With the Internet and social media, the world is more connected than ever before. Everyone from preschoolers to great grandparents are online. As access and communication has increased, privacy has decreased.
Most seem oblivious to the fact that nothing on the Internet is private. They post pictures that would make a Victoria Secret model blush. Text stinging insults about so-called friends. Document their crimes in living color. Share secrets intended for no one else to know. Use language that is both crude and shocking. All the time acting as if it is a vapor quickly evaporating. Underestimating the ripples of consequences being created.
We must remember that once something is sent from a computer or smartphone it becomes a permanent part of the digital world. You can’t delete it or take it back. It can be shared and retrieved for years to come. It can be seen by parents, grandparents, friends, enemies, employers, your future spouse and even your future children and grandchildren.
I am not saying that you should not be an active participant in social media or texting. I suggest this little exercise before you send, post, text, tweet or email: Imagine it being sent to your parents and displayed on a huge screen in middle of Time Square…then hit send.