Uncle Gaddis’ Guide to Social Media

Gavin Gaddis

Gather ‘round you bright-eyed freshmen and lend me an ear.

I know you’ve just experienced an avalanche of information from college officials, roommates and well-meaning people who think unsolicited advice is always wanted, but stick with me here. If they’re the well-meaning parents trying to ensure you stay safe, I’m that weird uncle who gives the awesome birthday gifts that always seem to worry your mother.

Welcome to USI. As the opinion editor I spend a lot of time on the various social media platforms frequently used by campus. Each semester I enjoy the flood of new minds posting content, but I see some room for improvement. With that, welcome to my crash course in social media.


The official hashtag @usiedu uses to promote university happenings is #ScreEaglePride. You’ll find some users default to #Screagles or #Screagle, it’s a mess. Really the only Twitter tip I have for you today is: DO NOT POST YOUR STUDENT ID ON TWITTER.

You’d think that’s kind of common sense, but I saw no less than five freshmen post photos of their student IDs to Twitter in their excitement to express their new studenthood. If I was slightly eviler than I already am I could’ve bought my textbooks under their names and not have to pay a penny. Let’s just go ahead and say “Don’t post personal identification online” is a ground rule for the ‘net.

Yik Yak

An anonymous bulletin board app, Yik Yak allows anyone in a 1.5 to 10 mile radius to post messages and read those of other users in the area. If people like your message it is given an upvote. If five people in a row dislike your message it is deleted immediately. If you decide to try out this app I strongly suggest you do so fully knowing the dangers of anonymity. Users can be incredibly misogynistic, whine about how they’re not getting laid and constantly bitch about how the university’s Wi-Fi is sub-par.

Prior to recent developments (see the announcement) I seriously have considered starting a GoFundMe campaign  to collect $100,000 for a complete campus wifi overhaul I would undertake that massive challenge just so Yik Yak users would shut up about the damned Wi-Fi.


Yeah, I know. Facebook is so five minutes ago. Stop blabbing about how you went on walkabout to discover your inner self when you deleted your Facebook last year, we can all see you’re still mutual friends with Mandy on your alternate account. As a student I feel obligated to tell you all of the Facebook pages you should follow, but honestly if you’re already following The Shield and the official pages updated by university staff, you’ve got it.

Oh, and USI Secret Admirers. They’re a great Facebook page to follow for a giggle. Student organizations are habitually spotty about updating their pages with anything of immediate importance. “We’re going to do a cool thing next semester” doesn’t really get my blood racing.

The most important advice I can give in regards to using social media on campus is always follow Wheaton’s Law.

If you don’t know what Wheaton’s Law is, Google it. I can’t do everything for you.