Have you been posting on MySpace or Facebook? Called anybody names and emailed harsh comments to a list server (including so-called closed or private email groups)?
If so, you may have left a trail that can be tracked right back to you by a potential employer. In an article in today's Globe and Mail, educational reporter Elizabeth Church has written a reminder to teenagers (but the warning is applicable to anyone with Internet access) called Where everybody knows your teenaged musings.
Called a digital tattoo by a headline writer, it's an apt description of how what you say online can remain online forever.
I just wanted to inform you that in fact, the phrase “digital tattoo” isn’t just a “headline” made up by a newspaper writer.
It refers to the digital tattoo project, undertaken at the University of British Columbia. (www.digitaltattoo.ubc.ca)
It’s a phrase that refers to the permanency and visibility of a person’s online information – similar to a personal tattoo.
Hope this makes sense!
What you say online is indeed permanent even if you “erase” it through things like the Internet Archive’s WayBackMachine. (http://www.archive.org/web/web.php). It’s something that we should all be making especially young people aware of. If you are interested you can read more on this discussion at: http://www.technologyfortherestof.us/2008/12/cognitive-surplus-and-digital-tatoos.html.