You have no anonymity

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To clarify, I’m not saying that the strike against Syria is the wrong move. Far from it…

Trump can tweet what he wants because he either contradicts the messages later on or complete denies he ever posted them. Trump is different. He simply does not care, but for the rest of us social networks work in a very different way.

Consider your children or anyone looking to get a new job today and you start to realise that history suddenly becomes fact and that everything counts.

Years back, you could apply for a job, say the right things in an interview (I enjoy a challenge, I love working in a team blah blah b*llocks) and you would get the job with no further checks.

Things are different now and everything you post on Twitter or Facebook is likely available to a potential new employer to read and to surmise what your personality is really like. The problem here is that our social networking histories do not reflect our personalities in any way.

We all lose our rags from time to time and post things we shouldn’t, we all have opinions and these services are designed to let people speak in situations where they may normally stay quiet. It’s a bit like people who are tough and angry via email, but the moment they are face to face in a meeting, they are meek and mild. There are so many of these people.

It worries me that so much of what we say is there to be checked and double-checked, but of course no-one forces us to use social media so there is a very easy answer. Or is there?

“John, I have this applicant who seems a perfect fit for the job, but they don’t use social media. That’s a bit weird?”

You probably can’t win and I was worried for my kids until I realised that they only post photos on Instagram and use Snapchat. Twitter and Facebook are too old for them and they see them as services for their parents.

Maybe this problem will swing right past them because they use services that are so temporary and hard to read, and maybe only adults of today are worrying about this kind of thing.

4 thoughts on “You have no anonymity

  1. Some interesting points within this:

    a.) think before you post;
    b.) consider deleting your posts after a while;
    c.) once it’s on the Internet, it is very hard to remove it;
    d.) but there is something resembling a “right to be forgotten”, which could be exercised if needed;
    e.) it’s not just about what you post — what others post about you can also be visible;
    f.) so think about what you post about others, not just what opinions or view you tweet;
    g.) will your children thank you for everything you have tweeted or posted about them;
    h.) not just from the perspective of future employment, but those looking to bully or harass too;
    i.) one person’s joke is another’s grave insult. There’s no “right not to be offended”, but how might your tweet be portrayed or interpreted, even if it misunderstands your intention in posting it;
    j.) with just 140 characters, posts can be terse, aggressive, or simply lack context. There’s a greater risk of being misunderstood or misinterpreted;
    k.) responding is not compulsory: you can just ignore someone. The same rule applies to chuggers. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to engage;
    l.) no matter how “clever” the platform, or what privacy or security practices it promises, or if it makes text disappear soon after being read, nothing stops someone taking a photo of the screen;
    m.) check spelling. Nothing ruins the polite “I’d like to discuss this with you further” than writing “I’d like to discuss this with your Fuhrer”. Which isn’t likely to happen, admittedly.

  2. I’m a volunteer presenter for Junior Achievement. One of the programs is titled Economics for Success aimed at grade 8 students. One of the activities talks about social media and how anything they post is available for the world to see. Most don’t appreciate this fact.

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