Every time I hear about the newest scandal that’s cropped up via one form of social networking or another, I can’t help but think, “Thank God, this stuff wasn’t around when I was growing up!”

Because the thing is, all my ludicrous behaviour may have left an electronic footprint that I might not quite be elated for people to trace back.

Corey Worthington, was the first teenage twit to get done by his own naive social networking mistake.  Throwing a party when the parents went away, was not something that yellowed hair, doona wearing Corey invented.

His mistake, was showing off about it on MySpace.  Surprise, surprise,  400 or so partgoers thought ‘game on’ and rocked up to destroy his little private soiree.

Much to Mum and Dad’s horror as they heard about the ‘open house’ via the news the next day.

I had a couple of those Corey moments, throwing what I’d hoped would be a parent free party, only to have word of mouth and a few unplanned fireworks,  alert not only the neighbourhood to the shindig, but also the police.

Not ideal, but not on MySpace either.

Stephanie Rice, heads to a costume party dressed as a sexy policewoman, posts the shots on Facebook and suddenly people are questioning how wholesome the poor girl really is.

Would I have wanted shots of me at her age dressed as a schoolboy with a black eye and my boyfriend dressed as Hitler on Facebook?

Certainly not, and nor did Prince Harry end up being proud of his outfit that matched the latter either, after it ended up online.

For the record, I didn’t speak to the boyfriend due to his outfit.  But he was 16, so could he be expected to understand what he thought was mildy amusing?

Part of being young, is not always having a full understanding of the ramifications of what’s appropriate, and more so, funny.

Years on board, equals years gathering clues to what’s right and wrong.  But if you’re working that out along the way, and creating an electronic footprint of twit tales, then how can you move on when it’s out there in cyberspace to haunt you?

A friend of mine who’s a teacher at a school I can’t mention, says that they are now educating their kids as part of their ‘pastoral care’ as to the dangers of posting on a whim.

Not only do I think that all schools should follow suit, and be aware that kids aren’t always very good at realizing what they’re doing to their future by way of social networking, but I think it’s essential.

Kids grow up with enough pressures and issues without the added burden of making dumb mistakes that won’t go away.

Lord knows if all my many not so ‘magic’ moments were out there forever, I’d be forced to bury my head in the sand with a headstone reading “Not ready to come out, until the Internet goes down.”

As for this young girl still rattling on about being hard done by certain AFL boys, once she hopefully reaches an age where she realizes the damage she’s done to herself, I worry how she’ll live with that?

Because even though now, while she feels clever about not letting the issue go away, quite simply, it NEVER will.

Imagine your most embarrassing or damaging moment developing as a young adult, being on record to the world forever?

I think as a parent, and knowing much of our advice goes in one ear and out the other, you owe it to the kids to put the ‘social networking ramification’ chat on the list, sooner rather than later.

For instance, have you made your child aware that when they go for a job, most employers Google your kids before they even agree to an interview?

Don’t worry about ironing your shirt and making a good first impression, if you’ve been too busy on social network sites, your first impression is already made.

Job, unfortunately, done.



  1. Hi Amber.

    I am reading this laughing my head off.

    If such social networking arena’s existed when I was in my 20’s, I don’t think I could even look my kids in the eye. I still live in a life of denial with some of the things I did and when someone says, “oh its all good as it made you who you are today” I have to ask, and is that necassarily a good thing???? Surely a few more brain cells wouldnt hurt anyone?

    As a mother of 2 girls who are 7 and 9 I cringe at the thought that one of them could have inherited my somewhat “rebelious streak” so am parenting them in the complete opposite way that I was. Lots and lots of communication and an awareness of where they are, who they are associating with and being very present in their lives.

    Without judgement of the parents, I have to question what kind of moral’s and consequences that freak show with the bad glasses was raised with.

    If we can invest in our kids now: guide them without pushing, protecting without smothering and most importantly loving them unconditionally, perhaps they wont feel the need to rebel like their mother. Perhaps they will be so confidante in their own skin and understand that the people who are important are the ones who take you as you are. There’s nothing to prove.

    But then again, check back with me in 10 years time……

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