NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Life is all about social media for many teenagers, but one wrong post and life as they know it could crumble.
A group of Harvard bound students found that out the hard way when comments they made on a Facebook group chat got their admissions offers rescinded.
The comments were deemed sexually explicit, and racially biased, but some teens found the punishment for their online actions chilling.
“The fact that that’s taken away from you just because of what you post is crazy,” Duban Bueno said.
“Their whole life revolves around it, and you tell them they can’t say a certain thing is telling them they can’t speak their mind at all,” Angel Fang added.
Educational consultant Dr. Karen Williams has spent 15 years working as an admissions officer for various colleges.
“You may be able to say what you want, but there are responsibilities and consequences,” she said, “What we don’t want to see is damaging material, abusive, violent, discriminatory material on social media from a 12th grader. It speaks to the judgement and the maturity of the applicant at the time.”
Williams said beware of what you post on social media, and what you email and text.
She once reviewed the application of a girl whose angry ex-boyfriend sent a package of information to admissions officers at every school she applied to.
“There were several provocative, semi-nude and nude photos that had been shared in text messages,” Williams said.
That cost the young lady admission into at least one college.
Experts said parents can help their kids avoid social media pitfalls by preparing them before they go online.
“What if everyone in school saw this? What if my grandmother saw this? Am I going to be okay with that? If the answer is no, you shouldn’t post it,” parenting expert Erica Katz said, “You can’t just assume they know what to do.”
“I tell them the same thing, not to go on social media and put that garbage on there because it can haunt you later on in life,” Erma Simon said.