During my time in high school, Facebook and Twitter were the places to go to catch up on the latest social drama among my friends. There was no academic purpose, and teachers -- if they had an account at all -- refused to add you on any social network.
Today, colleges are slowly beginning to adapt to social media. As a student at Ohio State University, I have noticed that organizations, clubs, and even President Gordon Gee have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. So what exactly does this mean?
First of all, it means that we, as college students, should be more cautious of what we post on our social media. While a family picture at Christmas might be cute and show your love for your family, a sloppy picture of you and your friends at midnight on New Year's might be a bad decision considering that future employers might have access to that picture.
This is especially true for students looking for on-campus employment. You may choose not to connect with any of your school's social media pages. If you do decide to use social media to network with influential people or to search for a campus job, I would advise removing any embarrassing party photos and changing your username from "HottieWithABody" to anything else.
Another great use for social media in college is to quickly catch up on campus updates. I'll admit that I'm guilty of promoting my club's Twitter account by writing the URL in chalk on a sidewalk on campus. I have found myself checking Twitter for updates around campus because it is faster than the campus newspaper and it is updated constantly.
If you're looking for a campus job, look for a Facebook group that talks about opportunities. If you're interested in joining the Chess Club, look them up on Twitter and see if they're tweeting about when the next meeting is. From personal experience, even my residence hall has a Facebook page. I was able to ask previous inhabitants about their experiences in my future residence hall, as well as ask them what they recommended my roommates and I bring. It was extremely helpful, and I was able to avoid difficult situations such as only having one trash can and not having hand soap.
College can be a difficult transition and while the idea of your school looking at your social media can be a terrifying concept, it can also be extremely helpful. Be smart about what you post online, and use your Twitter and Facebook accounts to your advantage.