Schools should not access students’ social media pages

Ali Verdi and Priyanka Ninan, Ali Verdi, and Priyanka Ninan

Over the past few years, colleges and other educational institutions have supposedly used the Facebook and Twitter pages of their applicants to access information.  Many students find this is intrusive and unfair.

“A student’s Facebook or Twitter page is only one part of his or her life,” said junior Avanti Shroff.  “It’s not a good representation of the student’s true character, so no opinion should be made based on his or her Facebook account.”

Most importantly, social media pages are meant to be private.  Schools do not have the right to pry through students’ private lives in order to obtain information.

Certain areas of students’ lives are meant to remain confidential and out of the domain of educational institutions.  Frankly, it is not within the rights of educational institutions to look at students’ Facebook or Twitter pages, and schools cannot hold information found about students online against them.

Although students may have some inappropriate content on their Facebook pages, that one album or image does not reflect who they are as a person.  A small amount of distasteful material posted online does not indicate that someone does inappropriate things on a daily basis.

Facebook is primarily meant for the social aspects of a student’s life and does not reflect students’ academic abilities, which should be what colleges consider when making admissions decisions.

The things written or posted on a student’s page do not necessarily reflect the student as a whole and cannot be used as determinants of the student’s future.  Pictures and posts on Facebook can be misleading and misunderstood, and in some cases they can make or break a student’s acceptance into college.

Teens often feel the need to express how they feel on the Internet and often do not think before doing so. In the heat of the moment, they will be more prone to using profanities or to writing inappropriate statements that they would not usually do.

Many people have friends who jokingly log into their Twitter accounts and write funny things that would not be acceptable to colleges.

“I can’t even count the number of times that my friends have taken my phone and changed my Twitter or Facebook status to something that I would never write,” said junior Kwan Park.  “Obviously it’s just a joke between friends, so colleges shouldn’t be able to use that to judge who I am because it’s inaccurate.”

Twitter is popular amongst teenagers as a means through which they can express personal thoughts and feelings.  In contrast to other social media sites, Twitter is often used to instantly write about whatever a person is experiencing.

For this reason, tweets cannot be deemed accurate representations of students’ actual personalities, and are not legitimate sources of information about college applicants.

Because many things posted on these websites do not reflect who students are, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites should remain private, and should not be used by educational institutions to judge applicants.