Friday, November 7, 2008

Change Your Privacy Settings, People

OK, I'm officially eliminating Cute Fridays. I don't have enough time to keep a stockpile of cute to post on Fridays, though I'm sure there's more than enough cute out there were I more committed. I may replace Cute Fridays with Facebook Fridays as I'm seeing an increasing amount of weird articles about Facebook. Let's just call today Facebook Friday, and leave it at that for now.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, college admissions departments are increasingly reading applicants' Facebook pages to inform their final decisions. Some students have been denied admission for what's on their Facebook page. While there's more to this article, let's stop right there for a moment.

1.) Anyone who would judge a hormonally raging teenager for what's on his or her Facebook page on a given day is a moron. Those status reports have a shorter shelf life than a fart in the wind. Give the poor kids a break. I've read adult's postings I'm sure they regret the next day. And those are just mine.

2.) Aren't the six page, three essay, three recommendation applications enough? You now need a Facebook page?

Onward through the article. One kid was denied admission for raving about the school to admisssion's people, then trashing the school on Facebook. Again, people, leave the kids' Facebook pages alone. It's creepy—like adults who listen in on their kids' phone calls and read their diarys—and it borders on pedophilic.

Kids are aware schools may look at their pages so now tweak them to be admissions friendly:

"Marc, who plans to apply early to Stanford University, says he won't mention that he loves to read X-Men comic books. His Facebook literary picks currently include "Crime and Punishment" and "Pride and Prejudice.""

Aw geez.

"Students need to be accountable for their actions," says Scott Anderson, director of college guidance at St. George's Independent School, a private school near Memphis, Tenn. When writing on Facebook or MySpace, he says, they should be thinking, "Is this something you want your grandmother to see?"

Oh right, the granny rule. There's a liberating model to live by: if it would offend grandma, don't say it.

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