Until just a couple of decades ago, all college freshmen had to worry about was attending classes and getting good grades. Social networking then was primarily done by telephones and snailmail letters.
Today’s freshmen are living in a world of instant electronic communications. Everything new college students do on their computers and hand-held devices can have the potential to enhance or damage their college careers.
Your task is to make sure you keep alert in all of your social networking. Now that you’re into your busy freshman year, take time to review some of the possible slip-ups you should avoid in Email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and all the rest.
1. You’re not in high school any more: Up until this year, you may have been a super tweeter. You were on your SmartPhone day and night, talking to friends about the latest gossip and all the school news. Decide this is the time to cut way back on your social networking, to be more mature and balanced with your time. You don’t have to quit cold turkey, but make studies and classes your first priority over electronic gabbing.
2. Don’t slip up on college schedules: Class times and deadlines for turning in essays and reports are much more important in college than they were in high school. If social networking causes you to be late or miss some required class, you need to cut back significantly on gossiping and tweeting. When you have to contact someone, make it quick and brief.
3. Don’t fail to realize the extent of social networking: Understand that your electronic communications history may be open to research by the college staff. If your site contains negative material, it could cost you scholarships and other financial help. At worst, in extreme situations of obscenity or illegal activities, it could get you expelled.
4. Avoid the slip-up of blind trust: Don’t use your social network contacts for research. To do your college work, you’ll need considerable accurate information in your studies, preparing reports and other responsibilities. The internet and social sites are full of people who give phony and inaccurate information.
Double-check everything you get from individuals online or from other sources, whether they’re friends or strangers. Do your research on legitimate websites and the reliable campus library.
5. Don’t fail to keep on constant guard against those who create viruses, spam and other predatory damage. Realize that they’re always out there in cyberspace looking for new ways to hack into social networks.
Your freshman year should be devoted to getting into college life by balancing your studies with positive extra-curricular activities. While you don’t need to cut off all social networking, you should avoid any possibility that it will interfere with a full and satisfying college experience.