The Telegraph today reports on a Facebook Page at Swansea University where Students are uploaded stories of nights out while away from home for the first time. The story refers to this specific page but is symptomatic of the problems face by the current generation of students who have grown up with social media like Facebook being an ever present factor in their lives during their teenage years. They share personal content without hesitation and often exert no control to online privacy settings. I have heard many instances of graduates attending job interviews only to be faced with posts from Twitter or Facebook or other blog entries and being asked to account for the material that has been posted there. And these are the students lucky enough to get interviews, what about those whose social media footprint has been sufficient to deny them the prospect of a job interview itself? I have worked with some Universities and Students on this issue but there needs to be active education on these issues at undergraduate level.
The Telegraph writes that undergraduates have been swapping tales of binge-drinking and lewd behaviour on the social networking website.
The craze for online confession pages has swept the country with thousands using them to brag about boozing exploits
But academic chiefs have warned students that their anecdotes could damage their future job prospects.
One Facebook site, Swansea Uni Confessions, has been slammed by the university and its student union.
In a joint statement, registrar Raymond Ciborowski and Students’ Union president Tom Upton said: “We are seriously concerned about the nature and content of these pages.
“Irresponsible use of social media can damage their future employment prospects as companies are increasingly searching for information on job applicants.”
Undergraduates use the Facebook pages to post tales of what they get up to after moving away from home.
Most of the confessions are anonymous – students email their stories to an unknown administrator who then posts it on the internet for everyone to see.
But concerns have been raised over what these shady administrators might do with students information after the messages have been sent.
The statement added: “Students are sharing personal information, including explicit content, with an anonymous page administrator, who has no accountability.
“As a result, participants’ personal details could potentially be made publicly available for viewing by fellow students, staff, public, press, potential employers.
“University regulations clearly state that it is a disciplinary offence to engage in behaviour which could bring the University into disrepute – this includes social media activity.
“The internet and social media are governed by laws relating to defamation and public order, and as a result, there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech.”