STAFF EDITORIAL: Social Media: A True Judge of Character

As admissions decisions approach and application final deadlines pass, Sequoits begin to rethink some of their social media decisions, questioning if they’ll impact their futures.

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It’s that time of the year where high school seniors rush to perfect their college applications before their deadlines: writing essays, getting letters of recommendation and recording academic credentials. One seemingly irrelevant aspect of these seniors’ lives that they neglect to perfect are their images on social media. While we are constantly conscious of the image we are presenting to our peers on social media—parties with our friends on Snapchat, the perfect selfie on Instagram, a tweet that is sure to get favorites—we don’t always think of how this image will look to college admissions officers.

According to a 2013 survey by Kaplan Test Prep, 31 percent of college admissions officers check applicant’s social media accounts. What’s even more unsettling is that 30 percent of these admissions officers found some- thing on the applicant’s social media that negatively affected their chance of college admissions officers check on applicant’s social media accounts… 30 percent of these admissions officers found something on the applicant’s social media that negatively affected their chance of admission.

Is it fair that the entirety of someone’s hard work can be thrown away by a few posts online? More importantly, can a spotless reputation on social media override a high school career full of slacking? Can social media be a true judge of someone’s character?

There is no clear black and white when it comes to this issue, on one hand, a person who posts pictures of themselves drinking and smoking may not be the best candidate for a university, but then again, someone’s personal life may have no correlation on whether or not they will succeed at college.

Colleges shouldn’t have to worry about a prospective student’s social life; they should care much more about the student’s actual application. Admissions officers always seem to say that credentials on a college application don’t tell you everything about a person, which is why so many colleges require essays. If these academic credentials cannot truly define a person, then why should a Facebook account?

Ultimately, whether or not it is fair that colleges judge us on our social media accounts is irrelevant. If we want to have the best chances of getting admitted to our top choice we have to do what we did in every other aspect of our lives and clean up our acts. We’ve been taught since the beginning of time not to post anything we wouldn’t want our grandma or mom to see, but maybe it’s time to think of what a college admissions officer will think of our Instagram picture or our latest tweet.