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10 Social Media Do's and Don'ts for High School Students


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67% of admissions officers surveyed in 2015 said they had looked up college applicants on Facebook. And 40% didn’t like what they found.

These days, social media comes with great responsibility, whether you're just starting high school or finishing up college. On one hand, it’s a convenient way to communicate and connect with others...but on the other hand, it can be detrimental if used irresponsibly. It can impact the impression college admissions officers or employers have of you and cost you a spot at your dream school or a job.

The good news is that most of the bad consequences are preventable and easy to avoid with some foresight.

Here are 10 social media mistakes high school students should avoid...and keep in mind that social media circumstances vary by school, user and situation, so use your best judgement and think twice when you share something publicly.

Are you the parent of a high school student? We have tips for planning for college, writing college application essays, applying to and affording college at our site, We help YOU help YOUR CHILD succeed.

Thanks for checking out our presentation!

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10 Social Media Do's and Don'ts for High School Students

  1. 1. 10  Social  Media  “Do’s  and  Don’ts”   for  High  School  Students
  2. 2. 67%  of  admissions  officers  surveyed  in  2015  said  they  had  looked  up  college  applicants   on  Facebook.  And  40%  didn’t  like  what  they  found. These  days,  social  media  comes  with  great  responsibility,  whether  you're  just  star9ng  high  school  or  finishing   up  college.  On  one  hand,  it’s  a  convenient  way  to  communicate  and  connect  with  others...but  on  the  other   hand,  it  can  be  detrimental  if  used  irresponsibly.  It  can  impact  the  impression  college  admissions  officers  or   employers  have  of  you  and  cost  you  a  spot  at  your  dream  school  or  a  job. The  good  news  is  that  most  of  the  bad  consequences  are  preventable  and  easy  to  avoid  with  some  foresight. Here  are  10  social  media  mistakes  high  school  students  should  avoid...and  keep  in  mind  that  social  media   circumstances  vary  by  school,  user  and  situa9on,  so  use  your  best  judgement  and  think  twice  when  you  share   something  publicly.
  3. 3. Bullying  is  a  serious,  vicious  problem  in  schools  today.  Hateful  behavior   and  words  can  cause  violence,  depression  and  unrest  in  a  student  body.  If   a  student  turns  to  social  media,  blogs  or  other  online  spaces  to  post   hur<ul  comments,  the  risks  are  immeasurable.   In  many  cases,  a  student  will  face  expulsion  as  well  as  serious  criminal   prosecu?on.  This  can  be  a  nasty  record  that  forever  scars  your  reputa?on. 1 DON’T be a bully
  4. 4. 2 DON’T trash your teachers Similar  to  bullying,  students  that  post   nega?ve  comments  online   about  teachers  (or  post  embarrassing   photos  of  them)  are  also  taking  a  serious   risk.  Not  only  do  your  instructors  have  a   right  to  privacy  and  respect,  but  you   never  know  which  one  of  your  teachers   will  hold  the  keys  to  a  great   recommenda?on  for  your  college,   internship,  or  job. High  school  seniors  should  be  careful   not  to  nega?vely  post  about  specific   colleges  or  geographical  areas.   Admissions  officers  thoroughly   inves?gate  the  social  media  ac?vity  and   personali?es  of  college  applicants.  One   nega?ve  tweet  could  be  the  death  of   your  college  acceptance.  
  5. 5. DON’T post illegal activities Okay,  okay...high  school  and  college  are  ?mes  well  known  for  experimenta?on   and  explora?on  with  ac?vi?es  and  substances.  But  when  a  photo  or  video  goes   up  online  of  you  caught  in  the  act  doing  something  you  wouldn’t  want  your   mom,  teacher  or  police  to  open  yourself  up  to  expulsion  as  well  as   criminal  prosecu?on. And  not  just  now,  but  for  the  REST  of  your  life.  Even  if  your  profile  is  set  to   private,  a  friend  can  download  and  save  incrimina?ng  photos  that  he  or  the   authori?es  can  use  against  you  in  the  future. Go  through  the  content  on  your  social  media  profiles  ever  so  oNen  and  look  at  it   through  the  eyes  of  an  employer  or  your  parent  to  make  sure  all  of  it  is  legit. 3
