Another article from Time Magazine spoke of "the unspoken new admissions test." The article gave the following extreme examples:
"A BASIS college counselor told her class of a student whose acceptance to an elite college was revoked when he was caught badmouthing the school on Facebook. At Williams College, a student’s admission was rescinded because he posted disparaging remarks on a college discussion board. At the University of Georgia, when an admissions officer discovered an applicant’s racially charged Twitter account, he took a screenshot and added the tweets to the student’s application file."
These types of situations should prompt us to think about what we're sharing on social media...and with whom we're sharing it. Twitter gives you a choice of having public or protected tweets. Facebook gives users control over who sees what. In the privacy settings, you can control who sees your updates and photos but also the photos you've been tagged in. Instagram accounts can be private, requiring you to accept someone to follow you. I know that this goes against some of what's popular, where the number of followers matter. But it's good to consider how "out there" your information is.
And it's good to consider what you share, in general. Are you a positive or negative presence in social media? Does it accurately reflect you, or does it show only a part of you? If you're talking about other people, is it something you're proud of?
Yes, you should be honest. Yes, you should be genuine. Yes, you have freedom of speech.
But I find that sometimes, simply because we can share our opinion and experiences with the push of a button, we say more than we would normally. At times, that can be a good thing. But at other times, it can become something we regret.
This doesn't mean that everything we share has to be rainbows and roses. But it does mean we should be aware that what we put out there is in digital ink, not digital pencil.
It's not only about what college admissions counselors (or employers for that matter) can see. It's about who we are, who we want to be, who we hope to become.