Social Media Guidelines

Considerations for Smart Social Media Use

Many of the decisions you will make while here at UofL will shape your future in positive ways. When making these decisions, there may be multiple paths for you leading towards personal growth and knowledge in key competencies. Other decisions you will make have the ability to negatively impact your health, safety, and college career. These decisions also require and demand the tools of good decision-making.

Being informed and properly educated assist in good decision-making. This page is designed with that concept in mind. Improper or negative social networking etiquette has become an area of increasing concern on many higher education campuses. Online habits are changing rapidly from a closed, private behavior towards an open and sharing culture. While this may bring about positive results, as a student, it is important that you are also aware of the possible risks. Many of these online communities give their users a false sense of security. Within the UofL community, you will be treated as an adult and afforded freedom to pursue your academic and social activities. This new freedom is accompanied by increased responsibility and higher levels of accountability. The university community is committed to encouraging all persons, whether student, staff, or faculty, to accept responsibility for their personal behavior and future success. The following is a list of considerations for smarter social media use:

  • Are you revealing too much?
    Be careful how much personal identifying information you provide on social networking sites, to avoid the risk of stalking or identity theft. Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on your social networking sites and remember that regardless of your privacy settings, information you share online can become public. Do not post information such as your address, birth date, class schedule, social security number, or any other identifying information you do not want strangers viewing. Users who share addresses, telephone numbers, birthdays, and even class schedules put themselves at a greater risk for identity theft, stalking, and harassment.

  • Know what action to take.
    If someone is harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends list, block them, and report them to the site administrator. Report any actual or suspected hacking, impersonation, harassment, threats, or online fraud for referral to law enforcement authorities.

  • Are you adding value by building a positive online reputation?
    There are millions of words out there. The best way to get your information read is to write things that people will value. Identify your goals and motivation for the content you post.

  • Perception is reality.
    In online social networks, the lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred. You are constantly creating perceptions about your character that can affect your present status and future aspirations. Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your values.

  • If it gives you pause, pause and think about your future. Once posted always posted.
    To ensure you protect your reputation on social networks, stop and think before you write a message or post pictures. Ask yourself if the information you are sharing is something you want your parents, grandparents, future employers, or college administrators to see. Be mindful of the fact, that even items you delete can remain on the internet for years. If you're about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable, don't shrug it off; think through the future implications and possible consequences of the posting. Inappropriate and/or unprofessional photos, comments, and references that you post or ones that are posted by others can interfere with your professional credibility and can damage your professional reputation. An increasing number of admissions officials and employers consider candidates' social media activities in making their selections. According to research conducted by CareerBuilder (2017), 70% of job recruiters rejected candidates based on information they found online.

  • Do I have the okay of my peers to post their information and pictures?
    Postings of other people which have not been cleared can be considered an invasion of privacy. Special consideration of the posting or pictures impact on the other individual should not be an afterthought.

  • Be cautious on social networking sites.
    When "friending," make sure you know the person. Even links that look like they come from friends can sometimes contain harmful software or be part of a phishing attack. If you are at all suspicious, do not click it. Contact your friend to verify the validity of the link first.