Facebook fear: schooldays could be most damaging of your life

Sydney Morning Herald March 26, 2011
Parents of boys at a Sydney private school have been urged to monitor their sons’ use of Facebook, with a warning that any mistakes they made in teenage years could be permanently recorded on the internet and catch up with them later in life. The headmaster of Shore, Timothy Wright, wrote to parents on Thursday, explaining that younger boys were not mature enough to fully gauge the possible consequences of disclosing private information on social networking sites. “‘Mistakes made at 15 may be still retrievable by an employer 10 years later,” he said. Teenage, or younger boys, ”are not fully mature, and the expectation that they will or even can foresee all consequences to their actions is unrealistic if not naive”, Dr Wright said. ”We now know that those parts of the brain that deal with decision-making are still developing in a man in his 20s,” he said. ”Modern technology means that the careless word, the slanderous comment, the inappropriate photograph or the revealing of someone’s private details is on the permanent record and freely available to anyone who has access. ‘Stupidities that were once forgotten now last, spread and damage in ways unknown before this decade.”