Teens discover parents’ faces

Ho ho ho. A friend observed that the penny might finally be dropping for the Facebook generation:"You mean my parents can see my info!!!??? Eeeeeeek!!! I demand my right to privacy! When I happily published to everyone, I didn’t mean them too!"

Perhaps the logical error leading to this surprise was to assume, because ‘parents’ are often not considered part of the class ‘humans’, they would not be able to do what teenagers have negligently authorised or permitted many or all humans on the net to do.

Adults, instead of trying to appeal to theoretical concerns about some far-off, intangible consequences, should frame their cautions and recommendations re online behaviour in line with teenagers’ cognitive limits: use a practical example that is really scary right now, like "Yer parents spying on you!"

– with thanks to David Vaile, Executive Director, Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, University of NSW, Australia

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