By Gabriella Krumgalz ‘15
Facebook and other means of social media have become our worst nightmares when applying to college. You would think that colleges only see what you want them to see, but before you know it, that Facebook picture of you holding a beer pops up and then down the drain goes your acceptance letter.
According to the article “They loved your GPA then they saw your tweets,” by Natasha Singer in the New York Times November 9, a Kaplan tele- phone questionnaire found that out of 381 college admission officers interviewed, 31 percent had visited an applicant’s Facebook and 30 percent had discovered information that negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.
Let’s be honest, we’re always warned that what we post online, whether “private” or not, is never actually private. So it’s really no surprise that colleges are able to get a hold of our Facebook pages, Twitter pages, and even Instagram pictures, but do they really have a right to
“I really don’t have anything bad on my Facebook page, but if I did, I would be pretty mad that colleges are
violating my privacy, I don’t think they have a right to do that,” said Paula Bentsianova ’14, LaGuardia High School.
Most of us know that even though we make our pages private, there are still many ways to get around it and gain access to the page.
“To be honest, it’s not surprising that colleges have the power to look at our Facebook pages. If I was a college ad- ministrator looking at college applications, I’d make sure to do my research about the applicants. I wouldn’t want a student with a 100 pictures of keg stands on their Instagram page going to my college because that automatically shows the person’s frivo- lous, party character,” said Alena Bekiyants ’15, Madison High School.
Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself into someone else’s shoes. Take a moment and picture yourself as a college admis- sions director. You have thousands of applications to look at and many of those applications are fairly similar, so how do you de- cide which student to accept into your college? Well it’s pretty obvious that the applications students send represent their most scholarly achievements, but admission directors want to get a feel of who they, as a person, really are and what better way to do that than to look at their social media pages?
“When I get a new crush, the first thing I look at is his Facebook page because that’s how I get to learn more about him, his likes, opinions, etc.,” said Sabrina Krumgalz ’15.
People have been using Facebook and other means of social media for years. It’s like- ly for people to have pictures and statuses from years back that they have forgotten about. We’ve all been immature at one point in our lives and while that’s perfectly normal, you don’t want it to come back and bite you. Some precautions you can take are changing your last name, so that people who don’t know your Facebook name can’t find you, going through your profile and deleting everything you think is immature and/or unprofessional, removing any tags of pictures you don’t want seen on your profile and last, but not least, thinking before you type.
In today’s society, people neglect to remember that the internet is a dangerous place. Privacy is nearly impossible, making it foolish to believe that online posts are confidential. It’s like tattooing your name on your forehead and acting shocked when a stranger calls you by it. Colleges have every right to look at an applicant’s social media page; they have to be able to choose the best kids for their col- lege, and just because someone has a perfect application doesn’t mean they’re as perfect a person.