Friday, November 14, 2008

Ignoring Facebook

In response to the Obama transition team's version of demanding every scintilla of factual information about potential administration appointees, Matt Yglesias observes that eventually norms are going to have to change about the relevancy of a dumb college facebook photo. I've thought the same thing myself. Even today, interviewers can't be shocked! that their prospects might have drank in college. Indeed, they themselves probably drank in college. But there being no permanent electronic record of it, they can delude themselves into thinking they were more responsible about it. As the facebook generation begins to consist of the hirers, however, eventually a more realistic view is going to surface.

Or so I hope.


PG said...

I would say that I am happy that I finished college and most of grad school before Facebook, but so little of what I am embarrassed about in my life could have a photographic record anyway that it's pretty much irrelevant.

From what I can tell this questionnaire seems not much worse than what the State Department does for a security clearance.

I had someone question me about why a friend broke up with her boyfriend whe she was applying for her clearance. (Answer I wanted to give, "He was an asshole and I'd been hoping they'd break up for years"; answer I gave, "Well, you know, they were growing apart"; answer my friend would have killed me for giving, "He was a Stalinist and she's more of a Trotskyite.")

The Gaucho Politico said...

Untag everything. First words of advice to all recent college grads entering the workforce. Also, deleting all that stuff about bong hits is a good idea.

I doubt the checking of online profiles ever goes away but the focus wont be on scoping out people for drinking alcohol.

PG said...

A thought I just had about your concerns of living in Hyde Park:

"Most modern presidents have had a ranch, farm or estate easily isolated from the community around it. Mr. Obama is the first since Richard M. Nixon to be elected while living in a urban neighborhood, and Mr. Nixon soon sold his New York City apartment and retreated during his presidency to exclusive getaways in Florida and California. Mr. Obama, by contrast, is expected to keep his Chicago home."

Stay in Hyde Park! You too can become one of Obama's dubious, liberal neighbors! You can get your hair cut by his suspiciously un-American-named barber! (At least before he moves to DC and, in the immortal words of Dolly Parton in "Steel Magnolias," becomes a chain.)