Social media and smartphones make for a tame spring break

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I’ve talked about how video is everywhere you go these days. Now our kids understand that too.

I think we’re at full immunity for my 23-year-old daughter over an incident that happened when she was 16. We were out of town and at that time MySpace was hot. So she decided to have a party while we were away. Lacking in good judgment, she and many of her friends posted pictures that were clearly taken in our basement all over MySpace.

I was out of town for work when I saw the pictures. So I got on an airplane, flew home and she opens the door and there I am. My daughter is fairly pale normally, but she became white as a sheet because she knew something was very wrong when I came home unannounced!

We had an interesting conversation and she learned two lessons: One, that you don’t throw a party when your parents are out of town. And two, that the power of social media will get you every time!

In a similar way, I think about the incident with an American Airlines flight attendant who went crazy on the aircraft. I was watching a video of the freak-out filmed from somebody way in the back of the aircraft. What struck me was that all up and the down the plane, there were people holding smart phones in the air filming the same thing.

It just goes to show that there’s going to be a video record no matter where you are, particularly if you’re doing something you shouldn’t be!

Then I also saw a New York Times report about how spring break is likely to be tamer this year than in the past because students know if they go wild there will be video that makes its way to Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else.

Instead of doing something they’ll later regret, students may choose to be more careful going forward. Isn’t it funny that cameras being everywhere has impacted how people behave? It’s creating boundaries where boundaries never existed. So I think it’s a positive societal benefit from smartphones, Twitter, Facebook and all the rest.


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