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Facebook preserves moments, good and detrimental

My senior year in college MySpace was all the rage. It’s still utilized mostly by an either much younger or much older crowd, but at least for people my age, it’s more likely you’ll find them on Facebook, which is just where friends can connect, a tiny corner of the Internet for yourself and your interests. I have connected to friends from high school, keep in touch with my family members in far-off places, and I have one place to direct people who might want to see me and see what I’m doing these days.
But it’s not all sunshine and light.
My generation, those of us who post mundane details of our lives for our entire friends’ list to see and stalk, we will eventually be older and handed the keys to the future of this country and at that point, what kinds of skeletons will we have in our closets if we’re in the habit of airing our grievances publicly now?
Just last week, President-elect Barack Obama’s future White House director of speech writing, Jon Favreau, learned his lesson the hard way. Someone posted a photo of him in a candid moment, at a party with friends, posing next to a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton. He wasn’t caught in the best moment. Instead, he was caught with a beer in one hand and the other placed over Clinton’s breast. Of course, the story caught fire and soon it was posted everywhere, from Fox News to politico.com. People were outraged.
But let those among us who have not posed with cardboard cutouts cast the first stone.
Favreau is 27 years old and presumably thought he was in the company of trusted friends. I’m speaking to those of us in the 35-and-younger crowd when I ask who hasn’t done something equally as stupid?
Probably not many.
But let’s all let Favreau’s mistake not become our own.
Do I blame Favreau for his party pitfall? Not completely. I’ve been there, and even if I haven’t been photographed in as compromising a situation as his, I know that I’ve not always conducted myself in the best manner, be it in Wal-Mart when the aisles get too full or in my car behind a poky driver and my frustration filters out.
We have to be mindful of what we’re putting out there for people to see, hear or observe, even if we have the best of intentions when we do it. We should consider that the people on the receiving end of our actions may not always take things in the spirit in which they are intended and once it’s out there, it could be too little, too late.
It’s just time for those of us in my generation to shake ourselves awake and realize what’s fun this weekend may not look the same in five, 10 or 15 years.

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