Friday, September 10, 2010

Will your kids need to change their name?

According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt today's youth should be allowed to change their names later in life.  The basis of this assertion stems from our new digital age and the fact that anything online never ever goes away.  Is the option to change your name the only solution?  Is it really a solution at all?

After all our names gives us a bit of our heritage and can be a badge of honor of sorts for the generations that have come before you.  I wonder if we all easily could change our names to escape the indiscretions of our youth would only undermine one of life's greatest teachings.  We all make mistakes and our children will be no different and today's digital age will have the pictures to remind our children in vivid detail of a possible youth gone wild.  If we can easily and knowingly get a clean slate at any point in the future, would we then worry about our actions today?  This may seem like a minimalistic story to change one's name, but I contend that this situation could undermine our parental efforts to raise our children.  Something to think about.

Regardless of your view of this story, it is a conversation and lesson to teach your children that online posts, emails, voice mails, and text messages can and most likely will be available for someone to use "for" or "against" your children.  For their entire lives this digital manuscript will follow your children and the impact them not only today, but many years down the road.

Ever regret something you said in email?  That email still exists somewhere on the world wide web.

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