Tag Archives: instagram

Don’t Judge a (Face)book By Its Cover

Welcome to the first of the Myths of Residence Life Series! This post was actually written BEFORE the idea for the series came about…but I realized it fit so well! Incoming students have the ability to see YEARS of their future classmates’ lives on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whatever else social media platform that’s out there.

So I might be dating myself here, but I was in college when Facebook became open to everybody. I didn’t think too much of it. The only change for me was now I could be Facebook friends with my friends that were still in high school (I mean, I wasn’t that old).

And then housing assignments were released…I was working at my good ol’ Undergrad U student employment job. I was told that typically we get slightly more phone calls after assignments go out. People are unhappy with what building they are in or what floor they are on. Somebody’s precious darling has allergies and needs air conditioning. Typical calls. The calls started coming that very day and did not stop until the school year started. My supervisor said that she had NEVER heard the phones ring that much.

Why the incredible increase in calls? Students could now look up their roommates on Facebook. That was something I honestly never thought of. Yes, Facebook existed before I left for college, but my roommate didn’t (and still doesn’t) have Facebook. For the friends I did make on Facebook, all of our profiles were NEW. While this was only the first year, that’s still a whole year’s worth of photos. We’re currently several years past this point so now my incoming students are seeing photos of their future roommate’s high school career. Ugh…I couldn’t imagine having those awkward years documented on the internet.

The point is, so many students were making assumptions about their future roommates based on what they saw on Facebook. People use their Facebooks (and before that MySpaces) to display who they want the world to view them as. Back when all these phone calls were flooding in, people didn’t think about privacy settings on their pictures or censor themselves just in case a future employer might stumble across their profiles one day. Some students were calling to complain that they didn’t want to live with their future roommates because all they saw on Facebook were party pics or offensive jokes. Others were calling because their roommate seemed “lame” or “different”. It is impossible to describe what a person is like based off of what you see on Facebook.

While my roommate and I didn’t have the anxiety-laden opportunity of stalking each other on Facebook prior to moving in together, I wonder what a stranger would think of me based off of my Facebook profile. I have my profile set to super secret, so the stranger would have to request me first but that’s beside the point.

First off, we have my cover photo and profile picture. These tend to be absolutely ridiculous. In fact, when I first arrived at college, my Facebook picture was one of my comics. Oops. Right now my current cover photo is a close up of my favorite food and my profile picture is actually a poorly photoshopped photo of one of my friends. So at the moment random stranger would probably think I’m a fat man (not that my friend is fat…just the food and all).

Next, my “about” info. My main network is Hogwarts and my relationship status lists me as being in a relationship with one of my lady friends. My quotes and “info paragraph” haven’t been changed since 2008 and are just a listing of inside jokes. The only musicians I like are my friends bands or singing groups. I don’t have any books, movies, or TV shows listed, but at the moment Facebook is recommending kids books and movies…

And last but not least, photos of me. Since that’s where 99% of my students complaints come from. There are a LOT of pictures of me with my friends’ pets. Not too many party pics…but several photo bomb pictures. And lots of sorority pictures. Of course. Sorority squat!

I don’t think any of that accurately describes me. I don’t use Facebook to list every like and dislike and chronicle every moment of my day. Sorority pictures are in there a lot because those are a lot of the big events I go to…and that’s where the cameras are. At the same time, when I think about students “cleaning up” their Facebooks before they begin their job searches (or before applying for college housing), I don’t think the “after” version of their profiles represent them either.

It’s been a few years since I heard from those angry parents at Undergrad U. I’m still hearing from angry parents. They’re checking out their kid’s roommate’s Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. “He tweeted rap lyrics, my son doesn’t like rap, MY SON CAN’T LIVE WITH HIM!” I wish I was making this up. Now that I’m no longer a student, I’ve started telling parents that we will not change a room assignment just based on something they saw on Facebook. The whole idea of college is to figure out how to live on your own. If there are major issues or lifestyle differences that cannot be worked out once the students have arrived at school and given it the ol’ college try (pun intended), then we will look into finding your precious anti-rap darling a new place to live.

Student affairs professionals of the world…what are some of your most bizarre “well I saw it on the internet” moments you’ve experienced?

