Students and the Effects of Social Networking Because roughly 150 million people use MySpace and Facebook, the door for social networking abuse is left wide open. Over the past several years, social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook have exploded in popularity, especially among children, teenagers and college students. However, recent events involving child predators and other dangerous individuals using these sites have raised concerns about safety and security. Many parents view social networking websites with suspicion while having limited understanding of what these sites really are or how they work.
Used responsibly, social networking sites do not pose a danger or threat to anyone. MySpace and Facebook have numerous benefits for their users in terms of interacting and talking with other people, but also provide comprehensive privacy and safety features. For example, Facebook does not allow people to view others’ profiles unless they are friends, which require both people to confirm their relationship. It is even possible to limit the parts of a personal profile which are visible, which it is visible to, or make the profile completely invisible to everyone.
In the past three to five years, we have seen a rise in the use of social networking sites. Along with the rise in usage, we have also seen an increase in the number of rapes, kidnappings, and murders due to these popular social networking sites. Although this is a major problem that concerns all social networking site users, college students who use these sites in alarming numbers may have a bigger problem to deal with when it comes to the things they post on their site.
One of the reasons that social networking sites have become popular is the fact that students are able to do a variety of things on one site while keeping in touch with friends. A student can log onto their MySpace or Facebook and write a blog about their life, check in with a friend through their page to see what has been going on with them, and post pictures of their wonderful college experiences. Since these sites are alarmingly popular amongst college students, college administrators are starting to take a closer look at them.
Many universities have started to punish their students for the things they are posting on the internet. Employers are also utilizing social networking sites by using it as a screening method for applicants. An impressive resume, excellent references, and a negative drug test used to almost guarantee students a job, but now there is one more thing that can cause college students to lose a job. Many students who apply for jobs right after their college years usually get screened for MySpace and Facebook.
Employers are using Facebook or MySpace to see if the student is a good hire. Employers use social networking sites to screen college applicants because they do not want students who are always partying working for them because that makes them less reliable. Many college students are losing jobs while in college but there are also many that are losing internships and real jobs after graduating college because of the pictures and blogs from their college adventures that they keep posted on their social networking sites.
Companies say they chose to not hire the students because they were not only breaking the law, but they believed that they were exhibiting poor judgment by posting the pictures. There are many students who realize the consequences and are beginning to make changes. Many students to do realize that it is possible to leave an internet paper trail and they keep this in mind while deciding what to post on their social networking sites.
There are still students who may still post party pictures on MySpace and Facebook but as they get closer to graduation, many are considering taking these pictures off and putting together a more professional page. Although many college students upload party pictures and blog about wild weekend parties, there are many that choose to never post such things because they know how public their sites are. Students are slowly realizing that in the future they may be asked to explain the choices they made during their college years and this may wind up hurting them.
The things that students are posting on their social networking sites are leading to immediate consequences but the future consequences are also apparent. Many college administrators want to depict a positive image of their college through their student body, thus causing them to punish the students who do not help portray that positive image. Many other college administrators simply want to make students aware of the consequences of the things they post on their sites and are not looking to punish their students.
Many university officials are trying to get the students to use good judgment when posting things on the World Wide Web. Students often do not realize that the things they post on the Internet will stick around for years. The immediate consequences seem trivial when you consider the amount of students who will have student loans to pay off but will not be able to because they cannot obtain a job due to the party blogs and pictures on their social networking sites from their glorious college days.