Remember life before social media? Before we put everything up on facebook and twitter? When we had a big night out and nobody had a cell phone camera to post immediately to the world how badly we behave when we think we’re having fun?
Yeah me too.
Remember when a big night out couldn’t be remembered but no on else could show you what you did? And as the foggy memories came back you felt embarrassed and perhaps had to make some phone calls but it was all forgotten quickly?
Yeah me too.
Remember when kids weren’t committing suicide because they were harassed beyond what they could bear on a computer? When the bullying was contained to school hours? When there were no photos? Where they were safe from it in their homes? Before things went viral and those bullying cowards hid behind a keyboard and screen?
Yeah me too.
We have a social problem, a blemish on our society. Social media is destroying our privacy. It’s destroying lives and families. It’s ruining kids chances of getting into colleges or get jobs. Prospective colleges and employers now make it a habit to search the internet for information on candidates.
This seemingly innocuous program is out of control. We’re friends with people we’d never be friends with just because once we went to high school with them. We say things that we shouldn’t say and post things we shouldn’t post and others have the ability to do the same. It seems like nothing is off limits.
Kids are making bad choices about uploading semi naked pictures or other inappropriate content. They don’t understand the long term effect of what they’re actually doing.
Sure it’s great for families to stay connected across the miles. It’s a great way to share pictures and events but it’s so very important to remember how dangerous it can be.
Our children are being preyed on by paedophiles.
Our teens are being bullied and harassed. Some to death!
People, mostly teens, are being meaner because they’re seemingly removed. It’s easy for the gutless to say terrible things when they’re not face to face with their victim.
Mostly, they still have a shred of conscience when they have personal contact but when they sit alone or with friends in a room with a computer, the bravery comes out and they say what they want about others, without repercussion.
There are always repercussions. You can never take it back.
We must teach our children how to behave in this new social world. We need to change the culture of facebook and the way it affects the lives of the young.
Somehow take it back to a fun, safe, happy place to interact with friends and family.We must show them how to interact in this new world safely, decently and appropriately.
We have to try for the sake of our young.
But unfortunately for now, it’s a great tool gone bad.
Leonard Sax wrote a book called Girls on the Edge. One of the main issues he identifies that is harming girls today is social media. He refers to it as making them microcelebrities, where their every move is posted on the internet for all to see and judge. He points out that young celebrities often crash and burn under the scrutiny of the media, but we allow our daughters to do this to themselves and each other.
He talks about the need to enforce down-time, time without access to media, so that teens can do what teens are supposed to do: develop a sense of self. A personal identity, not an image that needs to be maintained.
The eldest of my four kids is 9. I am already terrified of her reaching the age where social media will unfortunately become part of her life.
There needs to be a shift in the way we educate our kids about the dangers of social media to include a structured education program in schools to enforce what we teach them at home. It all seems like an enormous task but I agree with you completely, we need to change the culture of facebook.
This is so true~ sad to think what it has come to… I use to keep in touch with family members in different states, mainly so my father can see my sons milestones and day to day growing up but I do deactivate once in awhile because that site most definitely gets ridiculous, the drama, the stuff other people post about others or just profane images/statements.