Formerly SpringBlog

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Findability is Finding You

Although the stolen Sidekick incident happened nearly five years ago, the message from this incident still lingers. In fact, more than just the message remains; the account can still be found on the internet today amongst the slew of other information that would otherwise be forgettable.

When you type in the keywords "Stolen Sidekick," the New York times article that Shirky alludes to comes up first thing:

Tale of a Lost Cellphone, and Untold Static

What does this mean? First off, there is no longer a chance of us to escape our past. We can be found everywhere, just as sixteen-year-old Sasha Gomez. Even though what she did was simply wrong, one could also argue that Evan Guttman was wrong to have brought the matter so public. Through the usage of the Internet, he was able to expose this girl and everything about her world. Not all of this can be erased. What happens when this girl settles down and tries to find a job?

We have all done things we regretted. Unfortunately, it just takes one person to catch you to make one of these regrets public. Employers today sometimes look at their applicants' Facebooks and MySpaces prior to hiring them. However, some people do not take this into account when they upload inappropriate and unflattering pictures or write crude comments. You are findable. There are traces of you everywhere, and all it takes is one faulty judgment to destroy someone.

Morville's views on findability have found us. Whether or not you avoid using the Internet, you are findable. (For example, my friend's grandma got put on youtube for being a bad dancer) Technology is all around us, and like it or not, we are now a part of this interconnected world.


  1. This post is extremely true. As a future teacher it is something I have to constantly think about. Every time I see an inappropriate photo or video on Facebook I wonder why these people don't realize it can affect their entire future. Or every time an indecent homemade movie or picture of a celebrity is "leaked" on the internet if they understand how it can affect their fans. It is almost scary to think that every mistake we make can potentially be seen by everyone, but unfortunately it is a reality we have to face now.

  2. I agree with the points that you made in this post. Though the internet is a great thing and it has advanced society in many ways, there are bad sides to the World Wide Web and one of them is that it seems like now our past mistakes or regrets will always be available to anyone. So my question is: Will not being able to hide the mistakes people make be better for society?

    On the one hand I believe there are benefits to this phenomenon, take the employers using facebook as a source to use in deciding who to hire as an example. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that for a lot of people, there facebook pages reveal more about them than a resume, so it only makes since that an employer would use facebook as a source of evaluation. It’s very easy to make one look like an honorable person on a resume and some employers in the past have probably hired people because they had great resumes and a year later they had to fire them because they were not the person that reflected the resume. If only that employer would have looked at that person’s facebook page before hiring him and he would have seen that his future hire does not live by the skills and attributes he has listed on his resume. I know a lot of people complain about employers using facebook as a source of evaluation, but if you were an employer and you were looking to hire somebody to work for you that would represent your company and you had the accessibility of their facebook page wouldn’t you look at it, like I said, a lot of people’s facebook pages reveal more about them than their resumes. Because of facebook, businesses and organizations are less likely to hire unqualified and unethical people and in turn that could less to less corruption in the business world.

    I do realize that I’m being optimistic in making that point so now I’ll be realistic. We all make mistakes, that is part of life, and a lot of us learn from our mistakes and that’s what makes us good people so a lot of times we shouldn’t be haunted by our mistakes in the past. When I was four years old I stole a batman toy from my preschool. When I got home later that day I felt sick with guilt and my mom was able to find out what I did. Because of that incident I never stole again; I felt terrible about I had done and learned that I didn’t what to do anything like that again. That incident does not haunt me because I consider it part of growing up, but what if somebody who knew this about me created a website about me and made a false claim that I used to steal things, something like that has the potential to harm my character and personality. Nobody should lose a job over something like stealing a toy when they were a kid, but I fear that things like this could happen because of the power of the internet.

    In short, there are good things and bad things about the internet and I guess it’s up to us as society to use it in respectful and responsible ways.