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the seen

discovering the web presence of my family has led me to think two things:

1) the thing i told an interviewee last week (i haven't written about that yet, have i? guess i better explain it here.) still stands.

2) i am positively ancient and prudish.

last week i met with a young man who was interested in being my lackey. i wasn't very interested in seeing him at all because the week before that i had reviewed his resume and was unimpressed, plus i found a less-than-flattering self-profile of him online. but my boss was interested, so we scheduled an interview. all righty then. i met with the kid and he was nice enough, but he wasn't really what i was looking for. so... feeling a bit avuncular (which, i suppose, is somewhat less than maternal), i told him i had some advice for him: be presentable. think of the image you make -- everywhere -- because it's never safe to assume that prospective employers are less than web-savvy. once he closed his mouth, i assured him i hadn't seen anything too bad, but just, please think about what i said. he was so rattled i felt really bad and i stewed over that moment for the rest of the day. (cam laughed his ass off when i told him. others at work said to relax, that i did him a favor and he'd realize it one day.)

there is nothing in this blog that would do much more than embarrass me if someone confronted me about it. embarrass. not humiliate. not get me fired. not make me lose out on a potential job. i have a friendster profile, but it is very lowkey. (my site could humiliate paul when he gets older, but that's my right as a mother.)

i am not trying to be judgmental. i am trying to be practical. my mother once told me that someone told a cousin of mine that she better take down a racy picture before her father saw it. just the fact that my mother knew meant that it had already gone up and down the family grapevine that my cousin had a racy picture somewhere online. call me tremendously old-fashioned, but i pretty much believe in sparing my parents from actual visual knowledge of my private life. i also pretty much believe in sparing my parents from the written proof -- expressly written by myself, natch -- of my wayward, misspent youth.

i am not perfect. i have done many, many foolish things. i used to drink too much. i smoked too much. i whored it up... too much. i also used to shoplift as a child and i have spent far too much time in my life looking at porn. i was in chatroomesque situations before i learned how to type. how's that for awkward, by the way?

x: are you there? why aren't you answering my questions?
me: s
me: o
me: rr
me: y
me: !!!

hunt-and-peck doesn't allow for heavy flirting. how much more fruitful my conversations could have been if only i were more skilled in emoticons and abbreviations back in the late 80s. by the time i hit high school, i could type, but the moment (and many others) had passed. whateveryournamewas, you with the naughty bedtime stories... you must be nearly 50 by now, yes?

the chasm between myself and my family is vast. even though i am only a few years older than the oldest cousin of this particular group, our experiences have moved us very far apart. we grew up in separate times. when i was in grad school, we were just barely trying to figure out how to cite web sources in our papers. i didn't even own a computer when i was in college. i sure as hell wasn't thinking of cutesy ways to document my dissolute ways for all the world to see. my god, the big thing back then was regularly changing your "finger" info to entertain the people "fingering" you. sure, i had a college site. it did nothing. it had a nice picture of me, a flashy background and quite possibly an "under construction" graphic on it.

as a parent -- and as an employer! -- i feel the need to stress the fact that you can have no expectation of privacy online. even if it seems overly paranoid, think as if dear old mom or dad or even your [future] boss is reading over your shoulder. s/he very well might be. (which would then lead one to believe that i shouldn't be writing this on my lunch break. ah, irony.) if i can easily find you without being a member of your online community, then think of how easily others can find you.

as for being ancient and prudish, well, you can certainly see that in what i've written above. already i hear the clamor and clang of a gazillion people saying that i'm just too old to understand. yeah, well, maybe i don't. i like dirty as much as the next person, but vulgar (and stupid) for vulgar's sake... i'm glad i'm "old" if that's what being young is all about.

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