Years ago, on a road trip, we bought a pack of question cards. I think it was called ‘the relationship game’ or something like that. It was an impulse purchase along with a chocolate bar at a pit stop.
Each card had a question. Where did you grow up? Favourite food? Colour of your partner’s eyes? Childhood pet name? Name of the street you grew up on? Name of primary school? First car? First kiss? First love? First job? Embarrassing thing that happened in primary school? Secondary school? Favourite band? food? author? And so on.
It was fun, made us laugh, and tell stories. It also helped pass the time. Most of us have responded to questions like this on social media. One of our friends or followers posts answers to a list of questions like the above encouraging you to share your answers. It sparks memories, invokes smiles (and some cringes), and builds the relationship. It’s fun after all, innocent fun. And it’s all online.
Remember that last sentence.
Now think about some of the online stores you have recently visited and created an account at. It is not uncommon to be asked a few additional questions to help ‘identify’ you in case you forget your password. Or as a second level of security to help ensure it really is you. And it is not uncommon that you need to choose from a drop down menu of preset questions. Questions like: What was your mom’s maiden name? What was the name of the primary school you went to? Name of the street you grew up on? First car you owned? And so on.
All very similar to the questions in those ‘innocent’ and fun surveys we share between friends, online, on social media. And if you want to, you can scroll through all of your social media profiles and learn many of the key phrases we use for security questions and passwords. And before you dismiss it, just recall a recent political election campaign where one candidate had something they said on social media 10 years ago used against them.
So as we shift more and more online, we also need to help each other and our children live wisely in an online world.