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Personal Social Media Use

Social media sites can feel overwhelming because they create scenarios that blur the lines between our public and our private lives.

FSU strongly advocates that faculty and staff educate themselves on how to use their personal privacy settings for social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and to take full advantage of them. Here are some helpful articles from Consumer Reports and that offer some good ideas on how to be safe and protect your private info while using Facebook:

7 Things To Stop Doing Now on Facebook

A Guide To Protecting Your Online Identity

In Defense of Facebook

It's a good idea to not include any personally identifiable information that can be used to locate someone offline. (This includes anyone's screen name, personal photo, hobbies, identification numbers such as social security numbers or student ID's, addresses or business phone number). We know this seems obvious, but we're restating it here, anyway.

Many faculty and staff struggle with whether or not to add students and co-workers to their private social media networks. FSU encourages faculty and staff to first and foremost talk to their supervisors and the chairs of their departments about this issue to determine what is appropriate. If they know less about social media than you do, take advantage of our resources to approach them about this issue and discuss it. Here’s an informal sampling of ways FSU faculty and staff approach this issue:

For the most part, I avoid being FB friends with my immediate coworkers. Even though there are filters and privacy settings, I don't think most people use them effectively. I have found that when people see something on FB that surprises them, they share that with others who might not be FB friends–old-fashioned gossip. So, as others mentioned, don't put anything on FB that you don't want everyone to see.

I have a policy of not "friending" students until after they've graduated. I love teaching and I tend to have great relationships with my students, but I think FB can make far too blurry the line between professional and personal. On the other hand, I enjoy my "friending" relationship with my professional colleagues–esp. those in my own discipline... I appreciate the opportunity FB gives me to connect with my peers.

It can get really bad/ugly if folks don't learn how to use filters on the privacy settings. I allow students to friend me, but I have a special "student" list so they can only see a handful of pictures and can't see my status updates or other more personal info.

And as stated in our social media guidelines, assume everything you communicate via social media is permanent.

If you wouldn’t want it carved in cement or published on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, don’t broadcast it via social media. Remember that there is no such thing as a “private” social media website–what you write from your home computer is an extension of who you are, and can follow you to school or your job.