Many years ago, I had a co-worker who was literally the poster boy for the company. He had an incident happen, that for that particular industry, it was a really big deal. He did everything right, he did it by the book and did it by the numbers. Everything went perfectly. He was held up as the standard to aspire to for his fellow employees.
Fast forward a year and the guy gets fired. He didn’t get fired for theft, embezzlement, or any other sort of crime. Nor did he get fired for not doing his job. You see, he got fired for talking about work on the internet. He had a bad day and decided to take his frustrations to the internet and to vent. Now, he could have gotten away with doing this, except that he named the company. This company had IT guys that did nothing all day but scour the internet using the company name as one of the search parameters. They wanted to keep their fingers on the pulse of what the world at large thought of the company.
The company is and was international and a lot rode on their name, their reputation, so when his post, his rant, showed up, and he was talking negatively about the company, he was fired. He went from poster boy to pariah within a year. And this was back in the early 2000’s.
Why am I bringing this up? We all know shit like this happens all the time. People get fired and ostracized for wrongthink, especially when it comes to their jobs. Old news, right?
I’m bringing it up because of something that was said in a group that I belong to online. This group consists of a bunch of ordinary guys, swapping notes, shooting the shit, and busting each other’s balls. Typical dude shit.
Somebody screenshotted a photo of a young woman off of Tinder though. Now, to me, her face was ordinary. She wasn’t ugly, nor was she attractive. She was average. A 5 out of 10. A plain Jane. Totally forgettable. Except…
Except that in her “bio” she mentioned something along the lines of accepting money for dates. Something about being a “sugar baby.” Basically a form of prostitution.
Her picture, her bio, they are out there. Out in the wild. Out on the internet. And the internet never forgets.
Right now, today, jobs are not only looking at your criminal backgrounds and your credit scores, they are looking at your social media profiles. They are looking to see what you are doing, what you are saying, and who you are saying and doing those things with. Old news.
But what about this young woman, who is 19 or so? Maybe her job hasn’t seen what she’s saying she’s looking for, what she’s willing to do. Maybe they don’t care. Maybe what she does on her personal time is none of their business and none of their concern. I get that. And honestly, that’s how it should be.
But what about a guy she meets, whether online or off? What if he decides to do a little digging, see what shows up you know? Facial recognition software already exists. It’s only a matter of time before it becomes affordable and publicly available to the masses. Hell, you can take any photo off of the internet, throw it into Google images, and have a reasonable chance of finding the origin of that photo, or at least finding similar ones out there. That’s old news.
What if this young woman, after spending several years, living it up, partying it up, posting her antics and her whatnot’s on the internet decides she wants to “settle down” one day? We all want love right? We all, for the most part, are looking to spend a significant portion of our time with somebody else. Spend our lives together, start a family, that sort of thing. What happens if and when that potential suitor does an internet search on her face and that Tinder profile, showing that she was willing to exchange sex for money shows up? What is he going to do then? What would he think?
Thank god, I’m the age I am and grew up when I did. The internet didn’t exist when I was a hooligan. All of my exploits are lost to time, and since there are no pics, it didn’t happen.
I get it though. We either were or are, young and dumb at some point in our lives. YOLO and all of that. But just remember, the internet never forgets. Whatever you post online is out of your hands the moment you post it. Sure, you can set your privacy settings to “friends only.” You can even set them to “just me.” But what about your “friend” that does a screen shot from their phone? What if somebody gets your password or hacks your account? So much for privacy settings.
It’s probably wiser to take one from the mafia on this:
Keep your mouth shut. Or in this case, don’t be posting photos or videos of you doing stupid shit that could have repercussions a decade from now.
Here’s a picture worth a thousand words. You might also be lucky to be called “grandma,” as well. Let that sink in.