On several occasions, this blog  has discussed the topic of being smart online (click here, for example).

Now, we have another great example of why YOU MUST be smart when you use social media. Although the story below deals with college applicants, it really addresses this broader issue: Do we post too much material online that may hurt us at some point? For many, the answer is yes. So, BE SMARTER ONLINE!

As reported by Natasha Singer for the New York Times:

“At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., admissions officers are still talking about the high school senior who attended a campus information session last year for prospective students. Throughout the presentation, she apparently posted disparaging comments on Twitter about her fellow attendees, repeatedly using a common expletive. Perhaps she hadn’t realized that colleges keep track of their social media mentions.”

“As certain high school seniors work meticulously this month to finish their early applications to colleges, some may not realize that comments they casually make online could negatively affect their prospects. In fact, new research suggests that online scrutiny is growing. Of 381 college admissions officers who answered a Kaplan telephone questionnaire, 31 percent said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them.”

Click the image to read more.

Image by John-Patrick Thomas


13 Replies to “More on Being Smart Online”

  1. Personally I don’t have any problem with colleges checking their applicant’s online identity. I believe that this practice is all right because colleges should know everything about a perspective student when they have to choosing who to accept and who to deny, because I’m sure that a college would rather admit a student who is working hard in school rather then a student who always party’s and trashes their teachers. One of the arguments people may have against this practice is that the colleges are impeding on a student’s freedom of speech. I believe that this argument is totally wrong, the student is still able to say whatever they want, however they have to face the consequences of posting their opinions publicly.

  2. Watch what you post, people have been fired from their jobs based on what someone else “tagged” them in a post. There was a similar delima with a contest for a pagent after they look online and found some pictures they found unfavorable and she lost her title. Being cool and trendy might impress a few but people need to realize its better to look like a saint online. People are looking for reasons not to hire you don’t give them ammunition.

  3. Social media is still a relatively new concept for society, and we’re struggling to realize that we can still be held accountable for things that we post on the internet. Your twitter account, for example, is an extension of your personal life, beliefs, and thoughts. It’s important to be careful about the types of things that go online, especially because colleges and employers will check there. Many people are okay with posting a lot of things on social media that they wouldn’t dare say out loud, and they need to realize that they are one in the same in our more tech-savvy society.

  4. This is what I have been hearing that be aware of your post on social media. Thats also why I barely post status that might involve political, religious or racial issues. On one hand, I dont want to offend those who have extremely different opinions from mine. On the other hand, I am trying to protect myself from being “observed” by potential employees. Also, every time when I post pics on social media, I always ask myself before I do so ” Is this pic appropriate to show to everyone?”. If the answer is no, then I wont post it. I just dont want to take the risk. Also, if a friend tags me in a pic that I feel not ok to show to the public, I will download pic and ask my friend to untag me.

  5. Over the past 5+years we keep hearing people stressing the fact that we should be more aware of what we put online, especially on social media sites. The point is still not coming across to some people though. This article mentions in particular a high school senior and how they should not mention anything on social media they didn’t want a college to see. Well some may think they are free to say what they want now since they have been accepted into college, that is not the case. Employers also check social media, they wouldn’t want an employee who doesn’t have respect for others or speaks bad of the company on social media. Whatever you put on the web is always there, so the next time you “post” or “tweet” make sure it is something you wouldn’t mind anyone seeing, because there is always a way to see it.

  6. When teens and even adults post on twitter and Facebook no ever thinks, “what if someone sees this”, sometimes they don’t even know that, what they are posting is a bad thing to post. People post about everything they do in life, they don’t realize some things you shouldn’t show the world. No one wants to see you drunk, twerking at the nightclub you went to last night. On one hand most people in todays society want to be cool, and want everyone to know how cool you are. On the other hand you don’t want the people that are interviewing for a job to see you at a bar, or a hookah lounge. People should think before they post and only put pictures that make you look like an angel; such as your employee of the months award, or your kids little league game. Don’t look dumb just think before you post.

  7. College admissions officers should have every right to view an applicants social media. If a student is posting something out there on the Internet, then it is considered public to the whole world. Some argue that their privacy settings block that, but the truth is that they don’t completely make everything you post private. Social media gives admissions officers a better way of finding out who the applicant is! Writing a college essay might not fully show their true personality, therefore admissions will search for a bit more information. It is important that prospective students realize this and learn to share less on their social media sites.

  8. I don’t really have a problem with anyone seeing my social media like twitter or facebook. i am very aware that potential employers and admissions people look at everything we put online and I think that’s fair. If you’re willing to put these things out there then shouldn’t they be able to judge you on that content. But I think everyone should be aware of this fact that when they apply to schools, these schools can see and will see what your doing online. I would hope that when students start applying teachers and advisors would remind them of this fact. My advisor and teachers made that very clear when I was going into the college application process.

  9. I do agree that people need to learn to be smarter. I am actually shocked that only 31% of college admissions workers looked at an applicant’s Facebook page and I expect that this issue will only become more pressing in the future because I expect the percentage of Facebook pages viewed will rise and I believe that this will spread to other social media sites as well. Being smart online could actually improve someone’s standing, making it even more important and doing stupid things online is something that needs to be corrected immediately because repercussions of doing stupid stuff on the internet will only get worse with time.

  10. You’re so interesting! I do not think I’ve read through something like that
    before. So great to find somebody with a few unique thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the internet,
    someone with a bit of originality!

  11. Ever since my senior year of High school, I have been told to watch what I let on the internet and that it could ruin my chances of getting into schools or getting jobs in the future. People who I knew in High school, after throwing a party decided to post pictures on Facebook. This influence on of these students colleges to take his athletic scholarship away, due to a bad image for their institution. We need to keep in mind, no matter how sidetracked we really are, that what ends up on the internet can effect us in our future, especially at the age we are now.

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