I’m registered on Facebook, Google Plus, Linkedin and Twitter but interact on Twittter. The others are useful as listening posts, letting me keep track of who’s looking for, talking about and researching me since anyone getting close in the social media space shows up in those ‘People You May Know’ boxes. Social media is as entangled as a bowl of spaghetti via exchange of metadata and keyword analysis. The exact arrangements are obscure but there’s no doubt what’s going on.
Here are some recent examples.
An old friend, a bitter, ruthlessly ambitious, self-righteous piece of poison possessed of nice political judgement, suddenly popped up on G+ and Facebook this week. This was a shock. Last time I’d seen her, a decade before at an anniversary party, she had passed around a photo album where I had been carefully scissored out of several pictures of our misspent youth. I did some checking and discovered that a lot of political voyeur types in my home town had popped up since I’d put up some posts about my activist experiences a few weeks ago. Obviously they’re causing some talk. Go figure.
It’s not surprising she wouldn’t be aware of this phenomenon — you can’t expect too much from one of the last Stalinists in captivity — but I was quite surprised at this next incident. It began with an availability enquiry on Linkedin from a tech pimp in South America for a job in Calgary. The job was for a specific type of technology I’m experienced with and there are a small number of companies working with it. Next time I checked G+ I found an executive from one of them in the ‘People You May Know’ box. I checked her company’s web page and discovered they had a big new project in the Persian Gulf – with IT support out of their Calgary office . Meanwhile, back on Linkedin a tech manager in a Gulf state had popped up. You would think executives operating in the tech / networking space would be more aware of how this stuff gets passed around.
This entanglement isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you’re aware of it but social media has permeated our lives far faster than the implications have sunk in. Every keystroke while online is logged and analyzed and people need to be aware of the implications. There are much more horrific scenarios played out every day than my two examples. If it’s real, keep it off the net, if you speak of the Devil, the Devil may appear and don’t say anything online you wouldn’t say in front of a judge. And, oh yes, do what I say, not what I do 🙂