Online privacy? For young people, that's old-school - USATODAY.com Being over 35, I fall in to the "old-school" category described in this article. While I have presence on a number of social networking sights I have been very stingy with the information I have posted there. I think the root cause of the high risk behavior on these sites is in the way they are used. People treat them as an extension of in person, phone, and text message communications. It is just one more mode of communication. Unfortunately this mode of communication has some significant differences. The most important is that it is generally very public, searchable, and archived. It is almost impossible to take something back once it makes its way out on to the net.
As a high school or college student, it may be cool to show the dark side of your personality and not to care what people think. 5-10 years later when you are looking for a job with a high level of trust, requiring a clean reputation, the historical artifacts floating out on the web may turn out to be a real disadvantage.
It may turn out one day that our culture comes to understand this trend and ignores youthful indiscretions memorialized on the Internet, but I would not want to bet my future on that level of forgiveness.