How to remove a Digital Tattoo
First, a story
Back when I was 16, it was considered very cool to get a tatoo. Some of my friends actually got the nerve (to disobey their parents) and went to get tiny bits of color embedded (mostly un)skillfully into their skin.
Now I personally considered it to be what we like to call “a bad move”. Its not that they are bad in principle. Its just that they will have an affect on your life. And be it good or bad, you will never be able to remove it.
So I never went to get one. No tattoo for me…
* Skip forward 13 years *
The people I meet now
Let me tell you a secret. If you ever emailed me, called me or were even causally mentioned to me. I investigated you. (Yes you)
But its not as creepy as it might sound. Before any interaction with a new person, I tend to spend a few minutes looking them up in LinkedIn (Who they are professionally), Facebook (The human side) and Google (everything else). This usually sets the tone of the future engagement and gives me a “virtual first impression”.
A bit of free time
Thats what I had, so I decided it might be wise to do the same on myself. Basically a mirror experiment, to see how I appear to others with similar approach.
– A fully professional overview that I try to keep updated. [10/10 points]
– Luckily I control (+/-) my Facebook account. Its 99% private and only displays a not-so-flattering photo. [9/10 points]
– …. OH MY GOD !
Remember the time when I was 18 and a friend wanted to show me what RDND is all about ? And we signed up on some lame site with our REAL names ? Well I don’t. But guess who does ? GOOGLE.
Remember the time when I was giving “expert” advise on some programming forums ? Not really. But you know who remembers ? GOOGLE.
Remember the 1000 stupid things I emailed on some obscure long forgotten mailing list ? No ? Don’t I ? Yea, you figured out where this is going.
The bad news
Between old email addresses, forgotten passwords, mirroring and caching. It is simply impossible to delete these traces of stupidity.
Sure we can argue that most are not harmful. But they do create an image of you, the “First Virtual Impression” you leave on other people.
Just like a tattoo, not bad per-say, but with implications on your life. Be it bad or good. Its not going away, it is there. FOREVER
Is there a doctor who can help me remove my Digital Tattoos ?