When it comes to Social media, to be or not to be; that is no longer the question. The relevant question is, Can you afford to be yourself?
My 19 year old cousin was telling me the other day why he likes Facebook. He said that he could call ‘spade a spade’ and his bunch of friends on Facebook would understand. He added that FB and Blog were his personal space and mature people would respect it.
I wish, I could tell him it were true. Or better, I wish it were true.
But we know better. Don’t we..

Once upon a time in a distant land, there used to be a king. To break the monotony of observing protocols and living a life that conformed to the public scrutiny, he used to make occasional private trips to the nearby jungle. In the jungle for that brief time, he had his personal space. He yelled the unacceptable; sang the forbidden tune; behaved irresponsible and cared for no one. In the unknown and unexplored jungle he relieved his thoughts and feelings that would otherwise remain oppressed. After a brief while he would promptly return to his noble lifestyle. In a way, his brief jungle stints complemented his nobility and helped him have a balanced and satisfied life.
Fast forward to Zuckerberg era. The world has come a long way from Hotmail Ids and Yahoo chatrooms. The jungle of WWW and Social Media is significantly explored and manipulated. The jungle is replete with artificial flora and fauna and creatures pursuing personal agenda. The landscape is full of invisible eyes and ears that is forever trying to identify patterns and make sense out of your random behaviors. 
It will be quite a sight when my cousin grows up to realize that the SPADE was monitoring his conversations all the while he called it Spade and his FB friend list will inevitably include his managers, customers and clients.
Actions Maketh The Man – As in real life, so in the digital world
The irrefutable law of the digital age states that, ‘google empowers everyone equally’. Think about it. If you can know a thing or two about the company before you walk into that job interview, be assured the company knows just as much or even more about you.
With all the information that is available online, how would one understand and and interpret people and organizations? 
It stands to logic that one gets judged based on your actions. The most consistent online actions are considered behavior; over which opinions are formed and judgment passed.
A good anomaly that I can draw is between the credit rankings as applicable to the banking system and the reputation of a person/organization in the digital world. Just as banks decide ones credibility based on verifiable credit history so do people form an opinion based on your presence/actions on digital space. The set of your actions and coherence in your expressions are vital ingredients to forming an opinion.
So, the bigger question is, will you protect your opinions on the online space; choose to hide or do you seize the opportunity to build yourself a formidable reputation? 

6 Replies to “Spade is listening”

  1. It is interesting that it all boils down to Identity. The King in your story adopted an identity that was needed to get his innards out. In our modern day digital era, adoption of multiple identities is no longer a taboo. In fact you can see a variety of trollers who come up with an excuse to bash someone on a post. Often the same person comes in a different identity and posts acrimonious comments against the lot. Maybe thats why Moderators are having a full job these days. In the banking credit example, identity remains fixed. In fact if it were'nt it would be a crime. I think the very fact that nobody has a claim on the internet has helped in this unique situation of "adoption" of multiple identities. Wikileaks organization, 'The Anonymous' hackers, revolutionaries in Egypt and China all have cover identities vital to the niche they cater to.
    For all we know SPADE could be reading this.
    SPADE – Scan Pattern Advanced Deconstruction Engine.

  2. What is reputation, but what you want others to think of you. Isn’t it? But do you really think people are what they portray themselves to be online? I personally, don’t think so. If a loaded tweet/blog from me about the country doesn’t make me any less patriotic or a disparaging opinion on men (All thanks to rapes and kidnaps in the esteemed capital) doesn’t make me a feminist. Just like how situational we are our opinions online borders on the same lines.
    So I think there is no need to hide neither is there a dire need to JUDGE.

  3. The 19 year old at least has a platform where he can call spade a spade just like the king had the jungle to be himself.
    What about more mature (old) people such as you?
    Your question towards the end can be paraphrased as 'Will you shut yourself down or use the social media as a mask that u will wear and present yourself to the world?'
    The bigger question is ' While wearing the mask 24/7 are we forgetting our real faces?'

  4. While the Spade is listening all the so called Aces are making A**es of themselves! The article is really thought provoking, in that many a times our unbridled zest and enthusiasm only helps in creating a totally wrong impression of ourselves which we are not aware of…Than to clean up our image we end up going to an image consultant like a Prasad Bidappa:-) Great job Jay and carry on with your Spade work!

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