We’re so not into you

Remember when you were nine and that twerp during school recess called you a booger head.  Your mom sympathized and your dad told you to suck it up and forget about it.  Those days are back.

Protecting your reputation is a joke in the Internet age. Sure, employment, social, and dating services either don’t permit negative comments or give you control.  Don’t be fooled.

You may think you date in anonymity.  But … your bad behavior can and will be reported to the world at places like Don’t Date Him Girl, Never Date HerPeepSheets, aLoveLinksPlus, Cheater News, Cheaters Expose, and Liars, Cheaters & Bastards

The Internet is so large, ubiquitous, and anonymous that you can’t even pretend that you have control.

Companies, at least the smart ones, gave up years ago.  They provide a multiplicity of means (phone, chat, email, web, forum, Twitter, etc.) so you can contact them.  They employ reputation management systems so they know when and where they’re smeared.  When they can they respond courteously, professionally, and directly, regardless of the venom.

Do the same in your personal life.  Michael Arrington has some good tips at  Reputation Is Dead: It’s Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions.

My advice – Go back to the playground and remember what your dad said.

This is a fight you can’t win.  It IS nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune than to take arms against that sea of troubles.  Let your good work outshine a few nasty cuts. As Monty Python said, it’s just a flesh wound.  Really.

You couldn’t avoid school and you can’t avoid the net with a literal web of job, business, and social droppings.  You can’t control what people say about you.  Not then.  Not now.

If you’re an HR Manager researching a candidate, beware crossing professional-personal boundaries.  You don’t waltz into her house checking out her choice of panties and adult entertainment accessories. You shouldn’t be surprised to find an embarrassing photo on Facebook.

If you’re reading your own personal or company bashing, consider the context.  The truth is that they’re just not that into you (assuming a modicum of self-awareness).  Such diatribes say far more about the writer than the subject.  Response only breathes life into dying sparks.  Let it die, to be swallowed by the relentless and growing maw of the Internet and its hundreds of billions of web pages.

Everyone has dirt.  Life will go on.   Time heals all (or at least most) wounds. [Insert your own aphorism here.]


1 Response to “We’re so not into you”

  1. 1 debbie wergin April 2, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Excellent advice and awesome attitude. I agree that some HR have crossed the line and I would be more suspect of “lily white”! I would rather find a diamond in the rough than pay high dollar for one only to find out it was fake.

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