For the first time in history, a generation’s thoughts, deeds, likes and dislikes, habits, triumphs and mistakes, and their relationships will all be documented from the minute they are born until the moment they die. The virtual world has become the mecca for corporations and governments to know everything about us.
However, it will be those children five years and younger who will be the most affected. The data that will be collected on these babies will follow, and in some cases, haunt them forever. This data that will be collected will be used against them in the future, or could help save them. That will depend on who is in charge of this data and who can access it.
And yet we freely up load our babies’ pictures, document events, places, and people for everyone to see. Facebook, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Google, and all other mass media outlets out there collect data which we freely give. Millions, if not billions of dollars are in virtual circulation just because you are typing, coping, uploading away. We have been a gold mine, and now our children and the generation following them will be even more so.
But that is not the greatest tragedy.
In an article that I read today, it was pointed out that our teens lives, as they get virtually documented will never be erased, including their mistakes.
Think of your past. Think of past relationships, experiments, your rebelling years. If your employers or current family members knew the kind of person you were when you were a teen, would you feel confident that all would be well going forward? Would past thoughts that were carelessly written as a teen be regrettable as an adult?
Are we ready to allow those types of consequences of having our teens be adults in an adult virtual world of responsibility? Can we count on the future relationships that our children will have, to be merciful and forgiving? Perhaps that would be if the nature of God and love is still an influence.
Imagine for a moment a future where your child doesn’t have a job interview, because companies have had access to social media records, as well as scholastic and medical records. There would never need to be an ‘in person’ interview.
Or, another scenario would be a prospective relationship. A father doesn’t like a new boy in his daughter’s life and he calls up the government for access to the boy’s history. (I can see all the current dads out there smiling, ‘hey, not a bad idea.’) What if that boy were you, and you had been convicted of a crime, only you were set up. Or, you had paid your debt to society, and you were turning your life around. Your confession of your past would no longer be on your terms, but it would be on the governments’ terms.
Is this what we want for our children’s future?
I would ask that you think twice of allowing your teen to be a part of our virtual world until they are old enough to understand the unintended consequences that may arise at any time. And that they are responsible to accept those consequences.