Friday, October 23, 2009

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

by Mackenzie Miller

As part of the Greek Community at the University of San Diego, I was required to attend a talk by a special speaker this past Monday night. Okay, most of the time these speakers are soooooo boring, and since I was stuck in midterm madness this week I was ALMOST about to head to the library instead. All I have to say, is I am so glad I ended up going to hear Katie Koestner's enlightening and frightening presentation.

Katie Koestner is a name that may sound familiar to you. She has appeared on dozens of television shows and news programs in order to create public awareness of date rape, acting as a voice for one of the most under-reported crimes in America. But Ms. Koestner had another agenda for the students of USD Monday night. She warned us all about the dangers of Facebook and digital media.

I am officially freaked out now. You never really READ the terms and conditions when you click “Agree!” Does Facebook really own EVERYTHING I post or write or tag… even after it’s deleted?

When I left the seminar, I was about 2 seconds away from deleting my page entirely. But as I logged in to my Facebook, an “Event Invitation” for a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness stopped me short.

Yes. This new online world can be a dangerous and scary place if used incorrectly. But it can also be a way to connect with people around the world and to get the word out there about non-profits, charity events and community gatherings and to become “Fans” of cool pages – like PWP’s fan page!

Ms. Koestner’s message and story was powerful and motivating – I am definitely going to think twice about everything I do on Facebook, and encourage everyone else to do the same. But don’t “delete!” Use it to send and share great messages instead.

And to post some funny YouTube videos every now and then, of course.

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