Youngins and Social Media

September 19, 2016

Recently, my book club decided on reading Nerve by Jeanne Ryan.  I was really excited to read it (especially because a movie recently came out with Dave Franco).

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Overall, the story was pretty good.  The beginning was a little slow, but the middle of the book was extremely engaging.  It was one of those books that you really didn’t know what was going to happen.  You would think one thing and then the opposite would occur.  However, I felt the ending didn’t really end the book in a way that was satisfying.  In addition, the characters were not well developed.  The only character you really got to know was the main character, and even she wasn’t described well.

But I digress.  Mostly I wanted to write this entry because of the underlying lesson written into the story.  If you haven’t read it, it is about a bunch of people who perform dares to win prizes.  The company, NERVE, then chooses people to perform in the final competition and people pay to watch the events.  The dares get increasingly more difficult.  But the scariest part of all of it is that NERVE gets their information from the player’s social media.

Now, this might not seem scary, but they would pull things and quote items that were posted by the players.  So for example, if you were scared of spiders and you posted this on Twitter, NERVE would create a dare that dealt with spiders.  Or if you were in a fight with your best friend, NERVE would create a dare centered around your best friend.  Even items that NO ONE knew but if it was on the internet, NERVE had access.

Could you imagine?  All of your deepest secrets, desires, fears, etc being broadcasted everywhere and being used against you?  A lot of children, teens, and even adults play off like, “Oh I don’t care if that is posted” or “Oh my profile is private” or “Swearing doesn’t harm anyone.”  But what if it isn’t private??  What if your boss saw the terrible thing you posted about him on your social media?  So many people don’t realize the dangers of documenting their ENTIRE life on social media.  We read in the news all the time about people taking a screenshot of conversations and showing other people.  Once something is posted, it is SO HARD to go back and delete it.  Clicking “delete” doesn’t really get rid of it forever.  I’m sure the 30 year old you looks back on things you posted when you were 16 and thinks “what was I thinking?!” and now that post has been up for 14 years!

In fact, I recently read an article where a teenager is suing her parents for posting embarrassing pictures of her throughout her whole life on Facebook.  And to be honest, I really don’t blame her.  Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE seeing baby pictures and first day of school pictures and so much more centered about kids.  But, think about when you started dating someone when you were younger and your parents bring out the baby book with the naked butt picture.  Now imagine that picture being broadcasted on Social Media for all to see.  I’m sure that is how this young man feels on a daily basis!

We as a society need to teach each other and especially our children about the hazards of tracking their ENTIRE LIFE on social media.  It is important to remember that somethings should be kept private between you and your loved ones.  It isn’t a bad thing, just something to keep you safe!

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