Things To Be Careful About At College: Drugs, Alcohol, Debt, Sex… Social Networking?

from the warnings dept

It really does seem like social networking is becoming to adults today what rock music was to a generation or so ago. Beyond Congress trying to ban any such site in schools that receive federal money, college orientations are now including sections on how to social network responsibly online. Yes, it fits right in with the topics on drugs, alcohol, sex and debt. Sure, it’s important that people learn to be responsible in how they use social networks, but shouldn’t kids have learned how to act safely online (social networks or elsewhere) well before they head off to college?

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Comments on “Things To Be Careful About At College: Drugs, Alcohol, Debt, Sex… Social Networking?”

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NwEsT says:

The Dumbass Generation

Why is it that the new generation is having to be repeatedly taught in how to act by the people in th eolder generations. It’s like we just can’t seem to get the point.

Could the older generation be making up for mistakes they made? Do they really know how to run America? I tend to think not, but that could be the teenager speaking out in me.

Alex says:

Re: The Dumbass Generation

Well, maybe we do have a stupid generation. As a teen, I can surely vouch for the fact that there is a rather startlingly large portion of people my age who are utter idiots. I’m sure the generations before us had these people too, maybe they just forgot about them.

And a huge problem with the ‘education’ of these networking sites and the like is that there IS NO education. Instead of trying to teach us to be careful, they just say “Don’t give out personal information” and block the sites. Like thats going to solve anything. Alot more teens are computer savvy than alot more adults, so we find ways to get around the blocks.. trust me.. I’ve done it myself. And when people say “Don’t give out personal information”, then how are you supposed to network? Instead of giving a general “don’t tell them about you”, parents and other adults should be explaining safe ways of releasing safe information.

Maybe they’re making up for their own mistakes. I wouldn’t doubt it. But the fact of the matter is that people DO have to learn their own lessons, in most cases, either that, or learn lessons from people that they can see, something that appears to have a REAL outcome, instead of just hearing old stories, or the like.

Kamran says:

Re: Re: The Dumbass Generation

I think the problem was that back then all the idiots were effectively shadowed from the world because there was no MySpace, LiveJournal, Facebook, etc. No intarweb.

Now, it SEEMS like there are more teenage idiots (my generation) nowadays, because they are all over the internet.

I don’t know. Maybe most of my generation are idiots.

Alex says:

Re: think about it...

Oh sure, they’ve had 10 or 20 years more time to learn their own lessons, but surely that doesn’t make the same effect of someone learning it for themselves. And since computers are changing all the time, and alot of parents didn’t grow up with computers, it makes teens have the edge, since they’re actively working with them.

What, you mean the avoiding a kid being targeted by a predator? Guess what, its happened before computers came out. And in that case, parents ARE making the mistakes, because it appears to me that they aren’t being so successful at avoiding those predators. Educate, not ban or block. Education is the key, yet I don’t hear or see much education of this topic happening.

tychism says:

Re: think about it...

Still, it doesn’t make sense to rob someone of experience all together. By trying to impose restrictions on someone of college age, you are likely only going to deepen their curiosity. How about letting them be, to discover for themselves? Perhaps offer wisdom to guide as opposed to cutting them off all together and promoting rebellion. Move to educate, not suffocate.

Whatever I said says:

think about it...

Then let’s just ban the entire internet for children so they don’t make the same mistakes some older people didn’t make because the “social networking” fad is fairly recent. Frankly, all the pc bullshit that’s in America right now urks me like you wouldn’t believe. Everyone must be 100% safe at all times and other wish wash. It’s common sense not to do some of the things these kids are doing, but hey, I say let nature take its course. Survival of the fitest. If you’re stupid enough to disclose all your personal information to someone after you stripped half to fully naked in front of your webcam for them then you deserve whatever fate comes to you. There’s no reason not to allow people access to such things as social networking sites on the premise that some people are just to stupid to handle them responsibly. On that idea, let’s ban automobiles all together because some people are irresponsible and drive around tanked off their ass.

