Think Before You Post

It's no secret that young people make mistakes; it's a necessary part of growing up. But the internet -- and specifically the rise of video-sharing Web sites -- opened a new portal for potential pitfalls. On tonight's CBS Evening News with Katie Couric we're looking at how teens are posting controversial videos on sites like YouTube, often in the hopes of getting noticed or showing off. But in the process they may be setting themselves up for real-world consequences in the future.

For our story we talked to two young people about their decision to post "how to cheat on a test" videos on YouTube. Both of our subjects are unrepentant about their decision -- but they also do not want us to use their real names. Both said they're seeking attention and aren't worried about being caught because "adults don't use YouTube."

For experts like John Palfrey, who's written a book about the "digital generation," it's a troubling trend that parents need to be aware of. While some videos clearly cross the line like showing drug use, fighting or sexual behavior, there are plenty of other videos that could still get young folks in trouble. YouTube says it relies on its network of 280 million users to flag inappropriate content -- but should more be done to filter questionable material?

Tomorrow night we'll look at "Gen Y" and how this group is functioning within the workplace and society at large. How has their lifelong immersion in technology shaped their social skills? What does it all mean to "digital immigrants"? I hope you'll tune in.

And, as I often sign off with the phrase "stay connected," I guess I'm somewhere in between a "digital native" and a "digital immigrant." Perhaps a "digital nomad"?
  • Daniel Sieberg

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