“Conventional wisdom” is that teens are blithely ignoring personal privacy when using Facebook and other social media sites. Turns out, as is often the case, “conventional wisdom” needs to wise up:
It rebuts the cynical, easy dismissal of online privacy issues that says that kids don’t care about privacy because they put their lives on Facebook; instead, it provides compelling testament from everyday kids that their use of Facebook and other social networks is governed by privacy norms because kids can’t influence privacy laws or privacy code or privacy markets. In other words, kids have definite ideas about privacy, but limited power to put those ideas into practice.
link: Teens and privacy online: why using Facebook doesn’t mean you don’t value privacy – Boing Boing
The study and Boing Boing post make some good and valid points. Since teens aren’t able to really affect Facebook’s privacy policies terribly much, they are adapting to the situation as best they can (playing the cards you’re dealt). However, the other side of this is that teens and young adults are more likely to post (and do) stupid things because that’s just where they are in their development.
The concept of long-term consequences doesn’t kick in until you’re in your 20s, so it’s not surprising teens often post stuff that in a few years they wish they never had. This is one of the drawbacks to the “Internet never forgets”, the “never” part carries on well into a person’s later life.
So, okay, teens aren’t maybe as ignorant of privacy as well, thought, but they still might not be acting that way.