Profiles inaccurate reflection
Social-networking sites have fostered a new type of communication among users, where personal interaction is no longer necessary to know someone’s physical features, feelings and daily activities, circle of friends and location. Facebook, for example, is a site where you can create personal content and broadcast it to a multitude of friends.
What part of that personal content is actually telling of personal ability, motivation, work ethic and academic integrity?
Facebook is no longer just about your friends and family members. Companies, employers and colleges are logging in to see what the “online you” can tell them about the real you. But is there a correlation between the two?
According to The Wall Street Journal, a 2008 survey of 500 top colleges found that 10 percent of admissions officers admitted searching for applicants on social-networking sites to further evaluate their eligibility. This poses questions about how insightful one’s profile is about intellect and potential. Almost 40% of admissions officers making use of the sites admitted that the site negatively affected their views on the applicant, with only 25 percent admitting that their views of the applicant improved.
One college admissions officer explained that some colleges turn to the social websites because “no school wants to give a prestigious scholarship to someone standing on a beer keg and wearing a lampshade.” But what if that beer-keg loving, lampshade aficionado is the next Albert Einstein?
This issue is something unique to our generation. In any other decade, one would not usually get fired or denied a position over a wild weekend of binge drinking because there would be no evidence, and even if there were, that evidence would not be visible to all of your friends. This evidence, along with the information that you work for a certain company, and represent a certain school, is what poses problems for employers and admissions officers today.
More and more I have heard of people being fired or penalized because of their online lives, but this shouldn’t be the case. How much you drink, where you go, and how slutty or conservative you dress on the weekends should have nothing to do with opinions on your academic eligibility or work ethic, as long as the personal is separate from the professional.
The separation of online personal spheres from the workplace and academics is a necessity. Social networking sites should in no way affect the merit of an individual, being that such posts are not genuine reflections of personality types or potential.
Freshman, gender studies