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Sex, lies and snide asides

In Our Hard Drives, Ourselves, Frank Bruni of The New York Times examines the misguided perception of “privacy” as a cause of the recent David Petraeus and Anthony Weiner scandals. But he makes an interesting observation that is incredibly relevant to all people who “live” online in any way — and reveals how easy it is to mismanage one’s reputation.

“Anyone who sees nothing of himself or herself in the digital heedlessness of Petraeus or Weiner is focusing too narrowly on the sex.

“Be honest: when’s the last time you tossed off a snide aside about a colleague or a secret about a friend in an e-mail whose retrieval would cause you not just embarrassment but actual trouble? A week ago? An hour ago?

“You did it despite all the instances when you or someone you knew had mistyped the address at the top of an e-mail — such an easy error, given the way our precocious devices assume our thoughts and finish them for us — and the message had landed where it wasn’t supposed to.

“You did it despite the knowledge that an employer with no compunction about intrusion could be spying.

“And you did it because that glowing and treacherous screen in front of you is somehow the greenest light of all, persuading you that you’re alone with your malice, your mischief, your game of pretend. After all, how could a communion so faceless prompt a brutal unmasking?”

This rang true for me. Does it resonate to you? Continue the conversation….