Online Social Networking Guidelines

ASU Social Media Training & Guidelines for Students

ASU is an innovative, technologically advanced University and its students are encouraged to use all forms of communication — including social media — to better themselves and their communities. The messages we share on social media can have a powerful impact on our lives and the lives of others.

In use of social media and all types of communication we follow the Code of Conduct and the Sun Devil Way

  • The ASU Code of Conduct encourages “self discipline and a respect for the rights of others in the university community."
  • The Sun Devil Way encourages achievement, engagement and responsibility in our educational endeavors.

Our university is part of a diverse, global community that includes people of varying backgrounds and belief systems; varying ethnicities and national origin; and varying sexual orientation. Part of your educational experience is to seek to understand people different than yourself and to have respect and empathy for them as fellow human beings. This need for respect and empathy extends to the way we communicate, especially on social media.

The university is also where you will begin to build your public and professional reputation and persona. The way you communicate and conduct yourself on social media can have a lasting impact — positive or negative — on your social, academic, and professional life. You should always think through the consequences of the messages you post. At this point you will be looked upon as an adult, making adult decisions, with adult consequences.

You will hear much more about this subject in orientation, classes, and job/career training. But here are a few simple guidelines to consider right now:

  • Take your time. Think things through. Impulsively posting messages is never a good idea. Pause to reflect on the possible impact of what you are going to post.
  • Think about the effect on others. How would you feel if the things you posted were said about you? In everything we do, including our communication, we should consider how our actions will impact others, including ourselves, our family members, our colleagues, and members of our community. Social media has a tremendous capacity to build up or to tear down. Think about how you will use it.
  • Remember privacy is elusive. People have often posted regrettable material on social media platforms because they thought they were only posting to a small group of friends or even to one person, only to learn that “privacy” in electronic media is never guaranteed. Consider the consequences if your “private” message were revealed to the public.
  • Be careful when you are not at your best. If your capacity to make good decisions is impaired in any way — by drugs or alcohol, stress, or emotional strain, be very careful with social media. Seek help and support from trusted sources before posting something you might regret. On the other hand do not feel bad about asking for help and support through social media.
  • Don’t feel pressured to post. At times you might feel like you are missing out or not accepted by your peers if you don’t engage with them on social media. But it is OK to take a break or opt out of certain conversations or activities if you feel they might impact you negatively. True friends will support that kind of decision.
  • Get connected. Social media is a great way to learn about and connect with new people and communities. Search out those people and groups that you want to learn more about and connect with them. You can use social media to better understand a subject you’re interested or to explore your interests, creative endeavors, and career goals.
  • Move ahead. Social media can be a both a help and a hindrance in advancing your career. Many potential employers will look you up online and review your social media accounts before making a hiring decision. Think about the impression your digital footprint will make on them.
  • When things go wrong. Inevitably you will post something you regret. The consequences can range from mild to very serious. There are people here at ASU that can help you deal with these issues. Reach out to a trusted teacher, adviser or to one of ASU’s student advocates or counselors for help and advice.