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Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for College Students


June 18, 2009

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for College Students
With the popularity of social media websites for college students, comes usage warnings and advice for best practices. In addition to the typical warnings college students hear, many are also getting lectured on the risks of internet postings, particularly on popular social networking sites such as Facebook and This article explores best practices for college students using social media. With any social media tool, managing the time spent “socializing” is imperative for college students. Facebook, prevalent amongst college students and boasting over 200 million registered users, is a particular focus. Properly rationing time spent online communicating with friends and family versus time spent studying is critical. While the increased online exposure can be useful if handled properly, social media can also lead to unwanted consequences if a student does not fully understand their potential online audience. The attention colleges are devoting to the topic is an indication of the exploding popularity of online networking on campus and, more importantly, the time and energy administrators have spent dealing with the fallout when students post things that become more public than they intended.

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Students should keep in mind that photos showing illegal activity, such as underage drinking, can be used to implicate them in a situation. Most colleges or law enforcement don’t have time to actively patrol online profiles to look for evidence of wrongdoing, but they are obliged to respond to complaints.
Students should also consider future career aspirations and the accessibility of the information they are posting for future employers to view. Students should avoid having arguments on a social media website, as they risk presenting themselves as combative or confrontational to others. Additionally, students need to be careful about what photos and videos are posted online. A good rule of thumb is to avoid posting images that a student would not want you or their professors to see – let alone a future employer.

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Despite a few negative consequences of bad social media practices, students should absolutely use and enjoy these tools - find old friends, form study groups, network and more. Click here to learn more about invaluable social media sites that every college student should leverage. Sources:

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Article courtesy of University Parent Media.

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