New media has been around for so long that one must question whether or not the name is even fitting anymore. We’re in an era where people think that daily tasks such as eating are information that should be shared on the Internet. There are plenty of websites to do just that. But when is enough, enough?
I’m not denying that Twitter has value as a social network website. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is generally much more public. It has privacy settings but there’s not as much of a need for it since Twitter does not involve as much personal information.
The laid back element of Twitter can be dangerous though. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, known for his work as Iago in Aladdin, was recently fired from his job as the Aflac duck over tweets that he made regarding Japan. You cannot blame Aflac for firing a man whose tasteless remarks could potentially damage the brand but I doubt Gottfried really understood how dangerous those tweets could be.
Boston College students should be cautious with how they use Twitter, especially if it deals with issues on campus. Twitter accounts may not have networks like Facebook but it is still pretty easy for BC police to find and track accounts that deal with campus issues. If Gottfried can be fired over a joke, you can imagine that students could be kicked out for tweets that hurt another students image or slander the school.
Another popular website amongst students is likealittle.com. It’s not surprising that the man who parades around as Dr. Malone finds this website fascinating. Likealittle is actually a pretty innovative concept in that it allows students to flirt anonymously using descriptions and location. Likealittle uses networks like Facebook so students know that they are flirting with fellow BC students.
While likealittle seems pretty safe and friendly, students should still exercise caution when using it. It can be easily monitored by BCPD so students should make sure that the anonymous flirting website doesn’t divulge too many details.
The person known around campus as the Edward Cullen kid has been identified on likealittle more than a few times. This is an extreme example since most students do not resemble vampires but it does show that likealittle is not always anonymous. The website discourages and usually removes mentions to people by name but that doesn’t mean that descriptions can’t get a little too vivid.
Pessimists against these new media outlets seem to ignore the numerous benefits of these websites. Many websites allow users to “like” an article, which is then shared on the users’ Facebook pages. This is a major step up from the days where one had to copy and paste urls in an e-mail in order to share them with friends. You could even share Observer articles on Facebook as easily as the click of your mouse.
There’s no doubt that websites like Facebook and Twitter have changed campus life. While many members of the faculty will try to dissuade students from using these websites so that potential internships and job opportunities will not be jeopardized, that seems a little extreme. You just need to be sure that you aren’t telling the general public information that you wouldn’t tell your parents. They’ll find out.