Since our boys are a junior and sophomore in high school, thoughts of colleges frequently float through the house. They also both have friends who are seniors, some with early decision, others completing the ‘common app’ or SUNY application, others still visiting schools and narrowing their choices. Pretty much all of them have smartphones and are active on social networks. Which made the following NY Times article chilling:
At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., admissions officers are still talking about the high school senior who attended a campus information session last year for prospective students. Throughout the presentation, she apparently posted disparaging comments on Twitter about her fellow attendees, repeatedly using a common expletive.
Perhaps she hadn’t realized that colleges keep track of their social media mentions.
As it turned out, the girl wasn’t accepted due to academics, but had she been more competitive, her choice of behavior during a college visit could have cost her acceptance to the school. In fact, from the article “30 percent of the admissions officers said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.”
We have all said or done things at one time or other that we regret … but I have discussed many times that there is a distinct advantage to belong to a generation whose stupidity is left to a few pictures, distant memories and the lost annals of time. Because the things we did were not instantly searchable, recorded and archived, and saved for posterity.
Oh, and the Chicago Tribune has an article about how texting and social media use in college classes leads to lower grades.
In the past five years researchers have published the results of five surveys and experiments that link texting and Facebooking with lower academic performance.
“That I can be definitive about: That’s not working. If you’re going to search (online) during class, I don’t have any data telling you to stop. If you’re going to email during class, I don’t have any data to tell you to stop. But do not text or Facebook during class. Do not text or Facebook while you’re studying for your classes, because that’s another area where this is definitely a negative.”
This is yet another example of the mounting case against ‘multitasking’. For years we have been taught that multitasking is a good thing, but especially in the age of overwhelming technology we are learning that trying to do many things at once seldom produces optimal results for any of the individual tasks.