Eric says:

Missing an Important Detail

A trend I see in the population that’s considered a “target” for the dangers of “social networking” is the fact that sites like MySpace, Friendster, Facebook (I’ll use MySpace as the general example, only because it’s what I’m most familiar with) have less to do with real life social networking than they do with self gratification and pre-existing friendships.

I honestly don’t know of one person that “met on MySpace” and began a friendship. Look at 90% of the profiles and you’ll see there’s a core group of 5-20 people that continuously interact back and forth… usually talking to each other about things that would have happened whether or not MySpace ever existed. More than half of the communication is “Best Friends For Life” comments on each other’s retarded pictures, or comments about last nights big party.

I’m not saying go ahead and put your SSN and your home phone number and address anywhere online, but I’m just not so clear as to how prevalent the threat is… Maybe I’m missing something.

I think that alot of the threat hype is made by people who have no first hand experience of the system – they’re simply poorely informed about the system’s POSSIBLE use and fueled by mass media hysterics.

Just my .02…

william says:

naive people

Many naive women and girls think they are safe and just meeting friends. When in fact these friends can look normal , but when they meet them, buy them dinner, movies, and the whole date, they automaticly think the girl owes them something. The girl sometimes feels pressured and makes the wrong choice sometime. No matter what you tell them, sometimes they won’t get it. My college is very into teaching students how to be safe. It is a good idea that schools should do this.

Clair (user link) says:

Educate the people

Young or old, people need to educate themselves when it comes to social networking, be it online or offline. It’s just too much to suddenly ban sites and so on. Exposure to different kinds of dangers — that’s part of life. Encapsulating people from them will just make things worse.

One can give out information at any time. How much information and how personal the information should be is usually decided by someone. Judgment calls — we learn them in time.

Andrew Strasser says:

Networking is essential to life.

This is one of the biggest factors you’ll ever come across in your life. If you ever heard any rich person speak they bring up how that networking is the key to making any business thrive. This therefore is the driving force of our entire lives. Like what Church shall my kids go to. What school can I put them in. This is an aspect of every part of a human beings existance as we’re taught, you only ever know what you learn from everyone else. From there you’re just using those things to create something new. Simple networking I’m sure everyone on this forum has heard in their life.

The difference is people can’t afford the daycare that can teach those values to kids as they bulldoze the churches for less than pennies to build highways….

I mean you have to realize that our society is in a serious decline and has been for a long time. It’s designed to make the rich richer. The poor poorer and also to bring about inevitable things so much faster than needed just to make sheer profits.

The world is a sick place to live in sometimes you learn to laugh. I relate to House’s version of it basically you have to have something to humor you.

Clair (user link) says:

Re: Networking is essential to life.

The difference is people can’t afford the daycare that can teach those values to kids as they bulldoze the churches for less than pennies to build highways….

Daycare? It’s parents/guardians/whoever else around young people who should be teaching them these things. Like how I learned from my parents that I shouldn’t really trust strangers with too much information, etc.

I would have to agree that the society seems to be in a decline right now but I really think that first and foremost we don’t have to foist it upon the schools to teach the young ones these basic things. It’s as if passing on the responsibility to schools. Parents/guardians and schools do have to work together on it but from the looks of things, the government and the schools are taking the brunt of it all.

TLW says:

Its College

Its school people. The point is you go there to study and get an education not chat with your friends about last nights party or stalk people. Email sites like yahoo and others have been banned for years at many schools, colleges included. Why would Myspace or other similar distractions be any different.

On another note, why should we accept congress passing laws to enforce codes and regulations about what a school allows their students to do simply because they give them money.

I don’t agree with the law and I don’t think it will accomplish what it intends but I don’t disagree with the concept. Lets teach tools in school, not how to play with toys.

As for raising awareness. It hasn’t worked for teen pregnancy or drug use but hey might as well give it a go. It can’t hurt anything.

