College faculty members must be careful what they post using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, etc.
Instructors may think that their Facebook page is their personal account and not a part of their school life, but they must realize that whatever they post can lead to serious ramifications. Some employees have been disciplined or even fired for comments made on social media sites.
Faculty should realize that whatever they post online is representative of their college. Think about your Tweets or Status Updates each time you post. Ask yourself how this will be viewed by the public and by the college administrators. Of course, posting negative comments about students, coworkers, or bosses should never happen. But also, be careful about posts that might seem harmless to you but viewed in a different light by others.
Keep in mind that your comments could be interpreted to represent those of your institution.
People who use social media are often unaware that their posts can become available to the public. Even though you intend your posts to be for close friends or colleagues, they have a way of getting out to an unintended audience. The comments that you blog, the updates you put on Facebook, your Tweets in Twitter, the videos you upload to youTube, all of these can come back to haunt you.
So do the negative ramifications of social media suggest that faculty members should refuse to use this type of media?
Sometimes out of fear faculty members miss an opportunity to make use of valuable social media tools. In this era of cell phone, ipods,and ipads, faculty can use social media tools to extend the classroom discussion beyond the traditional class time. Faculty can effectively engage students with the content using social media tools rather than the older methods that no longer have an impact such as office visits, phone calls, or email.
Social media space is no different from other conversations that you might have in public except that your comments may be read by many more people. Whatever you post has the potential of following you for the rest of your life. Faculty members should always use good judgment and professionalism and think before posting.
Do you think faculty members should use social media and teach their students how to use social media? Recently I have been stressing to my students the importance of developing a positive digital footprint. What are your thoughts?
- http://www.thenewsstar.com/article/20111009/NEWS01/111009002 (Stephanie Smith)
- http://www.centralfloridafuture.com/news/social-media-faux-pas-prove-costly-1.2649167?pagereq=2 (Lauren Holliday)
- http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/article/Getting-schooled-on-social-media-2209745.php (Melissa Ludwig)
- http://www.santafenewmexican.com/Local%20News/How-friendly (Robert Nott)