Back in college, I had a friend who was a huge fan of Mardi Gras. We’re talking the real Mardi Gras in N’Orleans. She went two or three years in a row and it was just the highlight of her year. She was a bit of a party girl and I asked her if she got lots of beads. Ya know, doing what you do to earn beads at Mardi Gras. Her answer kinda surprised me. “No! Maybe a couple years ago, but now that everyone has a digital camera, it’s like half the guys at Mardi Gras are snapping pics and posting them on line.” This would have probably been in 1998. Digital cameras existed, but they were expensive and hadn’t flooded the market yet. And there surely weren’t camera phones. The fact my friend knew at 21 years old that the digital age was here…and permanent…showed she had a little more maturity than a lot of our collegiate friends.
On the whole, young people are going to make dumb choices. You did stupid things. So did I. For one, young people’s brains haven’t fully gelled yet, so the processes of decision making aren’t fully formed. Number 2: Um, with age comes wisdom. You play with matches, you get burned. And we’ve all gotta get burned to learn our lessons. That’s just how life goes.
Now, let’s flash forward to 2013. Young people are going to make poor choices in larger numbers than those of us with a few decades under our belt. It’s how life works. Yet, now that we’re well into the digital age, there is a constant barrage about how to make wise decisions in regards to technology. Like, don’t hook up with stalkers. Don’t put too much personal info on line or stalkers can find you. Don’t post pictures of yourself with your butt hanging out. Once you’ve posted something on line, it’s there forever.
Now, bring it to today. April 20, 2013. 420. The national holidays of those who choose to smoke marijuana.
I grew up under the Nancy Reagan “Just Say No!” regime where we were taught that any substance of any type would lead you down the road to certain addiction and an overdose or life living in the gutter. Today, young people are witness to a lot more drugs and have a lot tougher choices to make. This post, however, isn’t as much a commentary on drugs as a commentary on being careful.
Here’s a quick example of posts I’ve read today on Facebook:
420, MFers! Time to blaze it up!
Happy 420, everybody!
Can’t wait to be high. 420!
Dumb. Not their choice to smoke pot. Again, I’m not on a high horse about drugs with this post. It’s the ridiculousness of publically telling the world you’re participating in an illegal activity. Just dumb.
“But, but, but…what if they’re in Colorado, Marc? What if they’re in Washington State where it’s legal? What if they have a need for medicinal marijuana? Huh, huh, huh?” Fine, not commenting on whether they should do it or not, just don’t post. That stuff can easily be found. By employers, mainly. As a business owner, I wouldn’t want my employees showing support for an illegal act. And I probably wouldn’t hire someone who admits he or she smokes. That’s my choice as a business owner. Again, friends, be smart, practice tolerance and, for God’s sake, don’t post about illegal activity.