Social Media Children

Posted on November 17, 2010


Over the last few years, as social media use has skyrocketed, I’ve seen any number of articles and blog posts wondering why kids and young adults over-share on social media. I also see articles and blogs discussing the impact of risque and unprofessional photos on reputations and personal brands. What I haven’t seen (although I’m sure they exist) is warnings to young adults about the impact of their drunken semi-nudity on their ability to land a job.

I bring this up because I have younger family members who like to post pictures on Facebook of their get-togethers with their friends, which inevitably involve alcohol. Look, I get it. I’m not sure how I survived that age. There are plenty of people who could tell you about college late-night ultimate Frisbee games that spilled out into the streets, or at least they could if they hadn’t been drunk.

Those were simpler, more innocent, times, though. Yes, we had cameras. Heck, I was one of the photographers for our college’s daily newspaper. That said, the only method we had for publishing our photos required time in a darkroom, or taking the photos to a 1-hour photo place. Then we had to make a ton of photocopies and staple our work up all over campus, or we had to find an editor who thought it deserved to be in a newspaper. All of that took time, time we had to develop regrets and second-thoughts.

Now we have cellphones with cameras, and social media sites. We can post photos while still under the influence. Who are we to teach the younger generation? We can teach them not to smoke or drink or do drugs, because those are all things we had to deal with when we were younger. Some of my friends are in the right age range to explain why drinking and e-mailing don’t mix. But, really, how do we get across that, ten years from now, teenagers are going to regret posing in their underwear surrounded by empty cans of Four Loko? Experiment and enjoy youth, just stop photo-documenting the whole thing and sharing the images with the world.

And while I’m acting like a cranky old man: Get off my lawn!