Right now, there are a couple of runDisney related Facebook groups seemingly fighting with each other. I’ll be honest, I find it pretty amusing. What it ultimately comes down to is that people forget that nothing on the internet is private. Okay, so maybe you can have your secret Facebook group where no one else can see what’s in it but the members. But any one of those members can take the information that you post there and share it elsewhere. And if you’re in a public group? It’s public. Anyone can see it.
I’ve seen people get upset when they get called out for cheating at a race, for wearing someone else’s bib during a race even though the race doesn’t allow bib transfers, for having someone carry their bib so they get a good proof of time for corral placement.
Do the crime, do the time. And if you’re going to do the crime, maybe don’t make it so obvious in your online postings that you’ve cheated.
But I think more importantly, people need to remember that the internet is a giant public space. And it lasts forever. Just because you delete something doesn’t mean that it’s gone. There are these things called archives. Companies do tape backups. Someone may have taken a screenshot of what you posted. You just don’t know.
Does this mean I’m telling you to not use the internet? Clearly not. I write a blog. I love the internet. But you need to consider what you’re posting. Sometimes I wonder if this has to do with age and whether or not you grew up with social media. I did not. Facebook came into existence once I was out of college. And I remember friends saying “Hey, don’t post pictures of me holding a drink online because I don’t want my boss to see that, even though I’m old enough to legally drink.” Because we wanted to be cautious.
I try to make a point to not post anything online that I would be embarrassed by if confronted with it. That doesn’t mean I don’t post things I’m not proud of – when a race goes wrong, I’m the first to talk about it. But for me, it’s also a learning experience and I’m proud that I didn’t quit. And if I accidentally do something stupid or injure myself in a ridiculous manner, I’m the first to share it on Twitter because if you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re missing out on a great part of life.
What I’m saying is “Consider your words before you share.”