Are we encouraging the Social Media generation to lie?
My starting position is that the education system is encouraging the Social Media Generation (SMG) to think about their digital footprints – Halleluja! I agree with the principal that you should make ‘people’ aware that what their write about themselves can come back to haunt them. Indeed, further, what they say about others may be an indication of their professionalism. However, following a round table, it is also evident that what the SMG have done is created ‘virtual identies’ There is one, the public facebook which looks like they have never done anything exciting or broken any health and safety law (basically rather dull and duitiful), and then the series of private worlds where they use nick names to share the reality of their shared lives.
Therefore, the employer can now see a perfect digital history, which has been created for them, meaning that as an employer your online check is now as good as reviewing a CV. You know it is beefed up, indeed Mr Employer did you know that I can now buy virtual (facebook) friends who make me look good (rock on Chinese entrepreneurs)
The SMG are extended their use of virtual identities further to their address books on digital devices (mobile phone) The names of friends have changed from the shorted first name or the nick name you cannot loose to esoteric names such as “Master Frog” and “Mrs Smith” enabling them to hide conversations and identity from their friends and others (especially parents) Indeed it appears that some don’t tell the real person who or what they are called in their address book, so hiding identities if your phone is stolen or borrowed.
So are we encouraging the Social Media Generation to lie and hide now that they know that they can be tracked?