Are you one of those who updates their circle of family, friends and followers about every little aspect of their life? Do you tweet about what you’re doing, Foursquare the place you are in and Instagram your lunch. Google’s Eric Schmidt has a word of caution for you – your mistakes will never go away from the Internet.
Speaking at the Hay Festival in UK last week, Schmidt worries that teenagers today will never see their mistakes forgotten, thanks to them putting up complete record of themselves on the Internet. “We have never had a generation with a full photographic, digital record of what they did,” he said. “We have a point at which we [Google] forget information we know about you because it is the right thing to do.”
You might be sharing too much
Schmidt went on to describe teenage lives online. “There are situations in life that it’s better that they don’t exist. Especially if there is stuff you did when you were a teenager. Teenagers are now in an adult world online.” He said society has always had a way of dealing with errant teenagers in a particular way. Through the process of punishment and allowing them to grow up away from their mistakes, teenagers can be helped to grow out of this. They can become “upstanding leaders” if they’re helped to stay on the right path.
The Google boss adds though, that the current generation of teenagers could end up being haunted for their online mistakes eventually.
We do belong to the generation of all-Tweeting, all-Instagramming teenagers. What might seem like a fun idea to do and document online at the age of 16 may turn out to be an issue in the near or distant future. With the advent of social media, it has become easier for potential employers to run background checks on you without having to make too much of an effort. Unsavoury comments, photos from that wild night in town can all potentially cause damage to you in the future.
Schmidt says that at times Google tries to forget some of your data, since it’s the right thing to do. So while ten years down the line you may re-read some of your posts and browse through some of your images and think back fondly at all the silly things you’ve done, it could be damaging to your reputation without you even noticing it.