Jesse (profile) says:

Re: Its College

What you seem to be missing is the fact that this is not a matter of distractions in class, this is a matter of residents on the campus being banned from a site. how would you feel if your ISP suddenly decided you weren’t allowed to check your e-mail? the fact is, many people at colleges get all of their internet access from the college, and so it’s ridiculous to entirely ban a site from college networks. it could be banned selectively in classrooms, but not in dormitories, apartment buildings, and libraries/labs that offer computers for non academic purposes. a lot of people maintain communication with family and friends through social networking systems, so for many people banning myspace from their home is like takeing away their telephone.

steve says:

teens are dumb

most teenagers are dumbasses that think everything is perfect, and that they are invincible. They go around posting pictures of themselves *generally girls* that are attractive and then they complain that they have sketchy guys trying to talk to them now. its b/c u are a dumbass and posted a picture of yourself half naked on the internet. of course some pervert is going to find it and try and contact u. don’t b a dumbass. keep your nose clean and stick to talking with your friends, unless u want to get stalked and possibly raped.

Annonymouse says:

People are so stupid!!!

Wow, sometimes I wonder about people. Myspace is so overrated. Plus everyone makes too big of a deal about it and all the other social networking sites. Not only do some people become obsessed with them, some people are against them too much. People are becoming aganst it both ways.

People also should know how to act responsibally online way before college, the law that limits people getting accounts with most online stuff is 13.

Just get over social networking, especially for your pets, THERE ARE SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES FOR PETS!!!!

Now lets all just go and meet some new people by hanging at your local coffeeshop or bookstore.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: People are so stupid!!!

You dolt. There is a simple explanation for people becoming addicted to social networking sites such as myspace: They are free. Who wants to go out to their local coffee shop, bookstore, bar, whatever…and waste money and time in the hope that they will meet a stranger, let alone have a conversation with them? It is a waste of money and time to go to a coffe shop to try and meet new people. That is the stupidest idea I have ever heard in my life.

me, myself, and i says:

another note...

on a rather on topic note, the problem lies not with the fact that this generation is full of complete morons, but with the fact that no generation before has been able to express its moronic traits at any other time than during news coverage of a disaster. simply put, the allocation of memory for the masses has resulted in humanity fulfilling einstein’s saying, “two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity (i’m not sure about the universe)”

discojohnson says:

Mike Mike Mike...

Yes, it fits right in with the topics on drugs, alcohol, sex and debt. Sure, it’s important that people learn to be responsible in how they use social networks, but shouldn’t kids have learned how to act safely online (social networks or elsewhere) well before they head off to college?

you made your own point-counterpoint. yes, people should learn how to act safely online well before they head off to college. they should also learn financial responsibility as well as have a clue when it comes to drugs, alcohol, and sex. but they don’t, which is why they have this education. if parents would raise their kids worth a shit these kinds of things wouldn’t be as big of an issue.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Mike Mike Mike...

Agreed…people are so used to finding the easy way out and to make excuses…Financial debts? Not ALL debt is bad especially when everything revolves around your FICO score, I know many people that do not have the greatest credit once they graduate college b/c of lack of credit. Drugs? hey it happens and chances are the very parents complaining about social networking sites have done their share of recreational drugs as well when they were teens. Alcohol? Goes hand in hand with social networking of the professional world. Sex? why not band MTV and 90% of the tv shows out there that promote it?

Like discojohnson said “If parents would raise their kids worth a shit these kinds of things wouldn’t be as big of an issue.”

Just Another Imbecile says:

Parent and EDUCATE your Children

Proper parenting:

Teaching your children causality (Every action has consequences, and the more inexperienced you are, the more unforeseen the consequences become)

I don’t think that any generation is smarter or dumber than others. They are all equally stupid, but I digress…

The ones that show some ability to learn from their mistakes will eventually rise and the ignorant others provide the fuel for humanities dilemas and failings. If you can’t deal with it, you’d probably better ‘off’ yourself now, b/c it is highly unlikely to ever change.

