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The Oldies Got the Teens Wrong Again

Milly Diaz
Milly Diaz
Associate Director of Social Media
22 March 2010


UK teens are getting a much-needed lesson in privacy through a language they understand – gaming.

As some of you know via my previous blog posts, I think a lot of ‘kids’ these days fail to take privacy seriously enough. So, I was quite pleased to come across an article this weekend about the SXSW award-winning online game, Smokescreen, that guides teens through the dangers of social networking, The game explores the issues of identity theft, cyberstalking and the loss of control one has over material once it’s entered the digital sphere.

The people behind Smokescreen discovered through research and surveys that teens were tired of adult scaremongering (i.e. they’ve heard it a million times and they know they need to watch out for the paedophiles). But, a good number weren’t aware of the ‘real dangers’ of surrendering so much personal information in the online space.

Furthermore, the game creators found that as long as the information was presented in a credible, non-scaremongering way, the ‘kids’ are willing and even passionately interested in learning more about the dangers of the digital world.


Is it time for that those who’ve asserted that young people aren’t as concerned as us oldies about privacy to rethink their position (I’m talking to you, Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn). And brands, instead of trying to make a buck off of them, maybe those of us who have the talent of communicating with teens should help push the message?

What do you think?



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