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Boston College School of Social Work
Social Media
@BC Social Work


What is Social Media?
Social media refers to the sharing of content, such as writing, video, audio, and photos. People have been sharing content online for a long time through email and instant messaging, but social media uses more advanced technology and delivery methods that make content more accessible. Examples of social media sites include blogs, online forums, social networking, social bookmarking, photo and video sharing, and wikis. Specific social media sites that are commonly used in higher education include Facebook, Twitter, InstagramYouTube, and LinkedIn.

What is the difference between social media and social networking?
Social media and social networking are often used interchangeably, but social networking specifically relates to a form of social media that expands one's business or social contacts by making connections with other people. Examples of social networking include Facebook and LinkedIn.

If I use social media, will people be able to see my private information online?
You can often control what personal information, if any, is published online. For example, Facebook has privacy settings that allow you to control who can see your profile information. You can make your profile public to anyone or only to your friends. However, it's good practice to treat social media like you would any other form of electronic communication, such as email. Once you send an email message or post something on social media, you can lose control of that information if other people copy or forward it to someone else.

Where can I learn more about social media?
The following provide an introduction to social media:

Just What is Social Media, Exactly?
Video: Social Media in Plain English
10 Must-Try Social Media Sites for College Students

If you have additional questions about how the School of Social Work uses social media, please email us at and include "SOCIAL MEDIA" in the subject line.