Sunday, March 27, 2011

Be Careful What You Type

I recently came across a book on an internet site that, much to my surprise, contained a quote from me. It was a reproduction of an entire e-mail I had sent to somebody about eight or nine years ago. Now I had absolutely no idea the e-mail was going to appear in this book, nor do I any longer have a record of that e-mail. Now the quote portrayed me in a positive light and I do remember corresponding with the author at some point. Nevertheless I couldn’t vouch for the exact words that were quoted. In addition I probably have modified my position on what I was being quoted on in these intervening years. I also recently came across an article I had written several years ago, posted in its entirety on a blog owned by a person I don’t know nor have ever had any correspondence with. Anyway, there it was. I have mostly been careful at what I have transmitted over the internet in the last decade, but I realize I have also said things, that taken in a context different than what was intended, may not be how I would state things if I knew everything I was writing would be made public. A few months ago I deactivated my Facebook account. Besides being something that consumed a lot of time, it seemed very intrusive to me. But in doing some research since then I’ve found that Facebook is actually one of the more benign social networks out there when it comes to information you have sent out over the internet over the course of time. Once you deactivate your FB account it is nearly impossible for someone to find information about that account. On the other hand, networks like Yahoo, MSN, and similar ones tend to leave a trail of information, oftentimes even after you have deactivated your account. If you’ve posted on one of their forums, or on a friend’s (or former friends) account, there is information that sometimes hangs around for years. I've noticed young people especially are not often careful about what they have left hanging out there. So take the time to go through your on-line activities. See what might be out there that you’ve forgotten about, that might not be so flattering if the people who are important in your life now came across the information. I also read an article the other day that says more and more employers and college administrators are making judgments about prospective employees or students based on what they find on line. So be careful what you type. It can affect the rest of your life.

Monday, March 14, 2011


We’re born to consume so the story goes
Eat it, buy it, take it, it’s yours

No holding back from your grandest desires
It yours, its mine, whatever we want

Whatever's in reach of your clutching grasp
You deserve it, you’ve earned it, don’t be shy now

Is this the way the plot was really written?
The story line seems to have gone astray

In the end we’re all editors, rewriting the book
Consumers consumed by the things that we took