Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Forever in the Cloud

When we were kids we all did stupid things, said thoughtless things -- things that have long since disappeared without a trace: gone and forgotten.

Not so today.

Kids are still kids. They think, say and do stupid stuff. The trouble today is they do it on social media. They sit behind a screen, a tablet, or a cell phone -- not looking someone in the eye -- and say what's on their minds. When you feel anonymous, it's easy to be blunt, especially when the message disappears from the screen the moment you hit the "send" button.

The trouble is you can't retrieve the stuff you send, and it lurks forever in the Cloud -- that ever-expanding, offsite, out-there-somewhere, mega-warehouse for data storage.

That haunting truth came home to three guys chosen in the NBA draft last week:

Back in 2011 Bobby Portis cursed Derek Rose on Twitter; last week he was drafted by the Bulls and gets to play alongside Derek Rose.

Some time ago, Frank Kaminsky messaged that he decided to stay in college one more year because he'd rather play in front of some 17,000 Wisconsin Badgers fans, rather than end up on an NBA team like the Bobcats, which gets hardly any fans, and it looks flat-out boring. Sure enough, he was drafted by the Hornets. By the way, they were called the Bobcats when Kaminsky sent that tweet.

In May 2012, Larry Nance, Jr. tweeted, "Gee, I sure hope Kobe can keep his hands to himself in Denver this time. #Rapist" You can imagine the uproar when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and reporters found that tweet.

So, what about our kids? Have you had that talk? You know, it's the chat where you tell them that employers are increasingly asking for access to Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts before hiring. It's the chat where you try to get them to understand there isn't an employer out there that wants a public relations nightmare from someone they've hired.

God has given your children unique gifts and talents, which He wants them to use for the benefit of society and the glory of His Name. A potentially rich and fulfilling life awaits them, that is, unless a few careless words on social media slam shut doors that otherwise would have been open to promising opportunities.

Your son's or daughter's future career options may well be at stake.

How can we help protect our kids' futures from themselves?

Do you have any insights to share on this one? This is an area where we can all use a little help. If you have something worthwhile to pass along, please click here and tell us about it.

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