Some thoughts after a weekend bender

Some thoughts after a weekend bender: (Actually, there is no truth to that “bender” part, but read on…) Forget why business people and those with a political or hobbyist passion, or those with an illness or interest in some niche topic like local history are blogging; what the folks at the Washington Post want to know is why do some people keep public diaries of their personal lives?

That’s a valid question, I guess, but then the reporter careens off into another direction and claims that an unnamed group of individuals called “some internet experts”:

“…fear that young bloggers don’t fully grasp the public nature of all the information they are disclosing. Things that seem cool and fun to write about when you’re 23 — a weekend bender, a bacchanalian ski trip — can digitally live forever and follow you into adulthood.”

While my experience as a blogger and a reader of blogs has little to do with keeping a public diary of personal activities (although this weekend, I did see maple syrup being made while hanging out with some “young internet users” and will post photos later), I do agree in principle with that group of “some internet experts.”

However, I don’t think it’s just a “blogging” thing that young people need to be grasping when it comes to the internet. They need to grasp that “emailing” or “IMing” or “making dumb decisions about who to hang out with” or a wide range of other online and offline activities — both digital and analog — can live forever and follow them into adulthood.

I wish it were as simple as telling young people not to blog about their indiscretions. I wish it were something that simple — so simple that mere Internet experts could solve it.

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  • Hudge

    My wife and i were wondering recently if the threat we heard in grade school – “this will go on your permanent record and follow you forever” – is still uttered. And if so, does it mean anything now? I think I was 30 before I realized that those recess-less days in 5th grade probably were not among the things my job interviewers found out about. But we cannot know the ultimate disposition of our actions, whether they seem good or bad at the time or within a few years.

  • lcreekmo

    The problem you describe is not new, though the Internet and other modern technologies have put a different spin onto it. I hazard a guess (I have no statistics, I’m just throwing this out) that far more people have had opportunities open up and new doors available to them because of the Internet than those who’ve had indiscretions exposed, which wouldn’t have been anyway.

    That’s the thing….if you’re really making a big mistake, whatever you’re doing, people can find out, computer or no. Google simply makes a lot of things easier.

    However, some days I really think I’m the only one who ever had to read 1984 in school. I am glad to hear that you think there are dangers in having our lives so recorded. Because when you are videotaped in the park, and photographed on the highway, and at the bank, and the mall, and the government can subpoena your Internet searches, I begin to think we’re on a slippery slope headed in one direction.