April 3, 2018
Some students will remember the 2016 general election because of memes they saw on Twitter.
Social media has been around for the entirety of Generation Z’s childhood, in comparison to millennials, who experienced the book of social media in the days of Facebook.
I discussed how the future presidential candidates might be represented now that social media has been around for an entire generation. The apparent consensus from everyone else was that we will be looking through the Twitter archives for the future presidential candidate’s profile from when they were 10, and judging them based off of what they tweeted and re-tweeted.
I disagreed, and responded with how I thought that social media history would not be that much of an issue for future political candidates.
It’s simple: anyone who grew up around social media will understand that there is a separation between who people were when they were growing up. However, we’re seeing more and more that we can’t trust kids with social media due to their immaturity with public discourse.
Now, more than ever, will the idea that people mature over time be more publicly understood, because there are actually real-time records of our lives online.
Social media is public diary, and there are going to be things that kids post that will embarrass them in the future, but most of their past social media presence will be passed over with nothing more than a cursory glance. Why?
Because Generation Z is the first generation with their entire lives available to millions of others to see and. Gen. Z understands this idea.
There is no reason to expect kids to moderate their social media presence in the off chance they become the future leader of their country. There will be little to no weight in closely analyzing and scrutinizing a prospective employee or president’s twitter account from 35 years prior.
People are starting to understand that there is a difference between the 10-year old you, and the 20-year old you and. Why wouldn’t the mainstream media pick up on that understanding?
Gaining the ability to see the difference between “dumb high school freshman” and “professionals in their field” in regards to social media presence is going to be an important skill in the coming decades.
So, if it’s becoming more largely understood that there’s a difference between a developing pre-teen, and a college student looking for a job, why expect those developing pre-teens to manage their online presence because a dumb username and half-baked jokes will diminish their appeal as a job applicant?
Let the kids be kids. The only difference between Generation Z and prior generations, is that their lives are documented on social media, whereas past generations weren’t subject to having their thoughts and feelings be coming a permanent part of their identity.
Instead of doing stupid stuff on the backroads like our parents did, the kids are just posting stupid stuff on their “backroad” twitter accounts with 15 followers.
A mature online presence comes with maturity. Don’t expect some re-tweeted meme from 35 years prior to swing a presidential election in the 2050s.