Thursday, November 5, 2009

I fear for my past! Or, why I shouldn't stress about imperfection.

Image from stock photos

Recently, I came across a blog posting from the Blog CogDogBlog titled Fear of a Googled Past
In the article, the writer discusses how people should not fear, or sugar coat their past choices in life that are portrayed online. Or as the writer Alan Levine eloquently puts it:
It sounds like the under the bed monster fear of “looking bad” or “looking stupid” to others. Flip it around, and it says we should create online representations of ourselves that aim for some false perfection, a sheen of lack of flaws, like we all should have bodies of Hollywood waifs and minds of Harvard physics majors.
In this day and age where professional job search seems to be more about personality matches than pure qualifications, it’s easy to worry about 'looking bad' to prospective employers. 
So what could stem from such worry?

For example, someone close to me, who spent a year trying to find a job, deleted anything that wasn't PG rated from their Facebook page. This included the removing of content that gave any indication that this person...shall I say, actually did anything other than go to bed at 11 their whole life and lived a perfectly altruistic-I-am-just-perfect life.

C'mon! Most everyone made choices in their lives that they would not be proud of. And some would just rather stay 'in the closet' pretending to be Mr. or Ms. Perfect. Even if a person lived a relatively clean life, how can anyone be justifiably judged by their online persona?

Not only that; but, who sets these standards, and why does everyone have to follow them?

Ask yourself:
Would you advertise the fact that you went to a Grateful Dead, Phish, or any other jamband show? Or multiple ones at that?
Would you admit to having spent a summer 'bumming around' in Amsterdam when you were 21 visiting the coffee houses?
Would you give the impression that it’s OK to appreciate alcoholic beverages such as scotch, beer, or wine?
Would you delete old pictures of you smoking cigarettes?
Does posting a recording of a stoned out jam session you had with friends in 1995 constitute a sense of being too weird?
Can someone who wants to be a professional also have eccentric hobbies, which are discussed online?
The point being, how can other make judgments of our abilities and capabilities from choices made years in the past?
My prediction is that all of this will come to a head and then blogs, Facebook, Twitter will then become not so much of a way to obfuscate their identity, but a way to proudly reveal their who they are and all the experiences that made them that way.

No comments: