Outside School Hours, an Eligible College Student must remember to consider their internet presence. Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. – if you think College Admissions Officers aren’t checking you out on-line, think again.
I constantly tell my kids there shouldn’t be anything linked to them on the internet that they wouldn’t want their Grandmother to see. REALLY look at your on-line presence, and clean it up ASAP. If you think you have time to spare, remember that the internet is cached, so what you think is gone is never really gone.
This issue is a life issue: your internet presence can impact your job prospects, your love interests, hurt family members & friends, and can definitely hurt you. That’s why parents need to do everything they can to manage and supervise their kids’ internet access. An 11-year old (and unfortunately some adults) often doesn’t think of (or understand) the consequences when they post on the internet, both in terms of reputation and safety. This should be a frequent discussion point at the dinner table and deserves a lot of parent’s attention. A presentation I attended on internet safety and on-line predators still makes me tremble. If you want more information on the topic of Internet Safety, check out The White Hatter on Facebook, or his website, Personal Protection Systems. I highly recommend contracting him to present at your area schools.
Another aspect of how your internet presence can hurt you, is if it’s clear that you are spending a lot of time on Social Media. I don’t think I am alone when I say that I value people based on what they do, not what they say. If I see someone spending a lot of time on social media, I assume that they aren’t very active in life.
This November 2013 NY Times article, They Loved Your GPA Then They Saw Your Tweets and November 2014 NY Times article Toning Down the Tweets Just in Case Colleges Pry gives specific examples of how your internet presence can hurt your Admissions prospects.