Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Old School, New School and Web Tools



I continue to get Facebook requests from bona fide adults. More and more people are spilling over from the uber-professional realms of LinkedIn and trying their hand at Facebook (or good forbid MySpace). One by one, I continue to get friend requests from people whose opinions I value and respect.

Unfortunately, these are the same people that I don't want to see my online photos (fear not, I'm not blocking my photos!). There are also the people who probably aren't interested in the things that I'm twittering about.

When I sign in to Twitter and tell my followers that I'm "hanging out with dancers. Yes. Those kinds of dancers," I don't want people that I work with or people that mentor me to have that information. Or if I update my status and say that "I'm on my way to carry out a potentially illegal prescription drug transaction," those are the same people that I don't want passing judgment on me and/or alerting the authorities.

What a fine line we walk now that these two worlds are beginning to collide. People from older generations didn't have to worry nearly as much about cleaning up their online presence and maintaining a sound virtual reputation. But that's something that I do have to worry about and it sucks.

After asking a former boss if she was interested in tracking me on Twitter, she had the following to say:

I believe that the youngins these days have an overinflated sense of self and the misguided belief that everything they do is important/interesting.
Back in the day we were mediocre and embraced it - and we didn't subject anyone else to our mediocrity.


I think she's onto something. While they may have indeed been mediocre in the past, maybe we (you and I and the other person you tell to read this blog) are mediocre, too. Instead, we have all of these tools that help to publicize our every move and make them seem important just by virtue of having a lot of people know about it.

Don't get me wrong, I want you all to follow me on Twitter because I'm pretty f-ing amazing. Nevertheless, I think it's time to embrace the fact that online resources simply make us seem a little cooler than we really are. From this point forward, we need to start charting out how our online behavior will differ at 34 from what it was at 24. (Although, I believe that no self-respecting man will be willing the abandon the poke at the age of 34 - I plan on poking until I'm 45...)

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