“It makes me want to do it even more”

A student once told me that when her coach tells her she can’t post something to social media it makes her want to do it even more. This makes sense: desire repressed makes desire stronger.

It does little to police online behavior, unless one wishes to create a Communist state. Being told they can’t say what they want to say makes people want to say it that much more (see Hong Kong protests of the last five months: video).

Much better, I think, to pour resources into educating students, rather than our egotistical attempts to keep them “safe.” Students can be trusted to make good decisions, and they can be trusted to learn from mistakes, just like we can.

And even better, I think, to pour resources into educating oneself, so as to be wise across disciplines and across situations.