Think twice before making a post, you never know who is looking

Gracie Deichler, Opinion Editor

Admissions officers and potential bosses may not look at candidates’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other accounts all the time; however, if they scan and find something they don’t want, all your academic and extracurricular efforts are burnt toast.

Social media is a teens go-to communication tool. From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Snapchat, students live their lives online. Kids aren’t into physical hangouts or playing outside anymore. They can gather, communicate and share their life on social media. And guess what, colleges know this. A recent study from Kaplan has found that 31 percent of college admission officers check social media to see if an applicant would be a good fit at their educational institution. That number is up by 5 percent from last year. For any teen who wants to go to college and secure employment afterwards, social media can most definitely be a double-edged sword. But, using it aimlessly and with no regard for who is reading can and most likely will result in rejection notices from colleges and employers. However, using it effectively and wisely can secure admission and employment.

The Kaplan study also reported that 12 percent of college admission applicants were rejected because of what the college saw on social media. What happens on social media, stays on social media. So when your parents say, “told you so,” don’t get angry. The internet is for forever! I find some students genuinely naive, even clueless, about how their social media persons can swamp everything good they’ve ever done.

But it’s never too late to make a change. Hundreds of internet companies are now what some may call social media sanitation workers. For a flat fee, the company can go through your internet footprint and change it from a whopping size 15 to a nice 8. Ensuring that the only thing stalkers and college administration see is posts that you want.

Alas, you can always use social media to your advantage. Give colleges a picture of who you are and use it to communicate positively, put down the red solo cup and pick up a scholarly book. Make contact with colleges using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and establish relationships with college representatives. Show interest in the college, like their pictures, retweet their tweets, take to the internet and show your school spirit.

As more and more colleges turn to social media to get a picture of who the student really is, it makes sense to use it to your advantage. If you volunteer in the summer, you knows that you should post pictures on Instagram of that activity. If you win a school activity or award, post about it. Colleges look favorably on this type of student, so post on the positive side and always run the grandma test. Before posting, ask yourself: “How would grandma feel if she saw this?”