The Pitchfork

Social Media and Colleges

Hank+Munn%2C+junior.+Picture+taken+by+Leigha+Crisp.
Hank Munn, junior. Picture taken by Leigha Crisp.

Hank Munn, junior. Picture taken by Leigha Crisp.

Hank Munn, junior. Picture taken by Leigha Crisp.

Kelsey Ham

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With one click of a button everything has the possibility of changing. A misinterpreted picture or post can cause a heap of problems for one individual. By easily being taken out of context, a person’s reputation from now until who knows how long into the future can be blemished.

 

Many are already aware of the negative effect social media can cause on adolescents, however, what may be rarely considered is the effect of what is posted on social media can have in the future.

 

For example, social media plays a role in what colleges/universities perceive of you.

 

According to the International College Counselors website, more and more admissions officers are looking at social-networking sites to evaluate college applicants. A survey done in 2017 by Kaplan Test Prep found that 68% of college admissions officials say it is “fair game” to view a applying student’s social media account before deciding if the student gets in.

 

However, according to Myles Hacking, Associate Dean of Admissions at Columbia College, not every school checks social media.

 

“Bigger schools may not pay as much attention to social media as more prestigious schools,” Hacking said.

 

Though as far as athletics go, athletes may face closer scrutiny than other applicants.

 

“Mostly [with] athletes it matters [what they post] on their social media account, because coaches want them to be good representatives of the athletics at the school,” Maria Spring, career specialist said.

 

Some may feel that it is an invasion of privacy, however, to view a student’s social media account.

 

“Sometimes I feel like [colleges] should [monitor social media accounts] because people really say some inappropriate things on social media,” Rashad Miller, senior, said. “[However] I think that’s a little too personal, and I feel like young people are not always going to be thinking about the consequences. Everybody does silly things when they’re young, so to have that follow you forever isn’t fair.”

 

Opinions differ as well on if colleges have the right to view students’ social media accounts in the first place.

 

“If [what you post is] in your personal or private life [then it’s] not really there for [colleges] to constantly [look at], because [students] don’t post on social media for everybody to see,” Miller said.    

 

Employers can also see you a certain way by what you post online.

 

“I’ve had numerous employers tell me they check prospective employees’ social media accounts, and that can make the difference between who gets hired and who does not,” Spring said. “A friend of mine [who works] in human resources was [working] at a hospital in Columbia, and they had two candidates fresh out of college who [had equally impressive] experience and interviews. They couldn’t decide who to choose, so they went to their social media accounts, and one person had pictures of them partying [and] drinking, and the other person had a very professional social media account, so they chose the person with the professional social media account.”

 

Overall, it is best to not post any potentially incriminating or embarrassing information online, and to have the privacy filter as strong as possible, according to the International College Counselors website. At the same time, others advocate not assuming that what is posted will never be seen.

 

“People watch what they post because anything you post can be used against you,” said Givot.

 

 

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Social Media and Colleges