Point: Is it ethical for colleges and jobs to use social media for profiling?

Brittany Polevikov, Contributing Writer

Instagram. Snapchat. Facebook. In the past few years, social media have become staples in the lives of millions of young people. These apps are clearly more popular among millennials and teenagers, due to their rapid growth in such a limited amount of time.

Nowadays, it is hard to go five minutes without sending a snap to a friend or scrolling through your feed to see what’s going on in the lives of your friends and acquaintances. The ever-growing presence of social media in teenagers’ lives has led to much controversy regarding who should be able to have access to your posts and what they should be able to do with that information.

Although some may see it as privacy infringement, colleges and jobs should be able to profile one’s social media to see how their prospective students truly are.

“I think colleges should have the right to check future and current students’ social media. Some people may post inappropriate content, and if this is on the internet for everyone to see, students should expect that colleges will see it as well,” said senior Sophie Lampl.

Admissions offices may check potential applicants’ social media to figure out whether those students could cause any potential trouble at college.

“Your ability to be an effective member of a college or working environment highly depends on your ability to make good decisions and represent the establishment in a good light. Although what you get away with outside of the workplace or class may not seem like it should affect how you are seen by colleges and jobs, they must look at what you post to make sure you are someone who will not make decisions which not only hurt you, but hurt the reputation of the college or company,” said freshman Jeannie Ren.

This is a valid argument, as even students with great academic records can jeopardize their school’s reputation. While some students argue that their posts from months and even years ago do not portray them in a truthful manner, they should have been aware that anything they post on social media is easily accessible to the public.

“There could be things online which you posted in the past that you may not be proud of right now, but the fact of the matter is, what you post online never really goes away,” said sophomore Molly Schiff. “Though it is unfortunate that a bad decision from a long time ago can affect how a college or potential hirer sees you, you cannot erase the past and should not expect to have colleges overlook bad decisions you made just because you were younger and maybe not as aware of the impact what you post online can have.”

People have the freedom to post whatever they want, and they should expect that their content will be available for all to see, and colleges and employers can draw their own conclusions based on those posts.

“Social media is a way for colleges to see unfiltered portions of students’ lives. Students should not expect their posts to be private or off limits,” said senior Anna Watson.

Social media posts can affect a student’s chance of getting into a certain college, as admissions officers may find pictures of students drinking to be unappealing.  Furthermore, if an individual partakes in underage drinking during high school, chances are that their decision to do so will not change in college.

Ultimately, profiling an individual based on their social media is a way for admissions to see whether that person would be a good match for a school or position, as well as giving them a different perspective on the person’s character.

Social media can often reveal more about a student than any formal writing piece or interview.  Regardless of where you stand on this issue, the fact of the matter is that what one posts on social media can be seen by virtually anyone. Though you have the freedom of speech which allows you to post whatever you want, it is always helpful to keep in mind that what you post can have consequences further down the road, and can influence how you are perceived as a person. Just keep this in mind, and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see!