be careful what you put online!
There's the basic info like address and phone number that you should not post as part of your profile (can you say creepy pedophiles?).
Then there's inappropriate content like picking on others, pictures of illegal activity, foul language. Colleges and employers DO examine your online persona. Google does a great job of finding you!
The Washington Post ran an article that asked you to consider what you put online:
"Think of it as being in a very large, public place like Yankee Stadium, taking the microphone and broadcasting your personal information to 50,000 people there," she said. "If you don't want everyone in the stadium to know the details of your personal life, then keep them to yourself." (source: WAYNE PARRY, The Associated Press, July 12, 2007. "Private" Online Photos Really Aren't; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/12/AR2007071201529.html)
While at Harvard's Summer Program, I spoke with an admissions rep who said the most recent admissions person they hired had a background in P.I. work! This person looks at online information about applicants if your application has a red flag. Don't assume that the 'private' setting protects you either: what's online remains online (it's called a cache) and a persistent person can locate it. There seems to be no limits to what colleges can take into consideration when examining you as an applicant. Especially at highly competitive colleges, no one is "entitled" to admission, and information you put on the web (a public place) could hurt your chances. Think about what it says about you as a person.
Here's what other college reps have to say:
"Once it's out there, it's out there and even beyond the admissions process, something much more important,like work, family and livelihood, it may come back to bite you."
Thomas D. Reason, Associate Director of Admissions, U.W.-Madison
"Students can write/post whatever they wish, but they need to understand the ramifications of publishing things on the internet. Sometimes, they need to be reminded that www stands for world wide web."
Jeannine C. Lalonde, Assistant Dean of Admission, University of Virginia
A recent report by the National Association for College Admission Counseling revealed that about 25 percent of U.S. colleges were snooping via Facebook or search engines on applicants.
2013 - a highly talented theatre student exclaimed on Facebook that he was admitted to his 1st choice college and would attend/enroll. Other admissions officers read his post and decided to deny his application instead of wasting an admit letter on someone who already decided where to attend college.
links verified 4/2013