Social Media responsibly

Last night I shared a YouTube video of a young girl going on about different languages in the world.  I wont bother re-sharing because I think it may do more harm than good.  Initially I thought it, like many other video’s we see scroll across our Timelines, or Walls, or presented to us through all forms of digital media was humorous and worth a share.  But as I watched a few other done by this young person, it really gave me pause in how out there young people are putting themselves on social media.  20 odd years ago we were all concerned with pedophiles targeting our kids in America Online chat rooms, now they don’t even have to go looking for them.  The kids are putting themselves out there for all to see, telling us all about their lives, the good, the bad, it is all out there for us to see.  And the worst part, is that if they get enough likes, or subscribers, they get compensation for it.  Maybe not a lot of money to us as adults, but to a young kid, getting paid $25 or $50 for having a webcast may seem really cool.

Am I saying that letting kids create content is a bad thing?  Absolutely not, however I am starting to wonder if maybe there needs to be someone looking out for them, someone protecting their childhood.  I see all the time people use crude language in trade, or even on occasion in guild chat.  And the corresponding, well there is a language filter, they should turn it on.  But you see, most parent that let their kids play video games don’t realize who their children are being exposed to.  I do tend to feel that young teenage kids hiding behind a computer screen are the ones that push the language barrier the most.  And I do hope the Silence feature introduced in HoTS will make it to WoW.  I look back on 25 years of social media growth, from the early days of MySpace, to The Face Book, to Facebook, and Twitter, and YouTube channels.  I do feel that we are taking the childhood away from the youth of today.

I see how much different and advanced the technology has gotten in even the last 10 years, and can only wonder in amazement, and dismay, about what the next generation will take for granted, and what will become the new acceptable norms for society.  This 16 year old girl, may feel like she is on top of the world because she has over 1 million hits to her YouTube channel, but in 10 years, will she look back in horror at the legacy she has left for herself?  I honestly don’t know.  It will be very interesting to see if studies are done years from now, on the repercussions of what we see today.  I would honestly hope that a person like @Tradechat that has years of experience would possibly reach out to someone like this to share with them the ugly side of putting yourself out there.  I am sure she could tell parents quite a few things that would have them ripping internet cables out of walls, if they knew some of what she has gone through over the years.

Even as adults, we make stupid mistakes in what we say in blogs, and postings in social media.  But as adults we tend to understand the repercussions more.  I can only hope this girls parents have no idea what she is posting, and that they sit down and talk to her about the harm she is doing to herself.  Because if they do know, and are encouraging it, then I feel sorry for this young lady that will share her teen years for all to see, and that it will follow her for much of her adult life.

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