The other day, I was speaking with an international acquaintance about our social networks and some of the challenges we have with privacy, worse, the future. Yes, I think we might all agree this is a real challenge. One thing that continues to bother me is that the Internet isn’t like that slogan from “Las Vegas” namely “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” because once you put something on a social online network – it could perhaps be there forever, living in the cloud until it might one day be used against you. Let’s talk.
You see, my acquaintance agreed and then asked; So right. How do we get that across to the kids, though? Caution is not ‘cool.’
Ah yes, that’s true isn’t it, and it’s one of the most vexing challenges with teenagers online. Yes, I agree this is a real challenge, worse, kids with low self-esteem are looking for self-validation, but the only way to get “hits” or “views” or get something to go viral is to take risks online to be “different” while all the rest of the social network is ganging up on everyone through political correctness. It’s a stressful situation to push the limits without pushing too much, and so they experiment with drawing outside the lines, much like artists do when they use shocking art to make statements and get people to think.
The mass psychology has you damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. If you can achieve your 15-minutes of fame, you win temporarily, but then have to better it next time, if you don’t you fall into obscurity and join the Borg or Beehive of humanity – kind of a catch-22 in the short term, even worse for those who dare to be different in the long-term, all very unhealthy behavior and those who dare to play become victims of the social network, or temporary stars, only to find out and pay later for that one-time stardom. Just like life in the real world right?
Anyway, that’s how I observe these types of social interactions online, and I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and wonder if there is a solution, or if society will realize that what humans say or think at one point in their life experience, is merely a glimpse in time, and we probably shouldn’t be so quick to point figures without looking in our own mirrors. Indeed, I ask that you please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Internet Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net
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