TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: When Students Open up - a Little Too Much; Colleges Cite Risks

Re: When Students Open up - a Little Too Much; Colleges Cite Risks
28 Sep 2005 13:10:24 -0700

Monty Solomon wrote:

> By Sarah Schweitzer, Globe Staff

> Last school year, Brandeis University junior Emily Aronoff tapped
> this sentiment into a computer: "I enjoy the festive greens."

> The reference to marijuana became part of her profile on,

Is that really a euphemism for mj? I would think it just referred to
decorative plants, like ferns or ivy.

> intended for viewing by other students.

In the interests of privacy and security, these websites should
require a logon and be restricted to members of the internal group,
ie, those affiliated with the university.

> Colleges and universities are increasingly taking steps to help
> students avoid pitfalls -- most critically, those that put students at
> risk for stalking and harassment.

In today's world, where college students are very e-savy, I'm quite
surprised they aren't aware of very basic principles of maintaining
privacy on-line. Early on, people learned that whatever you type on a
computer can be made public. Ollie North got nailed by PROFS backup
tapes, an early email system. People learned the hard way that BBS
conversations could be risky.

By college age, I would presume that they'd know not to give out their
real name/phone number/address in an open e-chat room, an unsolicited
email, or to a stranger they'd meet in a bar or on the street. I'd
think they had gotten some creepy emails and messages. Geez, even in
my day kids knew to be wary of strangers, even fellow college students
and to safeguard their privacy, and that was before the days of
publicized date rape of stalkers. I went to college in the city and
right up front they gave us some security/safety tips.

I read in the papers some students put out blogs with blatant personal
stuff, like intimate details about their sex life, though I've never
seen such a site. Indeed, I wonder, given the tendency of kids to
brag about the outrageous, if some of those sites are actually fiction
just to goof around and shock people.

Anyway, it seems strange to me that these kids would be so brazenly
open about such personal stuff. In my day plenty of kids smoked pot
or slept around, but they were at least a little discrete about it,
and certainly didn't want their parents or school officials finding

Could anyone familiar with the situation elaborate what's going on in
the collegiate online world? Anyone actually seen these blatant
personal blog sites?

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