- Close family members can see their activity… perhaps activity they do not want their family to see. I only partially agree with this reason. It is possible to adjust your posts to block certain people from seeing certain things. If teens don’t want their family to see their Friday night photos, they certainly know how to use the audenice selector to block their family, while sharing with their friends. On the other hand, there is big question about digital citizenship here. If teens are posting things they don’t want their families to see, they certainly need to engage in further discussion about what is appropriate to post online. Again, this illustrates the imperative role educators, families, and larger society plays in educating about and modeling sound citizenship in both online and offline spaces.
- Permanence and ephemerality… Duncan states that teens turn to tools like Snapchat because of the non-permanence and the perceived relinquishment of responsibility to protect their digital dignity. Again, I only partially agree with this. First of all, students should demonstrate digital citizenship no matter how long their digital artifacts last… 6 seconds or 1000 years. Furthermore, nothing just “disappears”… it is always possible that someone can take a screenshot (in some apps the sender is notified)… BUT the receiver could also snap a picture of their screen with another camera, etc. We need to impress upon youth that even though certain networks are 1:1 or close-knit, there is still the possibility for permanence. On the other hand, “In a world where forgetting is no longer possible, we might instead work towards greater empathy and forgiveness”, which is something that Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt explore in their joint blog post entitled (Digital) Identity in a World that No Longer Forgets.
- The professional and the personal… Duncan claims that many young people are beginning to use social media more strategically. I definitely agree with this. Some of this, I believe is fed by a “fear factor”, but again, as Alec and Katia dicuss, we need to work towards greater empathy and forgiveness. For example:
If we feel the need to perform a “perfect” identity, we risk silencing non-dominant ideas. A pre-service teacher might be hesitant to discuss “touchy” subjects like racism online, fearing future repercussions from principals or parents. A depressed teenager might fear that discussing her mental health will make her seem weak or “crazy” to potential friends or teachers or employers and thus not get the support she needs. If we become mired in the collapsed context of the Internet and worry that our every digital act might someday be scrutinized by someone, somewhere, the scope of what we can “safely” discuss online is incredibly narrow… - Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt