Friday, May 4, 2007

Facebook Phenomenon--Susan. Herzog & Brian Lashley

A social networking space, Facebook is used by students for many things such as making friends, joining groups, advertising parties, private messaging and much, much more. Students should know that they can keep their spaces "private." (According to Susan, there was a case of a student expelled for posting certain material on his facebook page).

Their research (they conducted a survey) showed that most students log on daily and/or weekly. Now nonstudents (folks without .edu emails) can use Facebook.

There are security issues...students should know that their pages may be seen by potential employers, teachers, potential grad school admissions officers, to name a few.

Why should students care about what they post on their spaces? Susan showed us some revealing photos of a few students. Stalking can be an issue if a student shares too much information in Facebook. A student's image can be tarnished by a revealing Facebook profile (Susan showed some very interesting photos students had posted of themselves).

Brian showed us percentages of information that students post publicly. Students may be exposing themselves to risk by posting birthdates, AIM addresses, dorm addresses, class schedules, etc. They seem to be willing to take this risk or don't realize that there even is any kind of risk.

Susan and Brian talked about how the majority of students really like using Facebook. It's a major tool for how they communicate with each other. Several audience members expressed concern regarding the lack of privacy when using Facebook and the potential for very personal information to be accessed by others. There were also questions about the potential for Facebook to make their information available to outside vendors.

But, one member reminded us that there are positive aspects to using these social networking tools. Susan says that there must be a balance in order to use a tool with such potential for good use.

Interestingly, only one person in the audience admitted to having a Facebook page (that was me)! Please take the time to open an account and discover for yourself the many aspects of Facebook.

No comments: