October 2012

Could your online presence hurt your college acceptance?

If it’s something you wouldn’t let your grandmother read, better not post it online.

More and more colleges and employers are claiming that they look up a person online prior to hiring or admitting him or her into a job or program. I suppose it’s understandable—I have done it myself with potential babysitters, which is probably why I don’t have a babysitter!—but is it really fair?

I would say no. Even if you have some teenager trying to look cool—or an aging adult attempting to do the same!—posting a bunch of silly things online about partying or whatever, you have to know that much of it is false. People are constantly buffing up their online presences—I only wish they’d be smarter about it. We lived for thousands of years without social networking, and people who were hired for jobs could have been murderers for all anyone knew. I don’t think an employer should have a right to snoop in your social networks (if they’re private) or into your credit, either.