They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets

social mediaThe New York Times has reported a trend among college admission officers: They are increasingly checking the social media pages of college applicants, and 30 percent of them “said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.”

Natasha Singer writes:

Last year, an undergraduate at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., who had befriended a prospective student on Facebook, notified the admissions office because he noticed that the applicant had posted offensive comments about one of his high school teachers.

“We thought, this is not the kind of person we want in our community,” Angel B. Perez, Pitzer’s dean of admission and financial aid, told me. With about 4,200 applications annually for a first-year class of 250 students, the school can afford to be selective. “We didn’t admit the student,” Mr. Perez said.

HOW analysis

It is not just politicians or corporate executives whose personal lives are being spilled onto the social webs for public scrutiny and judgment. College students are coming under the public eye as well; people’s ability to control their public image is slipping ground. Social media fuses the worlds of the ‘public’ and the ‘personal,’ making it increasingly the case that the only way to ensure that you have nothing to hide is to… quite simply have nothing to hide. 

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