Today’s teens’ mistakes are being recorded for posterity

Like anybody else with their fair share of grey hairs and a pulse, I am the proud owner of an entire Ikea’s worth of skeletons, never mind a single closet.
smart phone. Photo: Daniel Law/PA Wiresmart phone. Photo: Daniel Law/PA Wire
smart phone. Photo: Daniel Law/PA Wire

Most of us (although I cannot claim to be an exclusive member of that club) committed most of our misdemeanours in our youth in an age when the only witnesses to the ‘crime’ were as drunk or daft as you and the evidence they could provide was of little consequence.

This is one of the reasons why I think today’s youngsters have got it tougher than older generations - everything they do has the potential to be recorded and logged indefinitely.

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Take the hapless 14-year-old who has been subjected to plenty of leg pulling and, even more seriously, now faces an uncertain future after a ‘mucky’ picture he took of himself ended up attracting the attention of Plod.

Blaise TappBlaise Tapp
Blaise Tapp

Our young friend took a revealing picture of himself and sent it to a girl with whom there seems to have been a mutual attraction, via an instant messaging service called Snapchat. The attraction of such technology is that the image disappears almost immediately, unless you save it, which is precisely what Simon’s young friend, also aged 14, did.

Almost inevitably the offending snap was soon doing the rounds at their school and before long the school’s very own bobby was on hand to quiz the teen and inform him this incident may harm his chances of getting a job working with the vulnerable or children.

Although not charged with an offence, this daft lad has been effectively criminalised for taking pictures of himself, which although is an unpleasant thing to do was a 14-year-old’s feeble attempt at flirting.

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When his parents were at school the done thing was to send the target of one’s affections a poem on a hand towel or carve initials into the rickety old desk.

Whatever you think about the effect of technology on the youth today the real tragedy of all this is that it illustrates how in today’s society it is almost impossible for children to make the mistakes they should be allowed to make.

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