Pictures of last night ended up online, I’m screwed….

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Reading the MacArthur Foundation‘s, Living and Learning with New Media:  A Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project was interesting. It got me thinking about how different my teen years were from today’s teens. I actually really feel sorry for them. I starting thinking about the first time I saw Katy Perry‘s video for Last Friday Night. I really chuckled at her sense of humor, I could see my own geeky teen self in her character as I remembered the cringe-worthiness of the teenage years. But that is where it is – in my memory. I can laugh at it – but today’s teens, as the MacArthur Foundation highlighted, are living in a different time where “pictures of last night ended up online, I’m screwed” and to be honest, I’m glad those pictures of my awkward time are sketched in my memory and not on the internet for an audience to see!

The implications of this can be damaging, and many teens aren’t aware of this. My cousin’s daughter is 15 and I mentioned to her over Christmas that I’d seen her Facebook photos and I told her I thought she should take some of the more risque ones down. She really didn’t see a problem with photos of her in a provocative dress, she felt it was “part of her personality, just a little part” and there were “lots of parts of her personality”. Yes, teens are self absorbed, we all were teens at one point but the long term implications for her and myself are very different.

I enjoyed reading about the different ways young people use technology – whether “Hanging out” “Messing around”, or “Geeking Out” I find the “always on” communication to be disturbing. Why should teens always be available for communicating with others? I also found the relationship of Alice and Jesse to be a bit bizarre and very different from my own teen relationships. I don’t have children yet but I’m feeling a bit frightened for my future children!


2 thoughts on “Pictures of last night ended up online, I’m screwed….

  1. I have often considered the potential differences my teen years would have had if I were born in today’s tech world. And I shudder to think. There is this current need to be connected at all times, constantly communicating and sharing their experiences. There is no need for the world to experience my teenage brain and its relentless pursuit of attention.

    The relationship of Alice and Jesse just makes me think about speed dating. With so much time devoted to being connected to each other, it seems that relatinships would fizzle out quicker. It would be interesting to look into statistics for the average length of relationships now verus ten years ago. I would suspect that like everything else in the digital age, relationships have hit high gear and sped up to join the rest of our lives in flying by. Should we be thankful that we had the years of slow dating and purely local attention?

  2. Thanks for the comment, Sarah, My apologies for the late reply. Your point about speed dating is a good one, I think they would fizzle out quicker. And yes, I agree that we should be thankful for the slow dating and only local attention – I shudder to think what my overenthusiastic teenage self would have done with knowing where my crush was at all times, if he had “checked in” somewhere or had posted a photo of himself and another girl!

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