Google CEO Exposes Dark Side Of Social Networking
By Tony Bradley
Google CEO Eric Schmidt fears that too much information is shared online, and predicts that people will one day change their name and reinvent themselves in order to escape their digital past. That point of view might be extreme, but it is true that social networking has forced us to more closely examine and redefine the concepts of privacy and identity.
There are many exciting benefits to the evolution of the Web and the rise of social networking. Facebook and Twitter have enabled people to reconnect with friends and family, and provide a platform for sharing information and staying in touch. The real-time aspect of social network status updates has also transformed online search and breaking news.
The problem is that social networking also provides a very powerful tool for embarrassing yourself or ruining your reputation on a global and virtually eternal scale. Once you put it online, it is shared around the world in seconds, and can still be recalled after decades.