So it was my birthday yesterday, 19 years old.
I’m active on multiple sites, and it was interesting to see the reaction. Facebook is where your friends are, so I got about 50 people post happy people on my wall. Tumblr is full of people who just want to look at pictures so I didn’t get anything. A couple of forums that I’m on I had private messages off other members or admins that I’ve been in contact with in the past.
But from this, I began to think about one of the big pushes we get in university about web presence. They want us to have wordpress and webspace, and this I agree with. It’s great for us to have this when we’re out to get a job, being able to show off what we’ve done and all our amazing web skills.
But then I’ve got tumblr and facebook. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve posted content on both networks (be that tags or statuses on facebook or pictures on tumblr) that would not put me in a good position if seen by an employer.
But I keep the tumblr away from personal information, with only a first name and a link to a couple of social networking sites identify me. Facebook also has a security settings set up so that only my friends can see it. The problem is though, why should I have to? I’ll ultimately create a parents/employer facebook, to control the content that they can see. But is this not lying? I’d rather hire someone who I know has friends so can work in a team, than someone who is dishonest. Does who I am at the age of 19 effect how I will work when I’m 24?
And I think about other web presence too. The fuss is made about facebook and blogging sites and twitter, but what about where I am on lesser sites. I’m a senior member on AnythingButIpod, an mp3 player site, I review on a handful of sites and I have a last.fm and flickr. These are never mentioned, but what would happen if I tried to get a job with apple and they found that I posted on a forum that supports their competitors? I am allowed an opinion, as a human right, but they could take this and use it against me. Does mature photography effect my employability if I work with children? If my employer thinks metal music is the sound of the devil, will I be fired for having BMTH as a most listen on last.fm? These seem like ideas that are as hyperbolic as they are hypothetical,
Web presence is a weird thing, and this mixture of invasion of privacy and self selling seems a very touch nut to properly crack.