Integrity matters. Humble pie is tasty.
For close to a decade, Internet used to be an awesome place for deceitful sociopaths. That kind of environment, full of anonymity and unaccountability, is a great breeding ground for some spectacular
outright shameful lies marketing strategies. But as Ashley Dupree found out this week, there is no hiding on the Internet from who you are. Especially if you are being judged on the daily basis by your customers, business partners, employers or politicians.
Over the past two years I saw two of my friends outright destroy their online identities because they did not want their personal, private, life to interfere with their work. They also get the double handicap for being girls (likely inbox full of “I’d tap that”) and dealing with the juvenile male Internet. The first girl worked in the public sector in charge of bringing businesses into the local economy to build up the job market. Unfortunately for her, she is an Irish catholic republican and makes Peter from the Family Guy look like a saint. She had to blow up her entire blog because her personality virtually guaranteed she would never be able to make it in the public eye. The other friend is an extroverted party girl that works in the software industry. She blew up her Facebook profile because even though the minxy chick at a social event gets you all sorts of contacts, it does not translate well into corporate promotions based on black and white out of context notes backed by the spite of office politics.
The sad thing is, what guarantees corporate climb makes you a total bitch that nobody wants to hang out with. What makes you a macho man party animal translates into a stack of sexual harassment lawsuits.
This is nothing new. People in the spotlight were always judged, always quoted out of context, always had their private lives violated and everything ever done used against them at the most inopportune times.
What is new is that the social Internet is putting everyone and everything into the spotlight. Everyone you ever encountered becomes a viable, relevant, reference. I had the privilege of growing up in South Florida and going to the high school in the hood (I know, hard to believe) so by the time I got to the University of Florida I got calls from Miami Herald about my former classmates doing everything from homicide to serial jewelry robberies (Go Dragons, Class of ’07, release date of ’22). Everyone, everywhere, and at any time in the past becomes a quotable reflection of your character and how you life your life.
So if you want to live and work in this century you have to come to terms with who you are and how you represent yourself. You can’t hang on to your secret personality and change clothes in the telephone booth. You have to let go of your inner sociopath, put away that second personality you’ve got going on, stop changing your clothes in the telephone booth and just be who you are. If you are going to be judged, be judged for who you really are.
It doesn’t matter if you’re fucking the governor or if the global network of computers is fucking you, the age of deceit and dishonesty is coming to an end. Embrace fame, and yourself. Remember, you’re selling yourself all the time to everyone.