Harvard is among the most selective universities in the world. Gaining admittance is a passport to prosperity and elite networks. The waiting list must be as long as the line at the Apple Store at 9:59am on Saturday morning. How, then, can ten of the most brilliant and well qualified young people in the world squander a place in the class of 2021 because of highly offensive public opinions?
No Public Record of Stupidity
In 1969 when I was admitted to college there were only a few ways you could reverse the good fortune of your anticipated matriculation. You could fail to graduate from your high school. You could commit a crime. You could get lost at Yazgur’s farm never to be seen again. Even if you were expelled from high school you often could still get your final transcript and the colleges were no wiser. Everyone expected your opinions to be stupid, uninformed and controversial. Just ask your parents. But no one had a public record of those opinions. Mark Zuckerberg changed that with Facebook which started innocently and has morphed into a powerful tool for marketers and an even more powerful enforcer of conformity. Young people everywhere are trusting the public forum of social media to interpret their changeling character in the best possible light. This naiveté is startling to me. In all forms of social media many colleges and universities find a willing enforcer of group thought and political correctness. The Facebook effect is responsible for major changes in how colleges run from the building names on campus to the mascots and even the relationships between men and women. Social media powers a god squad of self-appointed student judges who wield the power of inclusion to ostracize and create pariahs. Young people crave inclusion and acceptance; so once you are out, there is little chance to get back in. Social life is often altered for the outliers.
Dumbest Smart Guys
In 2017 the power of social media is demonstrated by the Harvard admission denials. The original user group for Harvard incoming freshman was pretty much what Mark Zuckerberg had envisioned with more than 100 incoming freshman exchanging ideas and observations in a social media attempt at getting to know each other. The 10 offenders must be the dumbest smart people on the planet because they obviously thought their incendiary freedom of expression was protected in the second chatroom where they posted on horrible topics. They revealed themselves to the world as bigots, racists, sexists and they paid the price as they should.
Why Go Public
I have avoided Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and most forms of social media because I see it as an intrusion on my privacy. Why would I voluntarily publish information about me, my family, my friends, my movements, my grandchildren, my religion, my politics and my vacations? Off the grid is actually far preferable in a world of cyber-crime, social media punishment and banishment, kidnapping and ransom, identity theft, sexual predation, and hacking and phishing. This is common sense. When is going public in a cyber world ever better than remaining private?
If Facebook or You Tube had existed in 1969, the freshman classes of every college on the east coast would have been lighter by at least 10 men and women. Thank goodness for a chance to grow up.
I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him where are you going
And this he told me
I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm
I’m going to join in a rock ‘n’ roll band
I’m going to camp out on the land
I’m going to try an’ get my soul free