TweetMemeFace+: The Do’s and Don’t's of Talking About Classes
It can be tempting to talk about classes on Facebook/Twitter/Google+/a Foursquare shout. After all, if you’re a student, classes are to you what children are to new parents: they take up almost all of your time, and sometimes make you kind of stressed. However, it can be hard to tell when it’s appropriate to share your comments about a class, and where it’s appropriate to share them. Here are some guidelines so that you avoid having an uncomfortable discussion with a Concerned Administrator.
Don’t name names: I have a tendency to quote funny things my professor says in class on Twitter, as seen above. For the most part, these quotes are just amusing things they say about rodent jaws, but occasionally they are less-than-stellar comments that a professor has made in class which are funny in their own way. If you’re going to quote folks in class, don’t identify the class or the professor–folks who already are familiar with the person will know what you’re talking about, and folks who don’t will be left appropriately in the dark.
Check recording policy: A very small number of professors have very strict recording policies when it comes to lectures. If yours is one of them, it’s probably best not to share what they say or what you did in class on the internet. Silly, but an easy way to get in trouble with an overzealous professor.
Avoid badmouthing: This is obvious, but it bears repeating. If you’re frustrated about a class, feel free to express your frustration. But don’t call out faculty members by name, and don’t use profanity in reference to the classes. About the strongest you’re going to be able to go in a status update is, “Frustrated with my bio homework!” You can perhaps get a little angrier in comments on friends’ walls, which are not as immediately associated with you.
Put professors on a list: This has two helpful functions. First, putting professors, administrators, and TAs on a list on whatever service you’re using (Twitter and Foursquare excluded) makes it easy to hide any boozy updates–”Hungover in 8:30 chem. FML,” is something that can stay between you and your friends. It also means that any time you’re talking about homework, asking to borrow someone’s book, or talking about how badly you think you bombed a midterm (it happens to the best of us), you can easily prevent them from seeing it. It’s also a good way to keep track of what faculty members you have friended, should you forget.