You aren’t the only one lurking yourself!
In Totally Wired, I share an anecdote of a mom who saw that her teen daughter had posted a Corona ad on her MySpace page. The mom talked to her daughter about who might see that ad (like the parents of the kids she would be in charge of as a camp counselor) as a way to make the point that her MySpace is public. Now that loads of teens have moved over to Facebook and are under the impression that it’s “more private,” (see my recent post on this), they love sending each other virtual beers. I’m sure there will be virtual pot leaves soon if there aren’t already.My guess is that most teens sending and receiving virtual beers are probably drinking real ones at parties or at bars using fake i.d.s. If not, they think it’s a way to make them seem cooler to people who are. I don’t think anyone is going to not be hired for having virtual beer on their Facebook profile, but like anything you put up, it does say something about you. Separate from the conversations about drugs and alcohol you should be having with teens, I think it’s worth talking to them to make sure they understand Facebook’s privacy loopholes and are aware of what they are saying about themselves when they decide to give or receive virtual beer or post images of alcohol or pot on MySpace.
It’s SOOOOOOOOOO funny that Anastasia (from ypulse & Totally Wired) posted this.
Last week I was speaking with a friend about facebook and how U16 kids aren’t necessarily on there in droves yet (still in the myspace for the most part), and I got to thinking about the Happy Hour applications and the Booze Mail. I’ve actually found myself forgetting the fact that the JPGs are indeed refering to alcoholic beverages not appropriate to the wee ones under 21. And yet, I’m sure there are loads of high school kids jumping (pre college, as most of the kids I’ve talked to joining facebook are in their senior year/freshman year) into the fbook and discovering the booze-a-licious atmosphere. Dangerous, Naughty, Illegal? They’re JPGs, and whether or not kids really are drinking IRL, or looking up to those who drink… well, let’s just say kids aren’t thinking about the reprecautions (do they ever? Oh bless). It’s like sticking a sticker to your friends locker, or getting a horribly ugly Tweety Bird lick’n’stick tattoo on your shoulder.
As Anastasia pointed out– this is just another occasion of kids forgetting about Lurkers. It’s like having a dirty room. Sure mom will get after you, and dad would be disappointed… but really it’s just you and your friends who have to sit in the stink/garbage-infested room, right? Well… now image your dirty bedroom in the big picture windows of every major store in every country… that’s how easy it is for people to peer into your life online. Big. Picture. Windows. At stores. Passersby, interested peepers, your mom, your girlfriend, boyfriend, school advisor, college recruiter. Any, every, nobody. All of the above.
So when you open a little spot for yourself online and you think it’s private… remember: nothing for free is ever private, and even when you pay– unless it’s a vaulted safe… good luck. Web is a world wide playground. Hacks, Macs, and Smacks are everywhere. Just because they don’t know you doesn’t mean they’re not going to look at your page, even if but for a second. Why would anyone want to look at a car accident? Dunno– but it always causes gapers block, doesn’t it?
Again, open that little spot for yourself online knowing full well that whatever you post on it can be seen by just about anyone (no matter how much you try to safe guard it).
So that jpg of a scotch barrel seems like a funny gift to send to your prom date? Think again and good luck explaining it to your parents who now believe that you’re next step would best be to Betty Ford, regardless of your Shirley Temple-habits.
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