If you have a teen applying for college, the New York Times article, “They loved your GPA then they saw your tweets”, may invoke a silent scream. The article highlights the growing trend of admission officers looking at college applicants social media profiles. It shares how inappropriate tweets and posts may influence a college’s decision.
The article references a Kaplan Test Prep study which found 31% of admission officers have checked an applicant’s online profile. This is an increase from 26% in 2012. Although this number is increasing, most applicants will not have their social media profiles checked. Colleges receive too many applications to review every applicant’s online profile. According the New York Time’s article, admission officers are more likely to go online if they receive information about a student’s profile or they want to learn more about an award/project mentioned in the application.
The good news is out of the applications reviewed only 30% found something that negatively impacted admission. This is down from 35% in 2012 “Many students are becoming more cautious about what they post, and also savvier about strengthening privacy settings and circumventing search,” said Christine Brown, Executive Director of College Admissions programs,Kaplan Test Prep. Kaplan’s student survey showed that 22% had changed their searchable names on social media, 26% had untagged themselves from photos, and 12% had deleted their social media profiles altogether.
Even though an admission officer is unlikely to check out your teen’s profile, it is still a good idea to review it. Other people may search their name online. Some scholarship organizations research applicants online. Plus, their new roommate or the cute student in their class may check them out online. They should spend some time senior year giving their teenage digital profile a makeover.
Neither my teen or tween have any interest in joining Facebook. They tell me Facebook is the network for parents. Kids are moving to a host of different apps depending on their interests — Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Kik and Vine. Now, a social network is emerging to try and capture all these divergent interests – Pheed.
If you took every social app and smushed them together, you would have Pheed. On Pheed, users can share everything – text, pictures, videos, audio, and live broadcasts. According to Pheed, 81% of its user base is 14-25 years old. (Users must be over 13.) Scrolling through Pheed, you notice people aren’t using it in lieu of other apps. Pheed timelines are full of Vine videos, Instagram pictures and posts from other networks. This is the place where people bring it all together.
Pheed is a free app. Teens can sign up using their Twitter or Facebook account or an email address. Once in, Pheed walks them through setting up a profile containing their name, username and bio.
One feature I like is users can choose to hide the number of subscribers to their channel. Instead of displaying how many subscribers, it just says “Ghost”. I noticed many channels hide this number. Hopefully, this reduces the pressure to share questionable material just to attract subscribers. Continue reading →
“How much recreational screen time does your child or teenager consume daily?”
“Is there a television set or Internet-connected device in the child’s bedroom?”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is encouraging all pediatricians to ask these two questions at every well-child visit. These questions are one of many suggestions in the updated AAP policy on Children, Adolescents, and the Media. The policy makes recommendations for how to guide kid’s media use for pediatricians, parents, schools, PTAs and other organizations. For parents, pediatricians are encouraging them to set limits on unsupervised screen time.
The Kaiser Family Foundation found on average 8-18 year-olds spend 7 hours and 38 minutes each day on entertainment media including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices. In fact, children and adolescents spend more time with media than they do any other activity except for sleeping. When kids are spending 7 1/2 hrs in front of screen, they are sacrificing other activities. It is this loss of time for exercise, hobbies, or the creativity that come with boredom that is affecting kids health.
A large of amount of this screen time is unsupervised. A recent Microsoft survey found on average most parents stop monitoring internet use by the time their child is 8 years old. Kids left alone in cyberspace are more likely to stumble upon content and advertising aimed at adults. The AAP’s report on Health Effects of Media on Children and Adolescents found some evidence that the continuous exposure to graphic violence and adult topics may lead some children to see risky and cruel behaviors as normal.