For most young people university is a place where they can experiment and find out who they are. They can make mistakes and learn from these mistakes. However these mistakes are now often very visible, shared with everyone that they know and also with complete strangers. The everlasting repercussions of these mistakes, which are stored online indefinitely, can come back to haunt them many years later. Young people are often thoughtless about what they post - a photo or a comment added on the spur of the moment, because it's funny at the time perhaps, can also be downloaded just as quickly and so can have long-term consequences for themselves and their friends. I'm hoping that as a parent I've had enough of these conversations with my daughter. I'm hoping that she places value on being a good and responsible digital citizen and has a good understanding of the fact that when you post something online you are giving up control of it forever.
Ideas in this post from LOL...OMG by Matt Ivester
Photo Credit: Chaos by Brett Weinstein, 2007