Monday, March 30, 2009

The Digital Curtain

I read another one of those pap journalism stories today about how everything we put online is now sifted through by these companies that create profiles of us for voyeuristic employers and presumably stalkers to digitally track us. The author was going on about having too much information now about his lawyer's hair implants, or photos of his child's fifth grade teacher pregnant. Our desire to express ourselves or be ourselves online is now being used to judge us, categorize us and ridicule us.

So the answer would seem to be that we need to button down our digital lives in the Puritan manner our society seems to require. We can't be professional or reliable employees if we have a human side or quirky side.

Wasn't the point of blogging to be able to share something about ourselves? Isn't a social network of "friends" supposed to be where you talk about hobbies, share photos and "be ourselves?"

The irony of this all is that it is more often than not the professional self that is not real yet that is what we would seem to be demanding of people now on the Internet. At what point do we stop sterilizing our personalities?

Unfortunately, I believe many employers are now exploiting the economy to frighten employees into submission. People are tucking their heads down and skulking around their jobs, afraid of the bogeyman the media has turned the recession into.

If only FDR could remind people that we really have nothing to fear, but fear itself.

1 comment:

R. said...

Meh. Same shit different era.

A) Certain people in corporations can't wrap their heads around the fact that others don't define themselves by their jobs and feel no loyalty to a company that will likely lay them off before retirement anyway.

As a consequence these HR types are unable to distinguish between "on the clock" and "off the clock" behavior and can not determine whether or not a person's blog, Facebook, whatever reflects a person's professional behavior.

B) If you're a lying, cheating, backstabbing dickhead then by all means advertise this fact publicly. No one wants to work with you because you don't hold yourself to a higher standard - unless you're a CEO of a major "three letter" bank that is.

C) The legitimate profiling is for targeted advertisements. The other data mining is for blackmail purposes vis-a-vi insurance, law enforcement, credit scores and so forth. Meh.