Your Permanent Record. Remember that? I do. It was frightening. A permanent record of everything I did in life - especially the stuff that wasn't right. The wrong stuff. I can hear my Mom now, "That'll go on your Permanent Record Susan." Oh the worry that caused. And I was a good kid. What about now? What is the NEW Permanent Record?
How about Facebook? Or Twitter? Or You Tube? I think those NEW Permanent Records are a lot more concrete than the one I faced. And today it's not only a personal record but it's out there in cyberspace for everyone to see. And it really doesn't go away. And you aren't even necessarily in control of the discretions that end up on your own record.
Let's look at a possible scenario. A young adult who enjoys playing online games, like Mafia Wars or Farm Town, on Facebook. They apply for a new job. The prospective new employer checks out their online presence. Their Facebook account comes up. Access isn't as difficult because this person is gathering friends to play the games with - "friends" that this person doesn't really even know but is just using to increase mafia size or build farms. The prospective new employer is concerned about the amount of time is being spent during the work day on these activities - especially when the new job has very little supervision and is only judged by sales numbers at the end of the month. Will this young adult be a strong candidate for the job? Or will the Permanent Record that's being built online have an effect?
Or how about another view - the one where an innocent enough action turns viral. I know of a high school student who was caught in the act of wrapping a home. Normally this would be more of a no harm, no foul type activity. However, a "friend" of this kid jumped on Facebook and started a group called "Joey B Gone Wild." Over 300 people joined the group & it got a lot more involved than the title. Questionable pictures, actions bordering vandalism & worse were attributed to Joey B. It took days for it to filter back to his parents. Eventually though it did and they got it taken off of Facebook. But what damage was done in the meantime? What kind of Permanent Record was going on here?
And I can't leave out the Permanent Record I like to call "Reply to All." I watch my words carefully on email. After all, once you click send it is gone! I've had several friends accidentally hit the "reply to all" in error & the consequences haven't been pretty. One person was trying to reply to his wife's disgust with her boss. She had forwarded an email missive that had been sent to her. Well this husband was supportive. He berated the boss up one side & down the other like a good husband but then he hit "reply to all." And off went that little email piece to the boss himself. Needless to say, both husband & wife had some 'splaining to do! That permanent record isn't lasting but it did cause a lot of discomfort.
I guess the New Permanent Record can do a lot more damage than the one I grew up with. Although I have the feeling that if I tried to tell a few younger people about being aware of what's out there on their record, I'd get an eye roll & a head shake with a "It's not a big deal," reply.
Susan Brown, Your Texas Connection sells real estate in Walden on Lake Houston, Eagle Springs, Summerwood, Atascocita, TX, Kingwood Greens, Royal Shores & Kingwood, TX - just to name a few! Susan's the team leader for Your Texas Connection at Keller Williams Realty NE. Visit their website for more in depth info about the team and what they can do for you. Or call Susan direct (281) 415-1454 if you'd like her to start working on your behalf today!