Really Vancouver youth? Really?

The whole time I was watching the riots after the game in Vancouver from my Regina hotel room, I couldn’t help but think of how easy it will be for Seth Myers on SNL to do his “Really?” skit after this sad scene.

I hate to slam against youth, being a Gen Y’er myself, however the display on Wednesday night helped solidify what I often tell Gen X’ers and Boomers in my speeches on Strategic Social Media Engagement : “the kids may be using the social media tools, but they have little knowledge as to the big picture behind social media, especially the concept of digital footprints and the PERMANENT public record of their lives they are creating with each snapshot, tweet and status update.

Now who’s fault is this though? There is nothing new in the behaviour of youth that has changed. Let’s not lie to ourselves, we’ve all done irresponsible things in our youth that we later regretted. What has changed however, is that in today’s environment it is much harder to hide from anything. Forced transparency is upon us personally AND professionally (just look at wikileaks).

It really seems as though these kids actually had no idea that their own photos and videos will be circulating within minutes around the world for all to see and judge. Everyone assumes that since they use social media, they understand its impact. Reality check: they don’t.

As always I go back to my point on the need for “digital engagement responsibility courses” to be integrated into the curriculum of elementatry schools, high schools, universities, workplaces, and nearly every other place where youth congregate. For their own sake. If you are an organization that would be interested in helping to set this up, I would be more than happy to help out in an advisory role as I do this in professional workplaces already.

End of rant.

The above photo was shot by David Elop

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