Whether We Like It Or Not… The Internet Is NOT Safe
ESPN’s College GameDay traveled to Ames, Iowa for the 2019 showdown between Iowa and Iowa State. This is when one fan’s sign made headlines everywhere after going viral.
As more-and-more people started donating to to this person’s Venmo account, he decided to use the situation to support a charitable cause—donating the money to the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
This Iowa State fan was simply looking to replenish his beer supply and had his world turned upside down. Following the College GameDay sign experience, a series of events have occurred which should remind us all of just how dangerous the internet can be.
Digging Up Old Tweets
The Iowa State fan who held up the sign is Carson King. King is a 24-year-old fan who eight years ago foolishly and immaturely tweeted a reference to a Tosh.0 episode. At that time, his tweet had very little impact beyond the feelings of his followers on his Twitter account.
It’s now being used against him and has had a real impact on his life and the life of others.
Imagine if everything you had ever done could be reviewed and resurfaced as if it was yesterday—even if you were a minor when it happened. Is it right for us to go back to the dawn of the internet and have in our hands a complete record of time for anyone?
That’s a topic for another time.
We Must Take An Active Role For Our Children
I have four children and I am concerned with social media posts they may write in the near future. Such posts could be used against them when they apply for a scholarship to college, get their first job, or even run for president.
What can we do as parents to prevent them from making a mistake on the internet that they’ll regret many years into the future?
Outside of good parenting, we are limited.
There’s no magic app that will stop a post from being written and burned into the internet’s historical record forever.
I know that I’ll be prioritizing and making time to discuss the dangers of the internet with my kids. There’s a fine line between not allowing any social media applications and allowing them to publicly tweet an opinion. I also want to reiterate and stress the importance of forgiving others.
People can change over time, and I want my kids to understand that we are not perfect and we need to have a heart of forgiveness even if someone has hurt us badly.