‘The best thing about being in my 30s is that I did all my stupid sh*t before the Internet’.
I recently shared this e-card on Facebook and it seemed to resonate with a lot of my friends. Of course the Internet was around in my late teens, early twenties (I mention that period as I guess that was when I got up to the most mischief) but it was really only something we used for research for assignments.
The most significant change has been brought about by the introduction of social media. In my youth, if you had one of those nights where you woke up on someones sofa wondering what had happened the night before, your friends would fill you in on the details, you would have a few days of shame at School/University and if you were really unlucky there might be a few badly taken photos from a disposable camera. Now however, these poor kids have it spread all over Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. The comments that may have happened behind your back before are now written down for all to see. The embarrassing crushes, boyfriends, drunken nights and outfits are there for all to see. All these thing that enable the bullies out there.
I’m sure we’ve all done things in our past that we wouldn’t necessarily want our future bosses to see but the young now either don’t think that far ahead or don’t have control over others around them. I’m not saying we were any more sensible, we just had the luxury of growing up and making our mistakes privately. It’s like every teenager is a celebrity, growing up in the spotlight which makes people feel like they have the right to comment on their appearance and actions. We don’t want a society of Lindsey Lohans and Britneys do we?
There is so much pressure on them to be wearing the ‘right’ clothes and hanging out at the ‘right’ places. It’s alway been there, but it is so much harder now as they need to be proving it. Gone are the days of exaggerated stories of nights out (you know those tales of drinking 10 pints of cider when in reality you were sick after 3), now they are having to live those exaggerated nights and its being filmed as proof.
Having two young children I’m certainly worried, of course you think the solution is simple, don’t let them on these sites but do I want my children to be ridiculed for being the only ones amongst their peers that don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account? I will insist on setting their privacy settings and having access to their accounts but I will have to let go of the reigns at some stage (is 35 acceptable?). It’s my job to give them self worth, confidence and educate them on privacy but I’m not sure what else I can do, short of home schooling and locking them in the house till they’re 18…..
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