When scholars try to supervise students in using Facebook for official purposes, in loco parentis really goes astray. “We had an intern working on our official Facebook page,” Robert McEachern of Southern Connecticut State University remembered at the 2013 annual meeting of the Modern Language Association in Boston. “She changed our Facebook status to: ‘Cheers for the weekend! Share your favorite [English major] pick-up lines.”
As you might guess, many did. The intern joined the thread. “Show me your direct object and I’ll show you mine,” she posted.
“Ninety-two percent of 18 to 29-year-olds have a social networking presence,” McEachern noted. “Social media writing is often unsupervised or at least undersupervised.”
These budding men and women of letters tend to be “overconfident, opinionated and expect to be heard,” McEachern averred.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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