Monday, July 26, 2010

Do not forget that this cannot be forgotten

Last week I encountered an article titled "The Web Means the End of Forgetting." We are living in a world where the occurrences of our everyday lives are being broadcast to more and more people, and once the information is out there, it is very difficult to remove. For example, I haven't touched my MySpace account in years, but everything is still there, still how I left it, and still viewable by those who stumble across it.

The proliferation of personal media is also removing the barriers between the different realms of our lives. (As George Costanza said, when one of his romances made the jump into the world of his friends, "Worlds are colliding!") The article gives an example of a teacher who was fired because of drunken photos of her on facebook.

Perhaps the thing I find most disturbing is the mention that employers are now asking prospective employees to open up their facebook accounts during the interview process for inspection. I don't agree with this breaking of boundaries between personal and professional life. If I'm a competent employee, and don't drink during the week, does it matter if I take down a handle of Jack on the weekend?

Of course, we all have the option of freeing ourselves from the web world--an employer can't look at my facebook account if I don't have one. But, to a certain extent, is that really that likely in today's ultra-connected world? Where should we draw the line?


The other day, I encountered the "Amazing Fact Generator." It made me happy.

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