Friday, January 20, 2006

Students' Online Socializing and unintended consequences

Today's print edition of the Chronicle discusses an interesting phenomenon among our students. I remember when I taught junior high and high school that "kids" are really good at telling on themselves. Well, apparently online communication is further facilitating that at the college level. After the riot at Penn State in October, students were busy posting pictures of themselves and their friends who had participated in the riots - thus greatly aiding police in their search for the responsible parties.

But more interesting is the claim by some students that their privacy has been invaded since they did not mean for the police to 'find' those pictures on the internet. They utilized Facebook - which easily linked the involved students to one another - the whole purpose of social software. And, for some reason, I don't think this is the last time students will tell on themselves.

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