Tag Archives: Young will have to change names to escape ‘cyber past’ warns Google’s Eric Schmidt

Don’t Be a Facebook Nitwit: What You Post Matters!

Did you hear about the comments made by Eric Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer of Google?

“I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time,” Mr Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal.

In an interview Mr Schmidt said he believed that every young person will one day be allowed to change their name to distance themselves from embarrasssing photographs and material stored on their friends’ social media sites.

As I’ve told you before, social media is not simply a fad – it’s here to stay and will continue to affect your life well into the future.

In the future politicians will attack opponents based upon quirky Facebook status updates they posted as a teen or will share old, embarrassing photos of the other guy still lurking around the web. Employers will vet job candidates by viewing their online profiles and activities, and military recruiters will include this type of research in screenings. Did I mention companies and marketing executives will specifically target products toward you based on who you are and what you’re in to? … Oh wait, they’re already doing that, aren’t they?

What you post is out there, and it’s there to stay whether you realize or not!

Is Eric Schmidt right? Will young people actually need to change their names to hide publicly-searchable foolishness from the past?

I believe that’s a bit of an exaggeration (though I know a couple of people that may need to consider it … lol), but his comment does bring a valid point to light: what you post on the web matters – it simply doesn’t go away. Even if you think you’ve deleted something, if it was publicly available for a while it’s likely archived somewhere else and is still out there.

I have a growing list of over 1,500 “friends” on Facebook. Currently about half of these “friends” I have some sort of offline connection with, but a large percentage I’ve never met face to face (people add me because they read this blog, have heard me speak somewhere, etc.).

Sometimes I read things people post on Facebook or Twitter that cause me to wonder if the poster has recently been hit in the head (after an encounter with Jim Duggan, perhaps?).

Are the public forums of Facebook  or Twitter really wise mediums to use in airing out private conflicts? Are they the best forums to have intensely controversial theological or political arguments that have great potential to get very nasty or very offensive very quickly? Are they really the best places to broadcast profanity-laden rants about this, that, or the other?

What’s more, and at the risk of being labeled judgmental: often the biggest social media nitwits out there are the very people who should know better!

Please don’t be a Facebook nitwit.

Hey, that’d make a great slogan for a T-shirt!

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