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Private Isn’t Always Private Anymore

Last summer, Harvard Admissions Dean William Fitzsimmons’ rescinded the acceptance of Kyle Kashuv, Parkland High School advocate, for a two-year old social media post, Dean Fitzsimmons deemed to be racist, stating:

Harvard reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under various conditions, including ‘ ‘if you engage or have engaged in behavior that brings into question your honest, maturity, or moral character.’

Mr. Kashuv’s experiences are another reminder for soon-to-be college applicants to be careful what you say both in the digital and non-digital worlds.

Gen Z’ers less and less expect that they have privacy, yet crave their privacy.  They’ll often remark that they do not expect any social interaction to be private, that phones with cameras turned outwards is a consistent presence so their activities can be posted on the internet with and without their permission, and without any recourse or appeal to curate their own digital footprint. Every image, every utterance, every click is recorded and can be resurfaced without notice, then consequences for a past action (or youthful indiscretion…and we’ve all been there) are immediate.

Mr. Kashuv’s experience only validates what other teens already seem to accept, which has created a seemingly overly sensitive and careful generation of young people.

Lastly, with teens managing multiple online personas in Finstas and private SnapChat accounts with exclusive friend groups, any screenshot taken out of context can be unwittingly used in an unintended way. So, moral of the story, as my mom always said, “Be careful what you say.”

See the CNN story for more details.