I’ve recently begun to see an increase in pictures of young teens posting “selfies” of them, doing questionable behaviour, whether that is smoking pot, or excessively partying. Growing up we are constantly drilled about the dangers of posting pictures online, and how once they are out there we can never get them back. So why do teens and young adults continue to make the same stupid decisions over and over again?
I’m not here to tell you what to, and not to do (even if what you are doing may be illegal) behind closed doors. If someone is going to smoke pot, or drink under age, that’s their choice, they will live and learn, and no matter what anyone says, people will do what they want to do. But posting pictures of yourself being reckless may not only harm you now, but more so in the future; not to mention even just what your parents and family would think, i know mine would flip if they saw me doing drugs online.
Personally I don’t care if you have a picture of yourself holding a red cup, or drinking a glass of champagne on New Year’s, everyone has a drink once in a while, but when its picture upon picture, and the use of illegal substances it could seriously affect your life in the future. I think the importance of not criminalizing, and showing a poor image of you online needs to be reinforced. It may seem cool now to show yourself “hitting a bong” now, and perhaps by the time you’re at an age when these pictures come into question, said substance will be legalized, but what if it isn’t? You may believe that it will never matter, and that you just won’t get a job that requires an online backup check, but you never know what life hold for you. You may become an importance public figure, or decide to get a job of authority, but won’t be able to because of pictures that have ruined your image. But perhaps your right and your job doesn’t get affected by online checks, well what if one day you are in a situation with the law, say a custody battle, or your civil law suit, and suddenly your reputation becomes main factor in your success? What will you say when a lawyer tries to make the argument that you are an unfit as a guardian, or your “alcoholism” is the reason why you are in said civil disagreement? Nothing because a picture says a thousand words.
We’ve all seen in the news stories about photos of Politian’s in their youth doing drugs, rising to the surface, and while it may not criminally effect them, their reputation as a dependable and liable person will forever be altered. Not to drop any names but Rob Ford will forever be known as the crack smoking Mayor who temporarily turned his city into a laughing stock. No matter what good he does from today on, his reputation has been altered, and that will never be forgotten.
In a society with so much access into one’s personal lives over the internet, young teens and adults should take extra precautions when it comes to what they are posting online. Social media sites like Facebook, twitter, and instagram, may claim to delete all information and photos of you upon deactivating your account, but no one will ever know how much truth there is to that statement. And even if they do, you will never know if someone, or some other website has already copied said questionable photos.
What is put online could follow you for the rest of your lives, and while it may seem cool, and make you popular now, it definitely won’t in the future. Teens need to start looking into the future, and thinking about the repercussions that their actions may have later.And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say I’m a saint and have never made any mistakes, but it would be a shame to see more people’s reputations destroyed solely based on the stupid and immature decisions they made in their youth.