  6. 6. This  goes  for  anyone,  not  just  students.  This  is  for  your  safety,  not  because  it   could  cost  you  a  job  or  hurt  your  reputa?on.  If  you  post  anything  that  tells  the   public  your  loca?on,  your  address,  your  phone  number,  or  any  other  personal   informa?on,  you  have  no  idea  who’s  eyes  could  find  that.   For  example,  a  friend  of  ours  and  mother  of  a  high  school  senior  shared  that   her  daughter  posted  her  class  schedule  to  Facebook  when  she  first  got  it.  She   wanted  to  share  with  friends...but  that  schedule  included  her  social  security   number,  student  ID,  full  name,  birthday  and  other  informa?on  that  could   immediately  be  accessed  by  anyone  without  any  effort.  Her  iden?ty  could  be   stolen  in  a  second  from  that  one  “harmless”  post. 4 DON’T post confidential information
  7. 7. Like  not  sharing  your  personal  informa?on,  you  also  want   to   beware   of   sharing   your   specific   loca?on   with   your   social   check-­‐ins-­‐-­‐-­‐especially   if   you’re   alone.   It   makes   it   easy  to  connect  with  nearby  friends  or  keep  your  parents   informed   of   where   you   are,   but   it   makes   it   easy   for   predators  to  follow  you,  too. 5 Don’t share your specific location
  8. 8. Imagine  asking  your  teacher  to  give  you  an  extension  on  your  essay  paper   because  you  need  to  visit  your  “sick”  grandmother.  Instead,  you  go  to  a   concert...and  your  teacher  finds  out  from  hearing  about  it  from  a  status   update  that  gets  seen  by  your  friends.  Guess  what  your  grade  is  going  to  be. This  is  the  same  when  it  comes  to  lying  about  professional  or  academic   achievements  if  you’re  applying    to  college  or  an  internship.  Admissions   officers  and  employers  WILL  inves?gate. 6 DON’T lie
  9. 9. A  threat  alone,  even  if  you  don’t  carry  it  out,  is  unbelievably  serious.  Even   if  it’s  an  anonymous,  empty  threat  in  an  obscure  online  forum  full  of  will  raise  red  flags.  As  soon  as  authori?es  have  located  a   threat,  they  have  the  right  to  inves?gate-­‐-­‐-­‐and  they  will. A  University  of  Maryland  student  was  arrested  aNer  pos?ng  his   inten?ons  to  “kill  enough  people  to  make  it  to  na?onal  news”  on  Reddit.   Police  arrested  him  in  his  dorm  room,  even  though  he  had  no  firearms  or   weapons  on  him  at  the  ?me. 7 DON’T threaten violence
  10. 10. "Whenever  I  evaluate  a  poten?al  employee,  I  always  take  a  look  at  what  is   publicly  visible  on  their  Facebook  profile,"  says  Ryan  Cohn,  vice  president  of   social/digital  opera?ons  at  What's  Next  Marke?ng.  "On  two  separate   occasions,  I  have  rejected  entry  level  prospects  (finishing  their  senior  year  of   college)  for  featuring  firearms  in  their  profile  picture.  Both  were  qualified  in   terms  of  experience  and  otherwise  would  have  been  worthy  of  an   interview."  (Source: If  you’re  applying  to  work  at  a  local  restaurant  or  you’re  a  high  school  student   applying  to  college,  your  social  media  profiles  are  HIGHLY  likely  to  be  looked  at   as  part  of  the  decision-­‐making  process.  So  making  sure  your  photos  and   updates  are  clean  is  key.  If  you  find  you  get  tagged  in  photos  that  you  wouldn’t   want  an  employer  or  college  admissions  officer  to  see,  make  sure  you  remove   the  tag  as  soon  as  possible. 8 DO keep a professional profile
  11. 11. Never  rely  on  the  privacy  sebngs  on  social  media  networks  100%.  Although   most  of  the  networks  update  you  with  privacy  improvements,  the  changes  are   hard  to  follow.  However  diligent  you  are  in  protec?ng  your  social  media   iden?ty,  assume  anything  you  post  is  fair  game. If  you  don’t  want  something  to  be  seen,  don’t  post  it  on  the  Internet. 9 DO maintain privacy
  12. 12. Look,  it’s  not  rocket  science,  and  you’ve  probably  heard  most  of  this  before.   But  it  doesn’t  hurt  to  remember  to  use  common  sense  and  think  twice  before   sharing  your  update  with  the  world.     In  the  moment  it  can  seem  harmless.  It’s  the  moments  aNer  they  can  seem   much  harsher,  especially  if  it’s  seen  by  the  eyes  of  someone  you  weren’t   thinking  of  at  the  ?me…  even  years  later. 10 DO use common sense