How Will Facebook Impact Our Ethics and Maturity?

Apr 2012

Facebook has only been around since 2002.  It’s the 500 pound gorilla of social media.  The generation that grew up with social media has had to learn quickly about life and what’s appropriate.  Sure, the internet generation had to learn, but the one after them had the internet and the ability to tell people what fools they are.

Fools is a relative term.  You and I acted foolishly, but may not have broadcast our lapses in judgments for all to read.    Maybe we did broadcast our indiscretions and nobody noticed.

Orange County Social Media Consultant, Katie Wagner Social Media, Help with Social Media

Because this generation is the first to grow up with social media will that impact how quickly they mature?  Immature things will always be done, but when they’re shared with what may be perceived as the world it could change your life.   Will that realization cause this generation to think like a PR professionall and only post items that are well thought out?

The political staffer

We all had clubs with our friends when we were growing up.  Dani Gilbert, a part-time staffer for Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had a group of friends who they playfully called ‘Jewbags’ and the ‘Jew Cash Money Team’.

It’s a silly thing that friends do and that’s what they did six years ago when Ms. Gilbert was either in college or her senior year in high school.  Silly, but the photos and information live forever online and they made their way public.

Obviously most young 20-something aren’t going to analyze everything she does like a PR person should.  However; how will the parents who use social media now raise their children to use social media?  Will the children mature quicker?  With any luck they’ll raise them to realize that anything you put online is fair game for anything, be it good or bad.

The teacher

Can a person get fired for not allowing their employer access to their personal social media?  It happened in Michigan where a teacher’s aide was fired for not allowing a school administer access to her personal Facebook page.

The teacher posted something on Facebook, a parent of one of the children saw it and the parent complained.  She was suspended and is preparing her case for arbitration now.

This is a case of the school system over reacting and they better hope that this teacher doesn’t sue.  The post was not offensive and the school administrators pandered to a busy-body parent.  Having said that, if the post was offensive, they school still shouldn’t have had access to their personal Facebook password.

It will be interesting to see how social media impacts our behavior.  Will it make the younger students mature quicker; code/bury their content or will kids simply be kids?  If you have children, what are you teaching them about social media?

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