Why do we all share so much? For pleasure, revenge, gossip? Blog traffic? Bonding? The temporary justification that a public proclamation affords? A brief moment in the sun? All of the above?
By this time, we are all aware that “online” is not a private universe. We’ve been warned that there are consequences for ill-timed or just plain inappropriate shares. We’ve all read the stories of employees being fired, and the famous big brand mistakes have become legend, but what about the regular person flinging odd, potentially embarrassing, sometimes aggressive–even shaming–opinions or personal truths out into the online world with passionate abandon? The online world has a superpower memory with tweets stored in the Library of Congress and traces of our digital footprints are everywhere. Surely, someone is reading all these messages…
Before this age of the “Public Chronicles” of our lives, there was the ever popular option of denial. “I never said that!” But now that I can actually post the link to a video of you actually saying that, the consequences might be serious. Strangely, however, many (most) missteps go unnoticed or are ignored. This perfect digital memory is, well, digital. Public communications are still curated by, and filtered though, an individual’s knowledge of history, acquaintance with the people or events concerned – and his or her own memory.
Perhaps, one day, there will be a day of reckoning for all those spontaneous, dumb, and just plain mean utterances that occur minute-by-minute. Or, they might be simply be buried beneath the tide of messages that keep coming in an uninterrupted flow.
I’m curious. Do you think your personal future might be impacted by a cruel or dumb blog post (or comment or tweet) that you made a year ago? Two years ago? Or has it all been—and will continue to be—forgotten?