In cyberspace, things rarely stay private. A nude picture, snarky comment, or reference to illegal drugs or underage drinking meant for a friend’s eyes only can easily be seen by a teacher, employer, parent, stranger, or the entire high school.
In an effort to underline the need for more caution in posting information online, the non-profit Ad Council produced a series of public service announcements with the tagline “If you wouldn’t wear it, don’t share it.”
The Internet ads feature pictures of uncomfortable-looking teens wearing T-shirts reading “English test sucked. Cheat sheet ruled!” or “Parents gone ‘til midnight… bring friends!” as their teachers and parents look on. Ads ends by reminding kids that “posting isn’t private” and they should “beware what you share.”
The online ads attempt to remind teens that if they wouldn’t broadcast their message in the real world, it shouldn’t be posted in the digital world, either. That’s probably a good reminder for parents as well as for kids.
As powerful as the message of the Ad Council’s campaign is, the biggest determinant in how well it sinks in is you. Parents can do the most important work of driving the message home that before you press “send,” you should always think about what might happen if your post becomes public knowledge.