Social-Networking Sites Scanned in University Admissions
We know employers do it, but now university admissions officers are scanning social networking profiles of potential students. In the US, it is increasingly difficult for high school grads to get into the top tier universities - some estimates suggest that a mere 15% of university applicants succeed in securing a seat.
In a new survey, 10 percent of admissions officers from prestigious schools said they had peeked at sites like Facebook and MySpace to evaluate college-bound seniors. Of those using the profiles, 38 percent said it had a "negative impact" on the applicant, according to Kaplan Inc., the education services company that polled the officers.
At least one admissions officer had rescinded an offer because of an applicant's postings, results showed. The survey went out to 500 schools—of which 320 responded—in July and August and promised anonymity.
This is surely a case of the technology progressing faster than society's ability to manage it - handheld devices have made it increasingly easy for people to upload photos to an online profile, update their status, and remain continually plugged into the web. Employers and universities, when faced with a tough decision or something that doesn't look quite right on an application, are turning to the internet for answers.
What comes up when you Google your name? How much of your private information is available on the web? These are important questions to consider not just for university hopefuls or job seekers, but for everyone.
I think it will be some time before privacy laws are implemented for this type of information, as it is still so new and evolving at such an expontetial rate. In the meantime, it's probably worth considering how much of ourselves are we putting up for public display in the online realm, and how people can continue to interact with the growing online community without exposing too much personal information.