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Hey Kids, You Listening?

March 29, 2012- If my parental advice is good enough for my kids, maybe it will help someone else. I remember the good, few pieces of advice my parents dropped on me on occasions, but I never wrote those gems down. I probably should. I remember most of them, and I will sprinkle those wise words into this blog along with my own, and maybe, one day, my kids can look back and read what they were ignoring all those years.

First piece of advice. Considering this is a public electronic medium, it is appropriate to remind all users of computers and social media, especially young adults, that this is forever. These words will forever be trapped in their digital form on some server in some unreachable place. Forever. Every comment, posting, tag, and tweet are locked in the forever time capsule called the internet. Even things you think are private, such as emails and text messages are saved on third party servers. Who knows who will eventually get their hands on that information in the future. Who knows what they will do with such information and power.

What a time to grow up.

If you are under 10 years old today, thousands and thousands of pictures of all types of activities for every year of your life will be in some way be posted and preserved on the web. Your whole life will be reviewable by those who manage to gain access, whether legally or illegally. Future educators and employers will attempt to gather as much information as they can, and they will search for it.

So start to think about how your content reflects yourself right now. Think before you post. Ask yourself, “In 5 years if my college admissions administrator reviews this, will it hurt or help me?” “Will a future employer think I am irresponsible if I post these pictures?” And, “How will the world see me through this self-presentation?”

It is not much further from what my dad used to tell me when I was a kid, that my reputation was really all I had, and I had to start building it early, and building a good one based on making the right decisions and doing the right deeds. There just wasn’t a digital record following us back then.

Applying these simple filters to building your reputation just may make a difference in how your past is viewed in the future.

April 2, 2012 - It just came to my attention that the Brookings Institute recently drafted a research paper regarding the declining costs of data storage and the implementation of government surveillance systems which might one day record EVERYTHING that is electronically gather-able. A thought that would make even George Orwell stop and think. Click here for the Brookings paper. Once you have read it, go to the library and pick up Orwell’s book titled “1984.” I think you will like it.
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