Facebook, MySpace postings potentially embarrassing to parents
Today's Washington Post reports on the disconnect between parents and students when it comes to what personal information should not be shared onlined. Students' willingness to share intimate details of their lives with their peers (and anyone else who accesses their blogs) can be particularly embarrassing to parents who hold prominent positions, such as lawmakers and corporate heads:
Unlike their parents, today's youth have grown up in the age of public disclosure. Keeping an Internet diary has become de rigueur; social lives and private thoughts are laid bare. For parents in high-profile positions, however, it means their children can exploit a generational disconnect to espouse their own points of view, or expose private details perhaps their parents wish they would not.
According to [a recent] Pew study, among those who blog, 52 percent said they do so to express themselves creatively, and 50 percent said they blog to document and share their personal experiences.
"Many of them don't think they are committing public acts by posting a blog, but the power of search is that it makes it pretty darn easy to find," said Lee Rainey, founding director of Pew. Parents and increasingly school systems are warning children about the implications of posting things on MySpace, for example, he said. But parents are only starting to become aware of their own vulnerability, he said. "Things that used to be inside familiars or within a small audience now have a global audience."