Martha and the Vandellas had no idea.
It’s 1965. Al Gore hasn’t invented the internet. I am a little kid. The group’s hit Nowhere to Run To, Nowhere to Hide presciently pegs cyberspace as the world’s bathroom wall.
It’s painful to “unfriend” and “unfollow” while building a platform, particularly when the person on the receiving end is more than just a name or profile. But profanity and snarkiness negatively impacts their “brand,” and by association, mine, making less-savory traits hidden before twitter and facebook overt.
These flaws impact me because my audience is generally conservative. To honor that position, I spend a couple of hours each week reviewing the profile or page of most “likes” and “follows” to see if they drop the F-bomb, post vulgar images, or are consistently unpleasant. (They have the right to all those things, but not on my watch.) I block when I find offensive material. Their less-guarded moment can dilute my cyber reputation — in which I’m investing money and time.
I didn’t associate with bullies in grade school; the fundamentally entitled and angry in middle school; or those whose vocabularies included stupid (yes, that’s what it is) language in high school and beyond. Why start now?
When did cyberspace become the globe’s bathroom wall? When did posts become graffiti? Where are verbal filters? No one looks cool or intelligent when sinking to a low common denominator. They just look…common.
Roll through your posts. Would you associate with the persona you project in cyberspace? If the answer is “no,” remember nothing is ever erased in the world wide web.
You have nowhere to run to, and nowhere to hide, baby.