Generation Overshare Has Unimaginable Ramifications for Our Youth

internetpriv
Image via Flickr/DonkeyHotey

16-year-old ,Tiffany*, was in the locker room after a basketball game and while she was changing one of her teammates called attention to her underwear, yelling, “Granny Panties!” We’ve all seen this happen in high school. It’s usually not a big deal. It’s humiliating and mean but it’s limited to the people were there and a few of their friends that they share it with. You can survive it but it gets a little more involved when you are part of generation overshare.

“I wrote a letter to my dean at school, I kind of felt like I couldn’t go on in life. I couldn’t make it. I didn’t know who else to turn to, like I felt like nobody was ‘there’ at the school. I wrote her a letter and told her it was almost like I wanted to commit suicide.”

You see, next a “friend” held her down, while Tiffany pleaded for them not to, and to let her go. More students, including the team trainer, held her down and snapped a photo. They promised not to post it, but soon Tiffany found herself and – worse still – the photo of her in granny panties a trending topic on Twitter. The most humiliating moment in her life went viral and soon the whole school, the whole town, and the whole internet had seen Tiffany at her most vulnerable. What could have been a bad day, has been turned into a scarred lifetime and a child who, on some days, doesn’t want to live.

“I wrote a letter to my dean at school, I kind of felt like I couldn’t go on in life. I couldn’t make it. I didn’t know who else to turn to, like I felt like nobody was ‘there’ at the school. I wrote her a letter and told her it was almost like I wanted to commit suicide.”

As adults, we know that once something is on the Internet it is there forever. Many of us are skeptical. We use pseudonyms and are careful what we post. We try not to be too public with our private business because we were around when social media was not the norm. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Tumbler, none of that existed when we were young. The Internet was not a thing until I was in college. It may have been around but no one was using it. I used my computer for writing papers. Suddenly, I could use it as an encyclopedia and then a phone and then television and soon it was ingrained into my life like the air I breathe… but still, I remember what privacy felt like. This is not the case for your children.

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My girls have used technology since they were born between games, phones, computers, iPads, even their baby monitors. They’ve never known a world without instant gratification. They’ve never known a world of complete privacy, where secrets can be kept. They are acutely aware, as their mother is a blogger, that life can be shared and in a moment, someone in Antarctica can be reading about their first day of school.

I’ve always made sure not to share inappropriate photos of my daughters online, everything is cloaked and thinly veiled; transparency without giving you a road map to my house and my children. Their lives are private. I chose to share my business but it is not my place to share theirs. Still, they know that there are boundaries and they know that once you hit send, whether you like it or not, it’s out there forever. You cannot take it back.

Unfortunately, these children who have been emerged from birth in the over sharing of the Internet don’t see it as a problem, until it is too late and the ship has sailed. They don’t realize the weight of no privacy until the tiny bit that they have has been squandered.

How will you protect your children from the ill effects of being a part of generation over share?

 

*Name has been changed to protect the innocent.

 

Image via Flickr/ DonkeyHotey

 

What do you think?

Generation Overshare Has Unimaginable Ramifications for Our Youth

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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3 comments

  1. Tina says:

    poor kid. You know that school has a lawsuit on their hands. What was the trainer thinking going along with it instead of stopping this from happening?

  2. Margarita says:

    I think the school has a lawsuit in their hands, and that trainer, as the adult in charge should be fired, if not arrested, for actually aiding in this instead of stopping it. Poor kid. I hope they can get her some therapy to deal with this. Alas, the image will be there for eternity. Imagine going in for a job interview and having the interviewer finally realize how they remembered you, as the girl with the granny panties they saw the other day when they were surfing the web. Yup, she’ll need counseling for a while, and perhaps the rest of her life. Hopefully her family and friends (the real ones, not the alleged ones that so callously did this to her), can help give her the strength she needs so she doesn’t succeed in taking her life.

  3. Phammom says:

    I would like to know how to prevent this.

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