16 April 2009

Warning: Facebook is FOREVER

I cringe - as I am sure most of us do - when I think of some of the really stupid things I did as a teenager and "young" adult. However since I am old the capturing of these indiscretions and events was limited to first hand experiences and perhaps the odd, bad and decaying photograph.

This past weekend one of my old school friends came by and we hadn't seen each other in a very long time. Pulling out the old photo albums was a big laugh for us all. We did get around to discussing the difference between our own generation and those of our offspring. He even has grandchildren. What a frightening thought and we were born on the same day.

So what of today's teens and young adults. Yesterday I did a post on the use of Twitter. Today there is some additional research out on behavior of Teens and Social Networking. Despite the staggering sheer numbers and percentages (75% of all teens access a social network site or use one of the many tools in 2009), the impact of their behavior seems to be well understood.

These virtual hangouts are rarely private. The relationships undertaken and engaged are not just bilateral but multilateral and very fluid.

I suggest you check out eMarketer's piece on the subject.


One paragraph really caught my eye:

"Over 60% of those surveyed acknowledged that the things friends wrote in their profiles could harm their careers. In addition, 48% said they could be embarrassed by what they themselves wrote, and 38% said they regretted some of the items that had appeared on their pages already. "

That has become the price for the value. It somewhat de-sensitizes the participants. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right - in my public and personal opinion - this is not something I am going to give up easily and never without question. Definitely not for all time and for every situation.

Speaking from my perspective - I have been tracking people on the social network sites for purposes of understanding them. When it comes to hiring people (which my team does on a fairly constant basis) for both contract and full time recommendations - I ALWAYS check. (and not just Google alone). From the social networking side - I am always looking to see if there is someone we know and have in common that I can get an opinion on rather that just relying on the polished public version of what is being said.

The Wayback machine can actually reveal some pretty horrid stuff about you as does Google and other tools. And yes Virginia it is FOREVER... This blog too!

1979's tag line for the first Alien movie is updated...

On the web EVERYBODY can see you...

You have been warned

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with you more! It amazes me at what information some people will share in what is obviously a very public format. What is worse than the teenagers who do this are the 20 something college graduates, out in the real world who are doing the same. I am sad to admit that I have a younger relative who is a high school teacher who has done placed information on her page which would be damaging to her if it was seen by the parents or her students or school administrators. Also while this information is likely to negatively impact her career at some point, she will not explicitly tie the loss of opportunities with her publicly posted information.