I caught a very disturbing piece that was covered extensively in the news yesterday. And no, it wasn’t Adele flipping the bird to “the suits,” although that’s a whole other issue.
What is Shmacked?
It was a story about getting “Shmacked.” For those of you who join me in not knowing what this term was until now, the Urban Dictionary defines this as “to be so drunk or so high to the point of not being able to function.”
How popular is getting Shmacked?
- I’m Shmacking has its own Facebook page, with 15,330 likes as of tonight (when I started this story earlier yesterday, it had 500 LESS likes)
- For $25 you can buy your own Shmack t-shirt, featuring your school’s logo (where applicable)
Isn’t Shmacked a college thing?
Apparently Shmacking is not just for college anymore. It has found its way into two high schools in suburban Philadelphia. Sometime this past summer, a group of teenagers from these two high schools set out to get “shmacked.” Someone decided to capture this on video, which involved someone proudly waving a vodka bottle, a red Solo cup full of beer, another lighting up a bong and yet another holding up a bag of marijuana. The high schoolers are shown in and around cars, breaking a window and even falling down stairs.
If you think of your teenagers, this is not what you hope they are doing on a summer evening out with their friends.
And then you know what comes next. The video gets posted to the internet.
A few days ago, the school discovered it. Letters went out to parents. The video has since been taken off the website (but at least one TV station has clips from it and you know if that’s the case, countless of others have it as well). One TV station managed to get in touch with the videographers. They went so far as to claim that it was NOT real marijuana or booze in the video.
But There’s a The Bigger Picture
In this situation, the school’s administration has taken immediate action, notifying the parents and outlining potential consequences. Those involved in the incident may be suspended from sports or activities – even if they were simply in the run and not a participant – and also at stake are college acceptances, scholarships and reputations.
What teens may not - or fail to – understand is that what they do on social media today has ramifications that can last quite a long time.
The teens of today may view their parents as “old school”, but:
- Those 35 and older remain a growing segment of social media users. According to eMarketer, in 2011, 46.3 percent of those using social media were 35+. Next year, the 35+ category is expected to increase to 48.1 percent as the younger generation users level off.
- And we’re the generation who will be:
- Processing your college application
- Hiring you for an internship
- Offering you your first job
Teens today should enjoy what they are doing BUT while they are doing it, they need to determine what is appropriate to be documented for the world to see. If it’s not something you’d be proud to show a potential employer – or your whole family gathered around the Thanksgiving Day table – well, then it probably isn’t safe or appropriate to post anywhere on social media.
One last note: I’m not saying that we don’t get it. We do get it. After all, those red Solo cups were around in our days, too. The difference is, we also understand the longevity that this new world of social media may have. And what you do TODAY may follow you around, well, for a very long time.
Just check out some of our old college photos on Facebook.