Most of us gossip without giving it any thought whatsoever. Yet, its effects can be so damaging and full of impact. Our kids face this sort of thing in high school in ways we couldn’t have imagined long ago. With the advent of instant communications, whether it is instant messaging, tweeting, or immediate photos and videos, the ability to communicate to a wide swatch of people is available to everyone. I used to think Polaroid cameras were pretty cool.
So, when our kid is captured doing something embarrassing on someone’s phone video, it appears that evening on YouTube. When a kid chooses to expose him or herself via these sorts of instant means, it is done without any cost or time to even reflect on that decision. When that’s done, it’s “out there” forever. I think this all comes with a high cost. The benefits are good, on occasion, as with the recent election backlash in Iran, where the government couldn’t shut down outside communication due to the existence of these pervasive tech tools.