Gen Ys face cri­sis of cy­ber iden­tity

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Prime Space - From Page 1

He was only too happy to sup­ply the me­dia with added sala­cious de­tail about that week­end, and the young PM, 40 years ear­lier.

Even­tu­ally the is­sue of the PM’s Face­book profile would sub­side, but not with­out tak­ing its toll.

It is now stan­dard prac­tice for all politi­cians to de­clare any DCC that may sur­face in the fu­ture.

Ex­ec­u­tive re­cruit­ment firms reg­u­larly scan spe­cially de­signed search en­gines to re­trieve and as­sess DCC.

If the ma­te­rial is deemed too com­pro­mis­ing, the can­di­date is qui­etly re­jected.

The me­dia, sens­ing a well­spring of sources for scan­dal, trawls its read­er­ship for ‘‘ young and silly pic­tures’’ of now fa­mous peo­ple.

Per­haps my as­sess­ment of what might con­sti­tute scan­dalous events in the year 2047 is fan­ci­ful.

Af­ter all, there is noth­ing un­to­ward about Gen­er­a­tion Y shar­ing the com­ings and go­ings of their teenage lives among mem­bers of their tribe.

Here is a time in life when souls are bared and when deep and mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions de­liver teenagers into adult­hood.

But pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions made this tran­si­tion with­out any real pos­si­bil­ity that some of the sil­lier things they might have said or done as teenagers would resur­face later in life.

Not so with Gen­er­a­tion Y; their youth­ful me­an­der­ings are be­ing doc­u­mented in their full and fool­ish teenage glory.

And for the vast ma­jor­ity of fu­ture adults, their mus­ings as 14- year- olds will never be seen by any­one other than friends at the time.

How­ever, some of to­day’s Gen­er­a­tion Ys will reach the pin­na­cle of busi­ness and po­lit­i­cal suc­cess. Is there any pos­si­bil­ity that their po­si­tions in 40 years time will be com­pro­mised by trans­mis­sion into the ether of ev­ery ag­o­nis­ing as­pect of their teenage lives?

There is also the dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity that fu­ture com­mu­ni­ties will be so fa­tigued by the ex­tent of dated cy­ber con­tent’’ and the fact that ev­ery­one is com­pro­mised by the doc­u­men­ta­tion of their youth, that such in­for­ma­tion will cease to have value.

This could well be the case, even­tu­ally.

How­ever, at some point in the fu­ture there will be the ini­tial and ag­o­nis­ingly pub­lic ex­am­ple of a busi­ness or po­lit­i­cal leader who is se­verely em­bar­rassed by what he or she placed on their Face­book profile in their teenage years.

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