Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beware of Facebook: The Wall Street Journal Agrees With Me

I know some of my regular readers of this blog are groaning because I’m about to talk about Facebook AGAIN. Go ahead and groan now – then read on, because there’s a dangerous sand trap that had never occurred to me.

The September 18th Wall Street Journal article “College Applicants, Beware: Your Facebook Page Is Showing” by John Hechinger reporteded:

A new survey of 500 top colleges found that 10% of admissions officers acknowledged looking at social-networking sites to evaluate applicants. Of those colleges making use of the online information, 38% said that what they say “negatively affected” their views of the applicant. Only a quarter of the schools checking the sites said their views were improved, according to the survey by education company Kaplan, a unit of Washington Post Co.” (Boldface mine.)

What I found particularly upsetting in the Journal article is that college admission officers sometimes receive anonymous tips to check out someone’s Facebook page. Apparently these tips may be from rival applicants.

After reading about this particular sand trap, I visualized a scenario where two top students from the same high school are applying to the same prestigious college. One student calls in a tip about the other student’s inappropriate Facebook page in order to get that student eliminated from consideration.

All I can say is that you can’t stop some people from being underhanded, so the only way you can assure that there’s no dirt for someone to find on you is to make sure there’s no dirt PERIOD.

If you have any questions as to what is appropriate on your Facebook page, check out past posts of mine under the category Facebook. And if you’d like a free copy of the “7 Mistakes to Avoid to Protect Your Image on Facebook,” go to

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1 comment:

Tyler James said...

I have recently changed my name, and removed myself from my school network on facebook, I am not at all sure if this will do any good, but I would be greatly dissapointed if my social networking affected my college applications.