Breaking News: Everyone Can View Your Social Media

Isaac Ducker , Online Editor

While the college admissions season for Durango High School’s seniors has mostly passed, many Juniors are either beginning, or well on their way into the realm of the admission process.

Over the past few years, people all over the globe, and especially American teenagers, have begun to sequester large amounts of their lives and identities into the digital format through tweets, Tumblr accounts, and Facebook posts. Following this new trend, social media has inevitably begun to burgeon as a tool for college admissions officers to gain insight into the personality of their applicants.

However, this process is by no means ubiquitous throughout colleges and universities in America and in the world. Yet, in the form of social media, information becomes readable to anyone, including the often younger and tech-savvy admissions officer.

“Students’ social media and digital footprint can sometimes play a role in the admissions process. It’s something that is becoming more ubiquitous and less looked down upon,” said Christine Brown, the executive director of K-12 and college prep programs at Kaplan Test Prep, in an interview for the New York Times article, “They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets” 

Here at Durango High School there is no formal process for ‘sanitizing’ the accounts of prospective students, largely because students are often cognizant enough to realize the ephemera they post online is not in fact completely nebulous, and is open to whoever happens to follow them on Instagram, or look them up on Facebook.

Even so, it is unlikely that admissions officers–already inundated by application essays and letters of recommendation–will spend their time trolling Facebook feeds dating back to 2010 on the hunt for incriminating evidence.

“Kids who use social media to rant-about a friend, an employer, or the school. They really don’t like that,” said Kurt Zeiner, college admissions advisor and ACT Prep instructor at Durango High School.

To many students, the use of social media in the admissions process seems completely fair and justified.

“It’s a poor idea to post things that could be viewed in a negative light on social media because if a college admissions officer does look it at it–even if they’re not supposed to–then they might take that into consideration when considering your application to their school,” said Jr. Joaquin Valdez, one of the students in the midst of beginning her college admissions process.

The use of social media in college admissions is by no means intended to scare or detriment the lives of high school students. Yet, teenagers should be aware of the effect their words have on the people outside of their direct sphere of influence.

“Every time you go on some sort of social network, you run the risk of having everything become public. I think it’s appropriate for college admissions officers to see what type of person they are admitting outside of the school and extracurricular environment,” said Jr. William Chandler.

While to some the use of social media in college admissions may appear to be an intrusion or an attempt to find means for rejection, for others, social media is a way to share passion and interest with the people of the outside world, including admissions officers.

“I don’t have anything embarrassing or super-personal on there, I use it mostly to share friends, biking, and other extracurricular activities,” said Jr. Chris Blevins, a nationally-ranked road, mountain and BMX biker at Durango High School.