The article “Youthful Indiscretions: Should Colleges Protect Social Network Users from Themselves and Others?” is written by Dana L. Fleming and appears in the winter 2008 issue of the New England Journal of Higher Education. Fleming’s objective with this article is to show college students the dangers of social networking sites, and at the same time she is advising parents on the social networking world.
In this article she is giving us a look into the damage that social networks can do to students in their job, school, and life. She talks about the millions of members that are already using these sites and that they still growing. The members use these sites to make friends, find old friends, and to talk to friends. “The only requirement a user will need is an email address and a willingness to share his or her “profile” with other users.”(qtd in Fleming 441)
Fleming warns students of the dangers in using your personal pages; she tells the readers how it can be used against the student when applying for jobs, scholarships, and can be used against them in the court of law. She explains how one intern lost her opportunity for the job, after the college checked out her Facebook page, they read that her interest included “smoking blunts, shooting people, and obsessive sex.” (441)
While giving all the reasons effecting college students, the author explains how social networking can affect younger children, also. She gives tells how one young girl was beaten and raped by three men who appeared to be her friends on Myspace. Same type scenario happened in Texas, where a young girl lied about her age, and then met up with an older guy only to be sexually assaulted.
MySpace is one of the top websites and is very successful for their producers. Facebook is the favorite for college students, and was at one time for students only. Now it is open to all age users. The author states that there are other sites such as Friendster, LiveJournal, and YouTube that allow people to show the world inside their own lives. Students are willing to share their personal information, personal pictures, music clips, interest, school affiliation, and home town. Other members can contact you by searching for you by name or affiliation and then they request you to be their friend. She explains that some of the people on these sites are just seeing how many friends they can get, and allow friend request from strangers.
This article also mentions how to be part of a group on these sites is easy to do. The group affiliations are how most people find you and want to become your friend. If the...