What Happens On Facebook Stays…Er, Everywhere
‘You see your accountant going out on weekends and attending clown conventions, that no longer makes you think that he’s not a good accountant. We’re coming to terms and reconciling with that merging of identities.’
This is Samuel Gosling talking – he’s a professor at the University of Texas, Austin, who says that as more people use social-networking sites such as Facebook and merge their public and private personas, photos of partying or drinking over the weekend should eventually be no big deal. But for now, the New York Times Magazine article in which Gosling was quoted says recruiters are actually rejecting job applicants based on information they find online.
Currently there are plans underway to teach young people about the long-term dangers of exposing your private life online. Those shots will stay there and may compromise your chances of getting a job – especially any job where work of a sensitive nature is involved. If I search thoroughly, I can normally find anyone I’m looking for on the internet.
Of course, you can be over-cautious. Recently, some fans told me off for posting my home address online but why wouldn’t I? It’s publicly available, and the deluge of mad letters never materialised. Last night in Harrogate a bunch of us went clubbing (as much as you can in H’Gate) and photos were, I think, taken. Will they surface online?