The study of communication is an interesting discipline. How do we communicate? Where does language come from? How do we interpret each other? What play does body language have in our communication?
Probably the most interesting studies are developing in the areas of e-mail, texting, and cyber communication. It's amazing to watch, especially dealing with teenagers as they try to understand how to communicate over the airwaves.
One of the issues I see developing is the miss-understanding that cyber communication is something of a personal activity. Teenagers have this weird perception that if it's in an e-mail, no one else will be able to see it but the recipient. Hilarious!!
We have an e-mail system here at camp, and we have a program installed to censor certain words. It's unbelievable that a boyfriend back home would detail his physical relationship with his girlfriend here at camp, OVER E-MAIL!! I mean really?? Does he think no one will be able to see what all is going on?
This morning, I read an e-mail to the team that was pretty VULGAR, filled with sexual innuendo, and foul language. (I skipped over the nasty parts) But the point added to my intrigue. Here is a boy back at home, ooing, and gooing over his 14 year old girlfriend that is having a BLAST out here at camp. He talks of their intimate encounters and how he would, "Climb every mountain to be with her." Really? Wasn't that a song in the '80's?
I'm very interested in the fact that this boy thinks communication over e-mail is something private, and that it is never going to be seen by anyone. There have been several cases where kids know employers check e-mails from time to time, and I'm just surprised. I'm intrigued that he would actively put things on the internet or over the phone waves that we might not want to be seen, but is willing to take the risk, somehow thinking it's private.
Of course, the other issue is privacy on the internet. When will have a ruling on someone's private data that crosses the internet? Or will we ever?
I guess, in this instance, it all boils down to being who you are in private as well as public. The things you do in private ARE who you are. They are the things that define who you are, and how you live in this world. So, be careful what pictures you post. Be careful what words you write. And for sure, don't send racy e-mails to a Christian camp.