ERIC Number: ED535520
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Student Blogs: Virtual Communities or Predator Menus? Making a Difference Series
Chapman, Robert J.
The Network: Addressing Collegiate Alcohol and Other Drug Issues
One interactive resource that may present the potential to significantly affect the personal lives of today's collegians is the virtual collegiate community, e.g., Facebook or MySpace. These are examples of a virtual communities or social networks, where students can post information about themselves in order to make connections, both on and off campus. It occurs to the author that these online communities--or should he say student entries about themselves IN these communities--may be useful when discussing issues related to self-esteem, self-respect, students concerns about how they are perceived, etc. By talking about how students refer to themselves in their profiles, e.g., the language they use, the images they post, etc., educators may be able to invite students to recognize that they all teach others how they would like to be treated in the way they present themselves in public. Regardless of what one thinks about such a practice, it is not without its proponents and critics. For example, even though the Internet is public, do administrators who visit student blogs and then ask about what is posted there run the risk of being perceived as voyeurs? Even if an administrator has the best of intentions when accessing student blog information to help students see the big picture, does this represent a step too far in the quest to help students? Those who lean towards either pole in such a debate are likely to articulate arguments for their positions quite well. But what about those in the middle who are genuinely wrestling with both the pros and the cons of this question? How DOES a serious student affairs professional discern what is voyeurism and entrapment from what is providing realistic feedback on how students present themselves in public? Some additional questions and points-of-view to be considered when deciding to use Facebook or other online blogs in student affairs efforts are presented.
Descriptors: Student Personnel Services, Web Sites, Electronic Publishing, Social Networks, Journal Writing, Self Esteem, Language Usage, Internet, Student Personnel Workers, Administrator Role, Feedback (Response), College Students, Information Technology
The Network: Addressing Collegiate Alcohol and Other Drug Issues. Web site: http://www.thenetwork.ws
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: The Network Addressing Collegiate Alcohol and Other Drug Issues