Do I Have to Delete my Facebook and/or Instagram When I Apply to College?

This is a question that we get a lot from students and parents. The answer is pretty straightforward—no—but we have some tips.

No, you don’t need to delete your Facebook or your Instagram. Technically. What we would suggest doing is really taking the time to go through your Facebook and your Instagram, along with any and all other social media accounts that you have, and making them private. Even though they are private, people can still access them, so be sure to go through and comb for photos, comments, tweets, captions, hashtags, or what have you for anything that might be incriminating or inappropriate. Why risk it? At the end of the day, you shouldn’t have anything up that falls under any of those categories so you might as well use this opportunity as an excuse to clean your internet presence up.

That’s the short of it. The long of it is more a lesson on maturity and your personal evolution. We are living in the era of the finsta, screenshots, Snapchat, filters, and that weird hot dog thing. Personally, we don’t totally get the allure of being plugged in 24/7. We believe in one social media presence and consistent branding across all platforms. You’re adults now (or nearly), and as such we advise against anything that can be a distraction or a detraction from your life.

Call us old (even though we aren’t), but we discuss the merits of social media with all of our students and a lot of them come out of the conversation agreeing with us. Social media is a distraction and a risk—why have it if you can eliminate it? There’s a whole layer of exposure that you are in control of, but you’re also not in a control of a lot of it due to the very public nature of it all. Think long and hard before you create a new account for anything and think to yourself—is this really necessary? Will this add to my life in any way or will it just be another content-producer that distracts you from living your life?

We don’t mean to get preachy, we just aim to make you think about what you’re doing before you do it, and to not just do something because it’s instinct. We are constantly evaluating and reevaluating our instincts, and we encourage our students to do the same. Just because everyone thinks one thing, doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because something is on-trend, doesn’t mean it has staying power.

If you’re going to keep your social media profiles up, please please please make them private. Delete anything inappropriate (if you wouldn’t want your mom or the dean of admission at Harvard to see it, it’s inappropriate. And if they wouldn’t **get** it without a lengthy explanation, it’s not relevant or cool anyways). Call it a day. You’re going to college.

Let us know if you have any questions about the above. We’d be happy to expand on our views on the topic, or just hear you out if you happen to feel differently. Let us know. Our communication lines are always open