It is amazing how Facebook has changed the college enrollment game. The social networking platform, originally begun as a Higher Ed networking system for college students in the U.S., has blossomed into a worldwide multi-age, multi-school, multi-professional, multi-addicting tycoon. To think…you used to have to wait to get your official school email address to sign up for a Facebook account! Oh how far we’ve come.Yet! Students still heavily use Facebook for Higher Ed networking and now…(drumroll)…finding a roommate.
Facebook Dating…For College Roommates
But should this method of virtually finding your “new best friend” be encouraged?
I have always believed that part of the unique charm of going away to college was living in a a tiny square room with two beds, a mini microwave fridge, and someone you had never met in your life. The beauty of this? No expectations. This new roommate could be your closest pal or your worst enemy. If it didn’t work out…you moved in with someone different next year. Big deal.
It seems that students now think that they have to SCRAMBLE to find their perfect match online. My sister, for example, called it “Facebook Dating” for roommates. In this room-“mating” season, her inbox would be full of messages from potential best friends, asking questions, making conversation, checking out her pictures, commenting, thumbs-upping and narrowing down their final decision within a couple of weeks. I even heard her say, “I have to find a roommate before all the good ones are gone!” Oy.
All in all, it was very stressful and…in the end…built dangerous expectations for the newly formed roommate pair. They thought that everything would be PERFECT since they went through this effort. And of course…it was nowhere near. In the end it was much harder to admit to themselves that they had chosen a bad match.
So I ask…what can we expect from schools in the next few years as social networking continues to expand? Should online speed dating for a perfect roommate be issued as the norm? Or should schools encourage Freshman to be paired randomly…the “old fashioned” way? I think the latter.