For most of us, December means holidays, gift-giving, and suffocating under the awkwardness of family get-togethers. However, if you're applying to college or graduate school, December also probably means something more important: your applications are due. It also means that, in a few short months, acceptance letters will start pouring in, and it will be time to celebrate with family and loved ones for a non-holiday-related reason.
Or, if recent trends are any indication, it'll be time to celebrate with your Twitter followers. The number of soon-to-be college students — mostly first-time freshmen — tweeting or Instragramming their acceptance letters is steadily on the rise, which of course gives rise to the classic social media question: is this appropriate or have we really lost our minds this time?
We haven't lost our minds at all. In a culture defined by over-sharing, a college acceptance letter might just be one of the few things actually worth sharing with the universe — or rather, the Twitterverse. Certainly, one doesn't have to spend long on his or her preferred social media platform to experience what seems like a collective purging of intimate details and tedious minutiae. Oh, you made eggs for dinner and decided to take an unappetizing Instagram photo of them? You decided to tweet about your colonoscopy?
You're not alone. And indeed, we're all probably guilty of it: hem and haw all you like, but chances are you've shared something on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram that enriched the life of no one, and served no other purpose than to sate your natural hunger for attention. I'm no exception. And though it may be depressing to think of our society as a bundle of unchecked insecurity pouring out across various newsfeeds, it's not entirely our fault. The source code of social media is narcissism — these websites are one level of sentience away from making us log in by telling them how much we need them.
It is with this depravity in mind that I propose we celebrate the sharing of college acceptance letters on social media. After all, for most of these incoming freshmen and transfer students, these letters represent a culmination of hard work and focus; they are the tonic to that pernicious stereotype that holds young people as lazy and flippant. Sure, some individuals will get these letters because they were born to the right alumni (I'm looking at you, Ivy League), but the overwhelming majority earn their acceptance, and should share their achievement across whatever internet feed they prefer.
In turn, we should like, favorite and retweet (or any other appropriate nouveau-verb) these demonstrations of scholastic success, and fight the urge to mention inescapable student debt, poor employment prospects, or the freshman 15.
There will be plenty of time to Tweet about that later.