28 February 2009

Manage your online presence!


Nothing is a secret these days! The word privacy has taken a new meaning all together. While we are still brooding over the dilemma of whether to give our mobile number for office purposes an entirely new problem has raised its hood. Its omnipresent, its dark and its scary!! Your Virtual life is CRITICAL to your real life!
My manager used to say “International exposure doesn’t necessarily mean going abroad and working there. Dealing with the clients based abroad and interacting with them over phone, teleconferencing, client visits also amounts to exposure “. While I was dealing with them on numerous occasions I had to take their number for communication. None of them were willing to give their mobile numbers. Their plain response was ‘Call me on my extension’.
I was surprised, as giving our mobile numbers was a Sine-qua-non in India! But they were willing to give their mobile numbers only when the issue was critical and they had to receive their calls while at home. A World of difference would you say!
The simple fact I want to emphasise wit this anecdote is how much we value our privacy!
Nowadays every one has their profiles created on Facebook or Orkut. (Though some are saying that Facebook is already outdated !) We all have websites, blogs, and some of us also live a ‘Second Life’ ;)
Though blogs were started with an intention to express one’s opinions and view without any apprehensions. People were hooked onto Orkut and other networking sites to find their old friends and keep in touch with distant ones. There was an air of casualness and it was more fun.
Google began commercialising it by scanning our mails and posting ‘relevant’ ads. Then other marketing companies started using networking sites for their Viral marketing campaigns. Every one started impinging on our personal spaces and everything is commercialised these days!
The most recent development is that Prospective employers and companies started monitoring their employees via Internet. They started tracking their blogs and accounts and what they say and what could their future plans be!!
Two glaring instances:
1. A teenager was fired just for her remark that her work is boring. We tend to say casual things when on net. But imagine being fired because you scrapped your friend saying I am getting bored t my office. People talk to freedom of speech! Does it cover Facebook?? (The report)
2. My friend was a student form a prestigious engineering college in Delhi. His classmate was hired at a plush salary by a manufacturing major. The company HR apparently found his profile on Orkut and saw that he had joined GRE forums and was planning to go abroad for his PG. He was sent a regret letter within a week of his placement !
Go figure!!
One thing we can do is to be exceptionally careful about what we write/ post online. Another simple solution is to use the greatest advantage of internet – Anonymity!
Use different login names and create mail accounts completely unrelated to you. Are we getting closer to living a Second life – It’s time to keep Mr Anderson away from Mr NEO


Rider on the storm said...

hmm interesting post............quite informative sir

Sasanka Rajaram said...

fun has its limitations!..
Nice one..

Talking Tails said...

haehahea... Very appropriately put... We have to keep Mr. Anderson away from Neo!

Much like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde we have to live "two lives"... Thanks God we have just ONE internet right now... if we had anything like "multiple networks".. Then humans would be like Cats ... perhaps and have NINE LIVES! :D