Yet a survey in 2012 showed that 38% of children on Facebook were actually under 13. In fact over 5 million users were under 10 years old!
So what’s the big deal? Teens are at a time in their neural development where they are more likely to take risks and not consider the full reach of the consequences. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the still-growing teenage brain causes teens to engage in risky behavior and act impulsively. It is no different in their user of social media. Ok so, they post a few bad pictures up on the web or they say inappropriate or explicit “teen” things on the web, what has that got to do with college?
Are Colleges looking at Social Media?
The application process for college has always been extremely competitive. Good grades and high SAT scores matter a lot, but so does extracurricular activities, a great essay, world experiences and so on. But with so many similar applicants and rising competitiveness, it is becoming more commonplace for admission officers to visit social media sites in order to gain additional information on their applicants. With the growth of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram among many social media outlets, teenagers are laying out their lives all over the net making it easier for admission officers (and in the future, job interviewers) to get a deeper look into a person’s character. In a recent 2013 survey of admissions officers by Kaplan Test Prep, they found 31 percent of the admission officers visited an applicant’s Facebook or social networking page. This is a whopping 3x more than in 2008.
Social Media Documents Everything
Unlike their parents, when teens make poor decision in life, often it is marked on the internet forever. It doesn’t simply disappear like it did for past generations. One bad picture or comment can haunt them for a long time. Teens need to be careful and recognize that what they do now can have repercussions for many years to come. Simply posting and deleting a image from Facebook or other online medium does not mean it is gone forever. It still can get picked up on the web, get caught in cache, stored in social media company servers, or copied by other readers.
Of course social media isn’t evil in itself. if your social media presence shows you are an upstanding individual with many awards and good extracurricular involvement, it can be for your benefit.
Related Post: Internet Accountability for Children