This is evolution’s catch 22, I guess. The ‘not so bright’ ones are there to try the stuff that the ‘enlightened’ ones are positive won’t ever be successfull, and therefore never try. Occasionally one is successfull at their seemingly doomed endeavor. Idiots seem to be nature’s ‘Random Action’ function…

Danno says:

Well, I could understand why they might not know how to act safely about drugs, alcohol, and sex since the “official line” is that you shouldn’t use them at all, ever and that you’re a criminal if you do. So, only those that care to get good information have proper knowledge.

Thanks Republicans, you god damned asstards, for making us all dumber.

What they need to tell the college kids about with regards to Social Networking is the capacity for making Career Limiting Moves public and easily accessable through search engines, not something that a teenager would normally worry about, but that you need to think about when you enter college.

Lay Person says:

I don't know...

I don’t know if it’s just me or the world around me.

Are kids, say 16-21 years old, just more rude and self-serving? I see it more and more. I surf and I see it in the water, I see it in traffic, and I see it in work and school.

They really don’t take the time to think of others or even common manners or courtesy.

I can’t remember where I learned respect and manners, it wasn’t in school…maybe my parents…or experience.

In any case, yeah college is way too late for such lessons. This is something taught during development and over time is engrained within the person. It becomes a part of them.

Social networking skills wether elctronic or otherwise, by that age, should be intrinsic to the individual.

Maybe this is what happens when you get older. There is a feeling of dissonance between my values and those of that age group.

kate says:

The average female who I have encountered meets a guy in a bar or in another public place, decides he’s attractive, talks to him for just a few minutes, and ends up giving him her home number the same evening. He calls her and they talk once or twice, then he’ll generally pick her up at her home and take her out on a date.

Yet when she meets a man through a social networking site, if she’s smart, she tends to converse with him for longer periods of time, via the Internet, trying to gauge whether he’s a nut or not. Days or weeks of back and forth e-mails give her a chance to see if he says anything weird. She doesn’t know if she’s attracted to him yet since they’ve never met in person, so she has a lot less invested and can decide not to meet him if he writes anything that she considers to be a red flag. If she decides to meet him in person, she generally meets him in a public place, lets her friends know where she’s going, and takes her own car the first few times.

I myself have had fewer troubles with guys I’ve initially met online than with guys I’ve initially met in person. When he’s cute and charming the heck out of me, it’s easy to ignore the red flags. When he’s a stranger on the Internet, I pay very close attention to what he’s writing to me.

So, I’m all for educating people.

Whatever he said says:


Alex — I have never met a teen who didn’t think they knew everything, and yes, I am aware that applys to me when I was a teen. With that assumed knowledge comes a resentment of authority; “I know everything, so F U for trying to tell me anything” — been there.

The issue here is the Fed subsidizing social networking which is F*ing nonsense, and since I’ve been paying taxes longer than any teenager alive, I say, “not with my money.”

You’d like to think that growing up with computers gives you and edge, but an edge over what? Me? Eek, if you only knew. Here’s an observation I’ve had over my extra years: I’ve seen plenty of teens come to adulthood; the whiners spend a decade in poverty blaming others while the smart ones learn to respect and exploit the knowledge of their peers, some of them getting rich in the process.

As for Education, you bitch that parents make mistakes, so it is their fault whenever a predator succeeds, but you fail to see that you resent the education you received at home. Education doesn’t just happen in the classroom.

If the student thinks they know everything, like Alex, what’s the point of education? If we preach “stay away from strangers” and you don’t because you want to “learn it for yourself” then you get what is coming to you..

College 'dude' says:

Re: whiners

“The issue here is the Fed subsidizing social networking which is F*ing nonsense, and since I’ve been paying taxes longer than any teenager alive, I say, “not with my money.””

While I dont disagree with much else you said, I disagree with that. I think campus internet access should not be censored in any way, shape, or form — except reasonable things like banning a MAC address after it blows 500gb in 3 hours of bittorrent frenzy. Any less makes our universities as morally corrupt as Chinese or probably many muslim ones.

