Thursday, April 11, 2013

Don't Be a Weiner

The idea of a life-log scares the shit out of me. “It will provide a record of the past that includes every action, every event, every conversation, every material expression of an individual’s life; all events will be accessible at a future date because a life-log will be a searchable and recallable archive” (Dodge and Kitchin, 2005, p.2). While I do not think I personally have much to hide or be shameful about, I’m not sure the benefits of a capta life-log outweigh the potential negatives. There is already huge potential for identity theft due to the amount of personal information that we share with the world online. I remember googling myself a few years back and was shocked to see photos from my facebook page in the search results. At the time I had no idea that facebook had a default setting of “let everyone in the world know everything about you” and that you had to change the privacy settings. But even though I deleted those photos, I know they are still out there…in the cloud perhaps. And we all know you can’t delete a cloud. My main concern is that I do not really own the content that I throw out into cyberspace, which makes me believe that a life-log is not really an extension of my brain’s memory bank, but a storage locker that I rent out from google or bing, (but let’s be honest, probably not bing), and the potential is always there for corruption. Thankfully these days some other fellow out there with the same name is an attention hog and has his mug splashed all over google instead of me. Still, I wonder about the next generation who will have to defend and protect every action, comment, or mistake they have ever made. And I’m not just talking about crouching masturbaters. Today employers are frequently combing the internet for information about potential job applicants. If I were an employer and I came across a photo of an applicant who posted Anthony Weiner-esque photos of himself online, I can pretty much guarantee you I would not hire him for the job. Unless of course the job was as an underwear model. I got to admit he takes pretty good care of himself. Pilates probably.

I thought this info-graphic was almost as revealing as Mr. Weiner. In it, 45% of employers use some kind of social networking site to screen applicants. If I were to advise any teenager or college student it would be to live one’s private life as if it were public. Because it just might be that way anyway.

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