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Was this bad to do? I am freaking out now :(


waragle1
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 I commented on a friends facebook status and talked a bit about how I maybe going to her grad school beginning in the spring. Her advisor is one of the people that will receive my application for review. I told her nothing is official yet and told her on the status how the next step is that it will be forwarded to him and another professor for review. Then this morning I noticed he liked her facebook status now I am freaking out because he probably saw my comment. I know I shouldn't have commented on pending matters like that and this morning I deleted the comment.

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Well if her advisor saw the comment before you deleted it you can't change that.  It doesn't sound like you said anything negative about the application process or made any assumptions about whether you're accepted or not, which is good.  Regardless I agree that it is better not to discuss pending matters such as this on facebook or other social media sites because you never know who may be looking or how they'll interpret your comments.  Next time you want to chat up your friend and discuss this send her an email instead. 

 

Also be prepared for this to be casually be mentioned in conversation with your advisor or someone else of importance.  All you need to say is that you were so excited about the next step in the application process you had a brain fart and forgot that it may not be wise to put that information on a public platform.  You quickly realized the post may be viewed as unprofessional, promptly deleted it, and will be more mindful of your posts in the future.  That's it, enough said. 

 

From what you've said it doesn't seem like this will negatively impact your chances with this program.  Good luck!

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I don't think this is a bad thing at all -- you're not under any nondisclosure agreement (as far as I know) about your application status and you did not say anything unprofessional at all. There is nothing wrong with one applicant telling their friend about the current stage of their application. On this website, the results database and forum threads are often updated with speculations and concrete results as they come in. In addition, there exists wikis like this: http://www.astrobetter.com/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Rumor+Mill where hiring committees as well as candidates update the page to reflect when shortlists, hiring decisions, rejections, etc. are sent out. Specific people are often named as well.

 

Granted, most of the above examples are anonymously posted and your Facebook comment would have your name clearly associated with it. But, for two of the schools I applied to, I actually learned about the decision through Facebook by friends already in the program about a day before the official decision was made. My friends knew because the faculty sent the names and contact info of accepted students to the current students in order for them to schedule prospective student visit events. 

 

Of course, everyone might have a different opinion, but I really do not think most profs will care that you wrote that comment. 

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Someone realizes people are talking about application cycles?  Now that sure is spooky.

 

 

But I think it would be even spookier if we all pretended we never discussed it, I wouldn't worry about this at all.

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In a sense, you'll be a more recognizable name to that professor, now.  When viewing your application, he might think "Oh, I vaguely recall this name."  If I were a professor and saw that, it, honestly, could work to that student's advantage.  An anonymous student presented to me through numbers and paragraphs vs. a student with a name I recall, who is friends of one of my students?

 

How private is your Facebook?  Any embarrassing pictures that you wouldn't want a professor to see?  If he recognizes your name, and he isn't swamped with a million other things to do, maybe he would take that extra step to see evidence of your character.  He most likely will vaguely recall your name and that will be as far as this ever goes.

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I don't think grad school admissions people will really care about what's on your Facebook, as long as you aren't constantly writing stuff about how you hate research/school etc. They might Google you to find out if you have e.g. a research website or any other relevant things about you online. I think profs are smart enough to realise that people selectively post certain memorable events on Facebook and it's not a good indicator of a person's character.

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