Taking a Step Back from the Digital Life

There’s barely a day goes by when someone famous, somewhere does something they regret online.  It’s hardly surprising really when people set them selves up to receive thousands of Tweets from fans or just as likely haters.

I support a very small, rather unsuccessful professional football team yet even here I have seen the effects of Twitter rage.  A player after a particularly bad performance and seen conversing on Twitter is very likely to receive some unwelcome comments.  Some ignore these and just carry on, but some characters engage in exchanging insults which rarely looks professional and is more likely to supply any media reporter with a selection of quotes to start a story with.  Even at this low level, a professional footballer can have several thousand people following their every word/tweet which is fine if someone is filtering and managing what you say, not so good if you respond after a hard day with a beer in your hand!

Would Cary Have Had a Twitter Account?

Many people in the public eye are sensibly backing away from social networks simply because the risk of bad publicity is starting to outweigh the good stuff.  They are starting to realize about the huge amount of digital data that is being created online about everyone of us – every comment, every status update and every Tweet is creating an extensive digital profile for each one of us.

The dangers are many and perhaps the advantages certainly professionally are not really worth it.  For instance, comments you make now could be viewed in 5 or ten years time, opinions and statements that were perhaps off the cuff might appear in that job interview that means so much to you.

It doesn’t take much imagination to visualise a situation where having drunken pictures or comments floating around the internet might not be  the best long term career move.  Apparently senior executives are also deciding to back off from social media too, many are just switching off their digital profile – the concept is being dubbed ‘the digital detox’.  Others are doing so simply because it can take up so much of your life, the time consumed in interacting in these sites can be considerable and all encompassing.

We’re seeing more and more people using security programs to cut down on their digital profile and what’s logged about them.  I know people who use proxies to relay their connections when they connect to specific sites, if you login through a program with then that’s where many websites will decide where you’re from.

Whatever the best solution for you, keeping aware is essential – good advice is to step back and think before you post anything online.  Ask yourself if you’d be happy about anyone seeing it now, and in ten years time as that might just happen.

More information here about accessing the BBC in Ireland for those doucmentaries – http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/does-bbc-iplayer-work-in-ireland/

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