Friday, February 15, 2008

A PSA That Actually Makes Sense

I'm notoriously tough on public service announcements, probably because they tend to come across as too over-the-top or just plain inaccurate. They also tend to be completely ineffective (unless of the course, the goal is to get people to laugh at a little girl on a tricycle getting hit by some pot heads in a car). With that being said, I like to think I'm nothing if not fair. So when I see a public service ad that's actually worthwhile, I might as well take the time to point it out. Take this set of ads from the Ad Council on the dangers of posting personal information on the internet.

There's one in which a young girl pins a risque picture of herself on a real world bulletin board, only to discover that once she tries to take the picture down, someone else keeps putting it back up. The other one has a young girl with her friends approached by increasingly creepy strangers with a variety of comments about what she posted on the internet. It's amusing, in a creepy sort of way, but it's also to the point. While I disagree with most of these groups about the dangers of the internet- it's not a virtual cesspool where the tentacles of unnamed perverts freely grasp at unwitting children- It's also a message that's worth getting out to kids. Be careful what you post on the internet. The creep factor is the extreme end of the spectrum, but the fact of the matter is that anything you post online could be preserved for eternity and could be used againast you. Just having some fun when your 16 is good and all, but just having some fun when you're 16 and posting it on the internet could quite possibly cost you a job when you're 26- the point is, you never know, and as the ad effectively demonstrates, once something is on the internet, it's out of your control.

I have no idea what the effectiveness of the ad campaign actually is, but at least it's a message that's worth sending out to kids that everyone can actually agree on. (And for those who have had nasty things to say about me in the past, see, I really do care about the children. Teach them well, let them lead the way, and all that good shit.)


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