Have you added anyone from AC to your Facebook yet? Are you constantly tweeting? With the huge popularity of online communities and blogs there are some important facts to consider when “putting yourself out there.”
Realize that information posted on line is “public.”
Never post sensitive personal information.
You may want all of your new friends to have your cell phone number but do you want some random friend of a friend’s creepy roommate to also have it? Think about identity theft as well. The reality is that it is on the rise. You don’t want to make it easy for someone to steal your information, do you? It’s never a good idea to post information such as your room, campus box or phone number online.
Think about how you wish to represent yourself when you post.
Theoretically potential employers, graduate and professional schools, and internship directors could look you up and see everything that you’ve posted. What do you want these sites to say about you? If you post any information such as resumes on sites like Monster.com, be sure to keep the information current. If you post photos be sure they show a side of you that you are ready for the world to see.
Remember that you must follow the campus’ guidelines for network usage at all times.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the college’s policies on acceptable network use. Violation of these policies could result in the loss of Internet access and further disciplinary action.
Realize that harassment is not okay, even online.
Confidential information should remain confidential.
Many students have on-campus jobs and through the course of these jobs can come across some interesting information. But what happens in the office should stay in the office. Posting confidential information online can get you fired and could possibly lead to other disciplinary action, so do not do it.
Remember that while online communities can be great things, there’s still no substitute for face-to-face communication.
These sites are great ways to meet people with similar interests and can be avenues for creative expression. However, they should not take the place of human contact. If you have a problem with your roommate do not air everything out on your message board of choice. Talk to them face-to-face or speak with your RA about it.
Think before you post.
This might be the most important tip of all. When visiting these sites use some common sense. Writing your room, phone number and class schedule on the wall for everyone to see is not a good idea in the real world so it is probably not the best of ideas to put this information online. Threatening to bash your neighbors face in is not smart in the real world so don’t do it online. Would you want your mother to see a picture of you after a long night out partying? Stop, think, and then type.