David After 5 Years

3/12/2009 11:35:00 pm

One of my students came into class today and wanted to share a funny video with the class. I had already seen it and I laughed too; at first. Then I got to thinking.

This video has gone viral; over 15 million views to date.

Searching YouTube for David After Dentist reveals over 1800 results. In classic YouTube fashion, the video has been remixed and parodied. You'll also find that since the video went viral there is now a blog collating all the remixes, parodies, other humourous and viral videos, an Amazon store, various other ways of monetizing the video of a 7 year old boy who went to the dentist, was medicated, and took a while to fully recover his senses.

I wonder how young David is going to feel about all this in five years; when he's in high school. As he struggles to establish his own identity and "fit in," how will he feel if (when?) this video resurfaces and spreads throughout the school?

I wonder if David's parents have fully thought through the future ramifications for David; from the point of view of his future self.

It's cliché; the internet changes everything. That includes our perception of time. I think this is a really important thing to get our heads around: digital footprints can last a lifetime.

It used the be the foolish things kids did faded with people's memories. The internet has a better memory. I think kids today need to learn not only to "think before you post", but to think, from the perspective of ALL your future selves, before you post.

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