Thursday, July 28, 2011

Social Networking in Nursing School

It is rare to find a college student in America who is not on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or many of the other social networking sites available today. Social networking has become a part of our daily lives and not only do we have access on our laptops or home computers, but now we also have constant access on our smart phones. There is not a moment that occurs during our day where we do not have the ability to blog, post, or tweet about it. With all of this access, not only are our friends able to view what we post, but also our professors and school administrators. How do we balance this freedom of social networking, while being professional at the same time?

I recently heard a story where a student dropped-out of graduate school due to being confronted by the school about some harsh things she was saying about it online. Although I certainly don’t advocate the student’s actions, I wonder how I would feel if I knew my school was watching my internet usage. It seems that no matter how safe and secure you think your information is on these social networking sites, people will still see it. I think the rule of thumb should be to never say anything about the person/organization/school online, which you wouldn’t say directly to them in person.

That being said, I think social networking can be amazing for students. You are able to create study groups or class groups and all stay in touch regarding assignments and tests. It can be a very useful tool for throwing a question out to your peers for assistance and guidance and seeing a dialogue follow. Most schools have a Facebook group as well, which can be very helpful to receive notifications about outages or weather closures, or upcoming events within the school.

How have you used social networking in your school life? Do you feel as though it has benefited you or been detrimental?