Essay on Facebook: Social Network Service and High School Seniors

Submitted By shootingstars96
Words: 782
Pages: 4

Beware of Facebook John Hechinger is a writer for the Boston bureau of The Wall Street Journal. He started off his career working various reporting positions for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. “In 1995, Mr. Hechinger won a first-place award in investigative reporting from the North Carolina Press Association for his coverage of abuse and neglect of the elderly in North Carolina rest homes (Gerald Loeb Awards).” He currently lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter. John Hechinger wrote a journal on September 18, 2008 directed at high school seniors who are applying to college. Like it or not, times are changing, even college applications. Hechinger’s journal “High-school seniors already fretting about grades and test scores now have another worry: Will their Facebook or MySpace pages count against them in college admissions?” is self-explanatory. Seniors who are applying to colleges already have a lot on their plate, grades and test scores are just two of the main dishes. Applying to college is a third dish, but now seniors have to worry about a fourth dish: what they post on social web sites. Hechinger’s journal explained that “A new survey of 500 top colleges found that 10% of admissions officers acknowledged looking at social-networking sites to evaluate applicants (Hechinger).” The survey was taken from the schools with the most selective admissions. Their results from looking at student’s pages were more negative than positive. His journal gives an example of a college rejecting a student for content posted online after raving about the college when he was on campus visiting. He goes on to say that there is a lack of rules when browsing students’ social-networking sites. Which is true, how do you determine which students get checked? How does a student posts get used against or in favor of them? Some admission officers say that checking these social sites help maintain and protect the integrity of the institutions.
On the other hand, Hechinger mentions that not everyone is comfortable with flipping through teenagers social pages. Also, a downside of this is that there are enormous amounts of high school seniors looking to apply to these top colleges, admissions can’t possibly go through all of them. It’s too time consuming. He later mentions that a senior in high school said “…colleges might look at his Facebook site but hopes admissions officers realize the postings reflect only a partial view of any student (Hechinger).”
The author includes some job applicants have learned the hard way that employers more times than not check social sites to weed out unwanted candidates. Students always have the option of changing their privacy settings, but even then information can leak. If a school gets anonymous tips about something posted on MySpace or Facebook then the schools will look into it. Colleges have been known to look up students who come up as “red flags.”
Hechinger uses Nora Ganim Barnes from Dartmouth University as a prime example of how social networking sites recruit information about students. She found that 21% of colleges use social-networking sites to recruit prospects as well as gathering information