Regarding “your” tax money, dont forget the average college degree holder earns an extra million bucks over a life time, taxed at a higher than average rate.. Even with a large drop out rate, its safe to assume that colleges are by far astoundingly self sufficient in terms of what they give back from what they consume of federal dollars. Instead I suggest you whine about your tax dollars getting blown on social security and other socialistic BS budget-busters.

Whatever he said says:

Re: Re: whiners

I am more than happy to complain about how my taxes are spent, since I regard income tax as illegal. So naturally Social Security is my list.

Our education system is geared toward mediocrity. In the late 60’s college professors saw the students they failed get shipped to Viet Nam and blown to peices, so they lowered the standards and saved lives, but never readjusted — few A’s today would have earned you a B back then.

It was Neitzche who said compulsory education for the masses would lower the standards — and indeed, an A today wouldn’t pass for a C 100 years ago.

Our universities are already morally corrupt. How many PhDs write pointless papers annually just to keep tenure? How many Frat-Jocks only show up for mid-terms and finals and still pass with good grades? How many more teachers will my kids have that did nothing but go from kindergarden to a bachelors degree to a classroom (worthless dolts)?

It’s a business, and a poorly run one for that matter — so yes, I bitch about taxes going to subsidize what should come from tuition.

I think college should be expensive, even at the state level. I think entrance exams should be painfull. I think my taxes should fund only the brightest of the poor.

I think genius gets lost in all the mediocrity. I suspect the extra million dollars you mention has little to do with the education, but the intelligent individual who earns it. Education does not make you intelligent, and where there is smoke, there is not neccesarily fire.

Tech person says:

The only thing

The only thing I have against social networking sites is the profiles that have too many large files such as large photos, music and videos. My wife and I are relocating back to her home town area and she’s trying to find old friends through my space and every time she hits some over loaded profile I can kiss my internet connection good bye. So I’m all for ed-ja-ma-kating people just so long as they can learn how to make bandwidth friendly sites.

samsonite says:


welll…. me being 24 years old I experienced something rather unusual.. My generation knows how to use computers very well. However, I learned very early. I remember being the only kid in my class that had the internet. In 8th grade, I did a report for my teachers and class about “the internet” and would it was used for. This is right at the begining of a modern day chat room. I didn’t have anyone to tell me how to act or what information to give out. Noone had even thought of this stuff, I was smart enough not to do these things… Just because some people are idiots, we shouldn’t hinder the technology for the rest of us. Computers have gotten so mainstream, that people have basically forgotten its history and what brought us to where we are today.

By regulating the internet because some idiot kid got molestered by an adult, is about as comparable as to making all motorcycles go no faster than 30 MPH because some idiot kid killed himself. Education is the key.. Correct me if Im wrong, but doesn’t it seem like DUI’s have fallen in the past 20 years? Not because our cars won’t let us drive drunk, but because of education and enforcement.

Lay Person says:

Re: #43 well...


Interesting take #43. It’s hard to say, yeah a few idiots generally ruin it for the rest.

It kinda reminds me of guns. Guns built this country, they provided protection, food, and sport.

Now, guns are considered taboo. All because a small group of people made a big fuss and blamed guns for the deaths of certain individuals. No one is addressing the real issue here which is that death occurs from an immeasurable number of items (i.e. hammers, stairs, cars, etc.) yet why concentrate on just guns? People who don’t enjoy firearms don’t understand them and tend to fear them and thus they make it the enemy.

But in reality, the gun is a tool, just like computers and the internet. Those who misunderstand or fail to appreciate their use/value tend to “evilize” (I made that word up for all the English Language geniuses) them.

So these very same people end up creating negative hype based solely on ignorance. Often they are in a position of authority and tend to make matters even worse (internet tubes). This causes a chain reaction of idiocy whereby one idiot reacts with another person and a new idiot is created. If one were to follow the idiocy chain, the source usually is proven wrong or incorrect yet it’s too late.

So much idiot energy is released that nothing and I mean nothing can stop it.

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