Monday, November 3, 2008

Privacy and Social Networks

The fact that employers look up a person's myspace or facebook page doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that they may not hire someone because of petty things that have nothing to do with that person's ability as a worker. Corporations are cold, soulless machines that want us to believe that the buttoned shirt and slacks cubicle existence should be enough fun to sustain anyone without the need for such indulgences as drinking, concerts or parties. Frankly, I wouldn't want to work for a company who wants to hire boring people. When I send a resume, I send a few pictures of me playing beer pong in a toga just to make my stance clear.

This all comes down to the fact that people lead fractured lives, exhibiting different personalities for when they are in public or private settings, respectively. Even private life is itself fractured among extended family and varying circles of friends. There’s a big difference for many people between how they act among distant relatives and among high school pals. This is disheartening, in a way, as it encourages the division of people into incompatible sub-cultures. I wouldn’t be surprised if entirely different dialects could be derived between polite dinner table conversation and barroom banter.

I think it would be interesting if privacy disappeared. I imagine pretty soon we would stop faking our public lives and all live our private lives openly. Once we realized what we’ve been hiding all these years is all basically the same, I can’t imagine any of us would choose to act the way we do in formal settings.

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