September 7, 2012, by Anne Smart
Think before you update
If you tweet, Facebook, pin, YouTube, blog or generally share things on social networks then your online world will get a whole lot bigger when you start university. Hopefully you’ve already started connecting with your classmates through our Facebook and Twitter profiles (and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?) and when Week One arrives you’ll be sharing your experience with #UoNFreshers and your friends back home.
But in the middle of all this liking, retweeting and commenting is the path to the dark side of social media, and it’s very easy to wander down. The last thing you want to do as a student is morph into one of those people who uses online networks for evil and not for good. With that in mind, here are five people you really don’t want to be.
1. The one who shares way too much Checking in everywhere, intimate details of relationships, toilet habits, hospital visits etc. There are some things that should stay private, or at least within a small circle of friends.
2. The one who posts when drunk or emotional Bad news, drunken murmurings, first date reactions… The great thing about university life is living surrounded by your friends, so if you need to talk about something try doing it face to face instead of telling everyone online. You’ll regret sharing your inner most thoughts to the world in the morning.
3. The one who forgets that it’s public Just because you only share things with your friends doesn’t mean they won’t share your updates with the world, and once something is public anyone can find it. Posting a picture of yourself with a road sign you’ve liberated from the city centre isn’t a good idea, nor is ranting about a tutor you don’t like. And if you’ve asked for a deadline extension for a family funeral and then post pictures of yourself having a great time at a gig, you might find that your tutor isn’t particularly forgiving.
4. The one who turns into a bully Banter with your friends is one thing, but being abusive or threatening to people online is never acceptable. And even if you think something is a joke, that may not be how someone else sees it.
5. The one who forgets about life after university At some point during your studies here you’ll do some career planning or apply for a job. If you put your Twitter or blog on your CV, chances are a potential employer will look at them. If they read potty-mouthed tweets aimed at your friends or find your holiday pictures on Instagram will they invite you to interview? Maybe not.