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

First World Problem: I HATE Getting a New Phone

Let me tell you a story about a dear friend, my closest confidant – my iPhone. I met my iPhone on a beautiful late summer day two years ago. My iPhone has been there with me through thick and thin. It has never revealed its secrets, even about my frequent Google searches of “One Tree Hill Nathan Scott”. My iPhone has survived countless drops from varying heights and has been stepped on by my dog pretty much every time I’ve visited home. My iPhone and I have spent plenty of lovely afternoons Instagramming pictures in the park. However, all good things must end.

Lately, my iPhone has been that flaky friend that’s having a text convo with you and then suddenly stops responding for three hours, right as you ask some basic yes or no question. Really, iPhone, it takes you three hours to tell me that in fact you ARE available to go to the mall tomorrow? Bitch was probably texting all her other iPhone friends just to make sure nothing better was going on.

Okay, so maybe not really. But my phone has been freezing and shutting off and not letting me know that I have texts from my REAL friends that actually CARE about me. And the battery is TERRIBLE – the only way this phone could die faster is if somebody pointed a wand at it and said “Avada Kedavra!” I get it, it’s old. There’s been TWO new versions of iPhones since I bought this one. There’s been countless app updates and system updates. All these new apps are designed with the newer, faster, iPhone 5 in mind. No wonder my phone is running slow!

Recently, Charlotte from My Crazy, New York, Post Grad Life posted about phone shopping…like me, she has an ancient iPhone and needs to replace it. While she is debating between the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy, I know that I will be replacing my current iPhone with a new iPhone. Most people are excited at the thought of buying a new phone. It has gotten a lot easier…I remember in high school having to write down all of my contacts so I could later put them in one by one. Ugh! The stone ages! Most people like hearing about all the cool shit their new phone could do. They can’t wait to buy a new case and customize the ringtone and blah blah blah. Not me!

In high school and college, I had some friends who seemingly went through phones as frequently as they changed their underwear. I was ALWAYS being invited to Facebook groups because someone lost their phone or got it stolen or dropped it in the toilet. Not me. I had the same dinosaur of a phone all through high school and actually TRIED to lose it one summer and FAILED. (And then when my parents finally did buy me a new phone, I lost it three days later at the grocery store. Go figure. Luckily, I found it and was able to hold onto that beastly thing until the iPhone made its grand debut.) I may be one of like five college students in the history of the United States to do this, but I did not once lose, break, or get my phone stolen during college. I’m sure there’s some special sticker on my diploma to indicate this.

And then I graduated college. The year after I graduated college, I managed to break one phone and get THREE stolen. Now, it’s not like I was careless and left my phone on a table in the food court at the mall and then wandered away. No. One time it was stolen from my own home. Another time it was by a so-called “friend” of a friend. Each time, I had to buy a new phone. Cell phones seriously are a necessity in this day and age. So after that particular year, you could imagine why I HATE buying phones. I’ve included some more reasons (that are more applicable to the general population, not just those with shitty friends) below.

They’re Expensive

Cell phones are NOT cheap, which sucks because, like I said before, I can’t live WITHOUT my cell phone. Yes, I can live without an iPhone and after the first one got stolen, I did live without an iPhone. I had a series of those crappy pay-as-you-go phones for awhile. Those are also not as cheap as you think they would be, especially when your entire family plan is out of upgrades because you’ve had to replace your phone three times in five months. I know I should be setting aside money for my new phone, but I have other bills to pay.

It’s Not Quick and Easy

I like buying milk – I run into the store, find the carton of milk I want, pay for it, and leave. Done. I don’t really like buying bras. You have to try those on. That takes time. And buying a phone? You have to talk to some salesman to tries to make you spend more money than you want to spend (seriously, nobody uses those cases that clip onto your pants anymore) and then you have to wait for the phone to “activate” and all sorts of other stuff.

You Need MORE New Stuff

Depending on what phone you had and what phone you are buying, you might need to get all new accessories – cases, headphones, charger…suddenly your phone just got a lot more expensive!

And Then You Have to Set It Up

This. This right here. This is my least favorite part. I get home and I need to change my ringtone and set my alarms and put in my wifi password. I know they have the ability to transfer my contact, why don’t they have the ability to transfer my settings??

I know getting a phone is a really awesome thing and there are plenty of people who don’t have the money to get a new phone just because their old one is dying, but it honestly causes me so much anxiety!! I don’t know when I’m getting my new phone yet (I’m honestly holding out as long as possible) but when the time comes, I’m pretty sure I will need people to come with me and hold my hand.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,