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With the convenience of social media high school seniors headed to college are beginning to check out their roommate assignments before they even arrive on campus.  According to an article on Linkedin.com, Is Facebook Destroying the American College Experience, written by  Danah Boyd, the senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, Boyd says she was sitting with a group of graduating high school seniors last summer, the conversation turned to college roommates. Although headed off to different schools, the students had a similar experience of learning their roommate assignment and immediately turning to Facebook to investigate that person. Some had already begun developing deep, mediated friendships while others had already asked for roommate transfers. Beyond roommates, all had used Facebook to find other newly minted freshman, building relationships long before they set foot on campus.

“What most students (and parents) fail to realize is that the success of the American college system has less to do with the quality of the formal education than it does with the social engineering project that is quietly enacted behind the scenes each year,” said Boyd.

Further explaining Boyd writes,

“Roommates are structured to connect incoming students with students of different backgrounds. Dorms are organized to cross-breed the cultural diversity that exists on campus. Early campus activities are designed to help people encounter people who’s approach to the world is different than theirs. This process has a lot of value because it means that students develop an appreciation for difference and build meaningful relationships that will play a significant role for years to come.”

 

Read more at Linkedin.com