Nearly five years ago, we wondered what would happen when the generation that grew up with the internet and social media started running for office
. The idea was that when you're kids, you often do silly things that you regret later in life. In the past, those things fade away as memories. However, these days, many of them are now recorded for posterity and easily findable on a search engine. We've wondered if this will lead more people to brush off youthful indiscretions, but there's another possibility as well. Perhaps it will become more standard for kids to change their names as they reach adulthood
. That, at least, is the suggestion made by Eric Schmidt in discussing how society hasn't yet come to grips with a world in which so much data is recorded and available. Of course, it's a pretty simple database mapping to link one to the other, so I do wonder whether or not that really makes a difference for other than the most basic of searches.
Still, I often find these discussions by adults to be a bit condescending towards kids. Yes, kids do all sorts of silly things, some of which they may regret later, it's not as if everything they do is regrettable. On top of that, I tend to believe kids are a lot smarter than many adults make them out to be. While there may be many things that make adults cringe, I would bet a lot more kids understand what they should avoid doing online than adults give them credit for.