Social Media: The Hidden Minefield for College Admissions

As parents, we are all becoming acutely aware of the dangers of teen social media activities. Our children are using social media in very casual – and often reckless – ways as they make their journey through adolescence. While growing up has never been easy, with a smartphone in hand, teens today are able to act out their impulses without any boundaries and far from a watchful parent’s eye.

Teens have quickly realized the dangers and embarrassment of behaving badly on very public and parent-populated social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Many have moved on to Instagram, Vine, and Tumblr to avoid parental review, but these sites remain very public. Platforms such as Snapchat, Frankly and Xpire are actively marketing to young people, promising an elixir of disappearing photos and texts. Other platforms such as Ask.fm, Kik, Whisper, and Yik Yak promise online anonymity as a way to lure youth toward acting out in a “parent-free” and “safe” environment. These promises are not only shallow and misleading, but also present a hidden minefield for our teens when they start applying to colleges and thinking about their future.

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