Back in my day, when you were a stupid teenage kid you did stupid teenage stuff. If you were lucky, only your friends knew about it. If you were unlucky (or your friends were assholes) your parents or maybe the kids on your street might know about it. If you were really unlucky, your school found out about it. But even then, memories fade.
Combine that with social networks and you’ve got a wide open audience to see your stupid teenage antics. All it takes is one dumb moment, a video camera, the ability to post it to YouTube and being on Facebook… voila. Instant stupid teenage move, uploaded to YouTube which goes viral on Facebook so that the world gets to see and that will stick around forever. Well, as far as we can tell – the internet is as ‘forever’ as things get. If you put something up there, it’s never really gone.
So to address the kids… if you’re going to upload something to YouTube take a good hard second look at it and ask, “Is this something I really want the world to see?” and also ask, “Is this something that could come back to haunt me 5-10 years down the road when I’m looking for a job?“.
Of course, another question to ask is, “Am I easily identifiable?” but it’s probably better to just not post stuff to YouTube without a second or third thought about the content.