To poke or not to poke, that is the question

“Facebook is a cancer of the American college student. I’m not sure – but if you check – it might have lowered the national GPA.”

-Nick Birdsong

Facebook, the interactive web directory of America’s college community, allows students across campuses to communicate through pictures, messages and profile pages.

This kind of public disclosure, while amusing to watch, is a potential personal and professional land mine.

According to The Tampa Tribune, police are using Facebook to monitor parties and underage drinking on campuses.

If the Tampa police can get a school e-mail address to set up a Facebook account, who knows who else could do it.

Take corporations that hire a students and have great relations with your university. If recruiters ask the university for a school e-mail account what is a compelling reason to deny them.

There is none.

Not to mention some students even post their home addresses and telephone numbers on their Facebook pages.

I don’t know whether these special children didn’t get the “stranger speech” in elementary school or if they just couldn’t hear it through the banging of their helmets on the windows in the short bus.

For these individuals, the abbreviated version of the speech is “you shouldn’t give out your personal information because people can use it to possibly call you or wait for you outside your house. That kind of access could get you stalked- possibly killed.”

You do have the option to block your profile from anyone but your friends. But who’s to say your friend, who does not have a blocked profile, doesn’t have incriminating pictures of you.

Facebook is too engrained in our culture now to call for an end to the madness. But users must remember that the easy and free pleasures of your youth carry steep prices in your future.

Robbyn Mitchell is a junior newspaper journalism student from Washington. She can be reached at