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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By Allie Davison, Wharton High; Liz Tsourakis, Hillsborough High; and Katie Lamont, East Lake High
Most college-bound seniors already know who they’ll be rooming with, and even if they don’t KNOW the roomie personally yet, there’s a lot of information to be gleaned from Facebook. Though you may not be able to prevent those horror stories your parents have shared (someone who doesn’t shower or has klepto hands), you can learn much about your prospective college mate. If you haven’t started Facebook creeping yet, check out our tips below.
To put online roommate matchmaking to the test, we shared the Facebook pages of two tb-two* staffers with people who do not know them, asking them their impressions and whether they would consider rooming with the staffers.
*Three Hillsborough High students, Nico Tavella, junior; Leonardo Bencosme, senior; and Max Gutierrez, sophomore assessed the Facebook of tb-two* editor Michael Newcomer, Tarpon Springs High:
Does he look messy or clean?
NT: He’s probably not very clean.
LB: I get the feeling that he’s a bit messy, maybe likes to clean when he has the drive.
MG: He seems clean.
Does he look self-centered or friendly? What do you think he thinks about himself?
NT: He looks friendly and probably pretty self-confident.
LB: His face looks quite friendly. He most likely thinks himself a pretty entertaining fellow and probably is.
MG: He looks friendly; he enjoys his life.
What do his statuses say about him? What’s his outlook on life?
NT: He probably likes to have a lot of fun.
LB: Judging from his likes, he has varied taste in music. He seems to have an overall positive outlook sprinkled with a bit of pessimism.
MG: I can tell that he has a positive outlook.
Does he look like a party animal or a home body?
NT: He looks like a party animal, kinda.
LB: He looks as though he would not mind a party, but prefers hanging with a few good friends.
MG: I’m leaning toward party animal.
What does he seem most interested in?
NT: He seems interested in having fun.
LB: Journalism and witty humor.
MG: I can’t really say for sure.
Would you pick him as your roommate?
LB: From the look of his Facebook stuff, he seem like he’s pretty likeable and I would probably like him as a roomie.
MG: Sure, he seems friendly enough and that we could get along.
It’s a bit odd to imagine that your Facebook could portray someone other than your true self, so I’m relieved the perceptions are accurate. I’m definitely a slob. I do like to party, but more often than not I’m at home or work being boring, I just don’t take pictures of myself doing it. I do like that my Facebook sends out a friendly and positive vibe.
*Two East Lake High students, Natalie Castine, senior and Angela Oberer, sophomore, and one from St. Petersburg College Early College Program, Lana Kaplani, assessed the Facebook of tb-two* editor Allie Davison, Wharton High:
What does she like to do?
NC: She likes to write; she’s in some newspaper thing. She likes hockey and her friends.
AO: She likes hockey, hanging with friends and she cares about her school.
LK: She likes Gotye, cats and gay rights.
Does she like to party?
NC: I didn’t see any pictures of like parties, you normally see that stuff on their wall or photos.
AO: She didn’t have many pictures of party scenes.
LK: She doesn’t have any pics of partying.
What’s the pace of her life?
NC: Most everyone I know is that busy, that’s not unusual.
AO: She posts everything for the next day, like “gonna do this, gonna do that,” and that’s taking it day by day.
LK: She just got into college, she’s busy. She goes to school, works and take naps. That’s normal.
Does she seem positive?
NC: All of her posts were just very positive; everyone else just complains on Facebook.
AO: Yeah! She’s kind, lives life to the fullest. She does as much as she possibly can, with school and friends.
What does she spend time on?
NC: Hockey and writing; a lot of time with friends and her brother, so family, too.
AO: She posts about awards, and school activities. She also had tons on hockey and games.
LK: College and writing; tb-two*.
Would you be her roommate?
NC: She likes hockey; we’d be roommates.
AO: She seems nice, and she doesn’t have a lot of drama. Yeah, I could see it.
LK: Yeah I probably would; she seems like a cool cat.
Almost every answer was spot on, except the one about Gotye, cats and gay rights. I actually despise cats more than anything so that was a little strange. Other than that, all three of the girls pretty much nailed it. I thought this answer was hilarious and so true, ‘She just got into college, she’s busy. She goes to school, works and take naps. That’s normal.’ Being judged by complete strangers is completely weird. It’s a little nerve wracking knowing someone is judging your life based off photos and statuses. Makes you think twice before posting anything.
*Tips for gathering successful FBI (Facebook intelligence)
Pay special attention to photos: We’re not talking about ranking attractiveness. Ask yourself: Are most of the photos self-portraits in the mirror? Are they often tagged in sketchy “after hours” photos? Do you like the person’s style? Keep these questions in mind when putting on your FBI hat to click through profile and tagged photo albums. You want someone who complements your lifestyle, and photos help you get the big picture.
Status check: If you’re satisfied with your photo checking, move to the timeline. Reading through status updates can help determine what kind of person he or she is. Do they use proper grammar or do they type Lik333 tHi$$? Do they post cliched quotes to get a million likes or do they post a moment by moment accounting of what they are doing? People who post about big moments in their lives are using Facebook to communicate but are not FB addicts.
Keepin’ it classy, never trashy: Some high school students forget they are still in high school. Which means they are under 21. Posting pictures or comments boasting of illegal activity isn’t the smartest move. Look for someone who doesn’t curse in every status and whose photos wouldn’t embarrass you if your parents took a peek. Whether profiles are set to private or not, any college or future workplace can get past such blocks, and you don’t want to be associated with a “liability.”