Hated that Photo, So I’m Changing My Name

“Young people may one day have to change their names in order to escape their previous online activity, Google boss Eric Schmidt has warned,”

So when the guy who probably knows more about me than anyone other than my wife or Mark Zuckerberg say’s I should be embarrassed about that picture of me from 2003 with the fish on my head, maybe I should worry.

But then again maybe not. What I think Mr Schmidt fails to realize is culture changes with technology. The public, future employers, family and friends all know you’ve done crazy things and sometimes stupid things. Its expected — unless you’re being confirmed for supreme court justice.

Even when Michael Phelps was photographed smoking pot the only reason people cared was because he was an athlete, and athletes shouldn’t smoke.  I bet it would have been an even bigger deal if he was caught smoking a cigarette.

I’m not condoning a change in societal norms or behavior, but as personal transparency increases, society will realize that a mistake or two is the norm and look the other way.  And this transparency will enable us to identify real long-term behavior, weeding out the people who really are stupid/need help from the ones that just had some fun and that fun got posted to Flickr.

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