Tweets and snaps and the college application process

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From Twitter to Instagram, Facebook to Snapchat, Tumblr to Pinterest, social media dominates the average student’s day, with most teenagers spending almost nine hours a day on social media according to CNN.

“I’m not sure how much spend on it,” sophomore Isabella Santiago said. “It’s not like I surround my life around it but I’m sure I use it quite often.”

I don’t want to have a bad image on what I’m posting on social media,”

— sophomore Isabella Santiago

Although many teenagers use social media as an entertainment outlet, some restrict what they post.

“I do monitor what I would like post or what I would retweet because I don’t want to have a bad image on what I’m posting on social media,” Santiago said. “If someone like an adult or someone I would like to impress like for a job was looking at like social media I don’t want them to be turned off by how I act on social media.

According to educational consulting company, Ivywise27 percent of admissions officers surveyed said they Google prospective students, 26 percent said they look up applicants on Facebook.

35 percent said that when checking up on a student’s online presence, they found something that negatively impacted an applicant’s chances of getting in, nearly tripling from 12 percent last year.

However, monitoring online behavior might not be as necessary as some students think when applying to big universities.

“With over 47,000 applicants, there’s no way we would be able to look at your Twitter and Snapchats, and we’re not interested in that, we will be looking at your applications,” UT Austin admissions representative Perri Watts said. “As far as we communicate with you, we’re on all social media platforms. If you have an admissions question, you can ask our Twitter. But even then, we’re not going to follow you and then be like ‘oh she asked me a dumb question last week, she can’t get in.’ Your social media is your own but you can reach out to us if necessary.”

We’re not interested in that, we will be looking at your applications,”

— UT Austin admissions representative Perri Watts

Although colleges like UT do not look into an applicant’s social media accounts, counselors suggest keeping social media presence appropriate for other reasons.

“Students should be very careful about what they’re posting online whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, even Snapchat because once you put something out into the interspace that is available for anyone to access,” counselor Staci Stokes said. “No matter what you think the security restrictions are and that sort of thing, it can be found. So I’d be very careful with what you’re posting on the internet. I think it’s really important for students to realize that this is kind of a new era of technology that you guys are growing up in. Students of this generation are the trailblazers if the internet and that comes with lots of pros and cons. One of the cons is: you have to be careful who you are showing yourself to be on the internet because anyone can see that. You definitely want to show your best self for your future college and employers.”