Summary: Kids start sharing passwords with other kids on social sites. It is a sign of trust (and no doubt will soon devolve into a sign of DIStrust to not do it) but there are much better lessons to be learned by keeping privacy even under passionate circumstances.
BLOT: (18 Jan 2012 - 01:22:26 PM)
Want to guess what stupid thing teenagers are doing now? Sharing passwords to social sites.
What stupid thing are teenagers doing now? They are sharing passwords on social websites: "The digital era has given rise to a more intimate custom. It has become fashionable for young people to express their affection for each other by sharing their passwords to e-mail, Facebook and other accounts. Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes even create identical passwords, and let each other read their private e-mails and texts."
There are reasons to share passwords, sure. The article talks about friends swapping passwords so that their buddies can shut down their accounts for a couple of days of studying. That's a bit weird, but imagine a trip that gets extended or an outage at your house: sometimes you need to give a password so a friend can email something to a professor for you or can download something for you, or can just post on your behalf. No problem. Though you should always immediately change your password as soon as possible after this. What are some reasons NOT to share passwords?
- You deserve a private space. As a human being, your life will be better if you have a private, secure space where you can rant about the day, look at cute pictures that no one knows about, send a sob-story to your grandmother about how the other boys don't respect you, be really flirty, and in general have a reasonable expectation that you don't have to ever share that with anyone.
- This is not like sharing a key to a bedroom/house/dorm. This is like strapping a camera and microphone to your shoulder and recording everything and then allowing someone who may not always have your best interests at heart [see below] to go rummaging through the footage.
- Mutually assured destruction does not equate trust. If I put a knife to your throat because you have a knife to mine, this means I distrust you. If I "prove" you can trust me by allowing you to snoop on my email and contacts in exchange for the same, this means I think you will cheat, I think you will say shit about me, I think you are up to something. It is much more trusting to give each other that private space and feel, ulimately, that the other person will use that with respect.
- Even if this is a special relationship and will last for years, it is going to have bad days. And the first time you have a good old fight, it is a matter of who gets to the other's profile first. While questionable photos could be posted to their profile as much as yours, hurtful emails sent from your account can cause long term damage even if you did not send them, things deleted may be unrecoverable, tweaks in privacy settings might find you exposed more than you like, and stuff buried in your profile that you overlook might come back to haunt you when you go and apply for jobs.
- Finally, this is the kind of crazy thing that only makes sense because others are doing it. It goes from something that doesn't sound like a good idea to something that sounds like a bad idea BUT a necessity on the back of peer pressure. Plus, much like sex and felonies, once you've done it once, it's hard to say "No" the second time around. The more kids and young adults that point out giving up their last vestige of privacy is a bad idea, the sillier this silly idea will look.
Also, your friends are jerks. I know you don't believe me now, but that dude with the sixty-five dollar emo haircut with blond highlights who likes to say "BRA!" everytime a chubby kid walks by with a bit of moobs? That dude? He's an asshole.
OTHER BLOTS THIS MONTH: January 2012