public
information. Just take a look at some of the horror stories told
by Facebook users who have been turned down for prospective jobs
or hauled in front of a judiciary committee because of inappropriate
or illegal activity posted on their Facebook or My Space site.
- Do realize that you can be sued for making inaccurate or
slanderous remarks about someone on Facebook. As stated
previously, the information you are posting on these forums is
open to the public.
- Do think before you post something about yourself that can
be misconstrued by people reading it. Remember that people
will have an immediate impression of you based on what they read
on your site. Is what you have on your site describing
the real you? Would you want a prospective employer, faculty
member or even someone you have a secret crush on to have a negative
impression of you based on an impulsive picture or posting you
put into Facebook? Think carefully about identity theft
and news stories concerning cyber-stalking.
- Do make sure you realize how incredibly difficult it is to
remove a posting made public, and later captured by search engines
and other emerging on-line technology. Will my posting live with
me for life? Possibly.
- Do change your default passwords for online course registration
(eSims), Baruch e-mail, and campus computer login as soon as
you get them! Default passwords are sometimes based on
personal information, like birthdays, that are also shared in
online communities like Facebook and MySpace. By sharing
your personal information in online communities you may be giving
others access to your personal records. In fact, give some
thought as to whether you want to share personal information
like your birth date with all of your Facebook "friends".
- Do take advantage of the social networking offered by AirBaruch,
but remember that the same cautions apply as when you become
a member of other online networks.
Finally, we wish to remind you that Facebook - and other sites
like it - are tools. Their primary purpose is to provide
a forum for social discourse. As such, their use should
not be abused. Baruch College does not tolerate the use
of these forums to hurt, abuse, attack or cast slurs upon other
members of the Baruch community. As a Baruch student it
is expected that you adhere to the standards of student conduct
set forth in the College Handbook. Respect for fellow students
is paramount in helping to establish a strong and just community
where conflict may be resolved in an open and accepting venue.
Facebook and other social networking sites, even with all of
their uses, cannot offer this.
Some ideas for this document were based
on “Thoughts on
Facebook”, a publication issued by the Cornell University
Office of Information Technologies.