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Radical Transparency, Social Networking & The Dangers that Lurk there for Students

Radical Transparency is a new phenomenon that’s sweeping the world as a result of the freedom and access to information offered by the Internet.  Like most things, radical transparency is both good and bad, depending on how you use or misuse it.

It’s good because it makes important information accessible to the public.  For example, Kellogg’s cereals, which “Tony the Tiger” touted as being Grrrrreat for children, now cannot hide the massive amounts of sugar they have added all these years.

It’s bad because you can take a photo and think its fun, only to have it plastered all over the internet, making you look not so much like the person you wanted to look like.  Case in point:  a small city mayor had some provocative pictures taken in a bikini, only to have them plastered all over the web.  She was ousted out of office because of this poor judgment call.  And she didn’t even post the pictures on the web…her friends did.  Ugh!

If you are a student, beware!  A new survey of 500 top colleges found that 10% of admissions officers looked at social networking sites to evaluate applicants.  Almost 40% said they were negatively affected by what they saw.   Some admissions officers said they rejected students because of material on their sites.  In fact, one university rejected a student after that student gushed about the school during a visit, only to trash it online. 

Radical transparency creates a mine field for social networkers.  Look before you leap because once something is “out there”, it can come back to haunt you!

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