Monday, February 9, 2009

Would you befriend Physical Plant on Facebook?

Physical Plant wants to be my friend on Facebook.

No offense, but why does the school's maintenance hub have a sudden interest in me?

"This site is for current and future student workers of Lee University Physical Plant," the profile's description reads beneath a picture of the building's emblazoned front window.

Last time I checked, I've never been employed by Physical Plant, despite the honor of knowing several of the department's employees.

Lee's Campus Safety department is also getting in on the social networking action. If you so desire, you can befriend Campus Safety.

The real concern here, however, is that these departments are creating profiles (which are reserved for actual people) rather than groups (used for organizations) or pages (used for businesses) on the site.

Campus Safety has already racked up 186 friends, while Physical Plant has reached 36. Not to mention "Joe Calling," the fictional but powerful profile created for the Center for Calling and Career, which impressively tops the 1,000 mark when it comes to friends.
While it's impressive that "Joe Calling" takes the time to wish every friend "happy birthday" on their Facebook wall each day, what these departments don't realize is that profiles have certain limitations, not meant for businesses.

In fact, usage of profiles for campus departments may actually be against Facebook's terms of use:

By using or accessing the Facebook Service, you represent, warrant and agree that you will not...use your profile (as opposed to a Page) for any commercial purpose.

After all, do 186 people really want their latest party photos showing up in the Campus Safety news feed? For those raucous individuals on campus, such an act could be similar to voluntarily offering to go to jail.

And seriously, what does it mean if Campus Safety pokes me?
But maybe Lee's increased presence on Facebook is a good thing.

Take "Lee Univ Alerts," for instance. 876 students have signed up to get emergency and weather alerts... through Facebook. I thought that was why we had Twitter.

So please excuse me while I ponder my current requests and wait for a friend request from the records office. Say hello to a whole new level of creepy.

Which brings me back to my original question, would you befriend Physical Plant, or even Campus Safety on Facebook? Hit up the comments.

1 comment:

Oro?? Nani?? said...


No, I would befriend the physical plant as they didn't befriend me when i wanted to be their friend...

one good act of cold shoulder begets another...