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.

A large portion of good decision making stems from being informed and properly educated. 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 dangers. 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?

    Avoid the risk of stalking or identity theft. Keep your address, birth date, class schedule and other identifying information private. Users who share addresses, telephone numbers, birthdays, and even class schedules put themselves at a greater risk for identity theft, stalking and harassment.

  • If it gives you pause, pause

    Stop and think before you write a message or post pictures. Ask yourself if the information you are sharing is something you want your future employers, college administrators or your grandma to see. 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.

  • 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.

  • Are you adding value?

    There are millions of words out there. The best way to get yours 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.

  • What is a "meat puppet" and why should I care?

    A meat puppet is a fictional account or fake personality created to pass as a real person. It is sometimes used as a marketing ploy to attract new friends on social networking sites, thereby giving companies access to email addresses with which to solicit new customers. Be skeptical of Facebook and other profiles that may represent marketing schemes, not real people.