In a piece published today in the Wall Street Journal, Web Profiles Haunt Students, it’s pretty clear that too many kids today forget that those social networks – Facebook, Twitter and Google+ – are not nearly as private as they think.
Here’s an excerpt:
About a quarter of admissions officers at the nation’s top 500 colleges have used websites such as Facebook and Google to vet applicants, according to an annual Kaplan Test Prep survey. Of those, more than one-third say they have found something that has hurt a student’s chance of admission, up from 12% last year.
It goes on to say:
Vetting by using social-media sites including Facebook and Twitter still hovers in a gray zone at most college admissions offices. Just 15% of the schools in the survey had an official policy about whether to do so, and more than two-thirds of those schools said they won’t use the technique.
Among schools without a policy, more than a quarter say they have checked out a student’s online persona, up slightly from last year, said Jeff Olson, vice president of data science at Kaplan Test Prep, who conducted the survey this summer. Kaplan has included questions about social media in its annual survey for four years.
“The trend line is there,” Mr. Olson said. “My advice to students is to be smart and think twice about what you post online.”
We’ve said this before (more precisely, Abby said this last February in Talking Tech With Your Kids ), but it’s obviously worth repeating:
Make sure your kids understand how social network activity, if not handled properly, WILL come back to bite in very uncomfortable ways.
Yes, the Grandmother Rule is a good rule: do not post anything online (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that you would not want your grandmother to see.
So as Crosby, Stills and Nash once sang, teach your children well.
(Note: WSJ is a paid service, so access to the full article may require membership. Sorry, we can’t repost it in its entirety here.)