I'm sure there are many stories out there about hazing incidents that have been posted on Facebook, but this one struck close to home -- 4 miles to be exact.
This is certainly not the first, nor will it be the last story about fraternity hazing. Aside from the obvious stupidity of the hazing activity itself (and I am a proud fraternity alum -- at Purdue no less), but what strikes me is the lack of concern by these students for their long-term reputations. If those photos made it to the Dean of Students' office, how hard will it be for a potential employer to find them at some point in the future?
Now that President O'Bama has opened the door, making it acceptable to review private Facebook and MySpace pages of applicants, parents of high school and college kids everywhere need to warn their children about the long-term consequences of posting what might seem like silly, fun, or innocuous things, as they can come back to haunt you. The Internet IS the "permanent record" that your junior high principal used threaten to put something down on to keep you in line.
All those "friends" they think they have -- yeah right. All it takes is to right-click-save and whatever mistakes might have been posted by a child on their page are now saved by someone that can use them later on. No one knows if another person will remain their friend for a week, a month, or ten years. However, once they allow access to their private social networking pages, they are exposing themselves to potential problems down the road.
The answer is educating our children about responsible social networking use, and yes, monitoring their activity to make sure they are following your rules and aren't getting into trouble. Trust but verify.
BSOT = Be Safe Online Tonight