On Monday, I'd taken half a day, part of a sort of yearly Baatan Vacation March, where I try to cram 15-20 days of vacation time into 30 or so work days.
I have this impression that between 12-1 PM every day, my phone must ring a lot. I don't get this. I have what I know is a warped idea of the 'lunch hour' but I keep thinking people will one day understand- I've been there ten years- that I won't be there during lunch. It was an emergency- someone needed pictures of eight retiring professors for a ceremony to be held in three hours.
So I rushed around getting digital images, but there were two people I didn't have ID card photos of. So I turned to my full-time assistant, er, I mean Google. I found one professor's photo on a CS server that several people have sworn was disconnected from the network, had a stake driven through its hard drive, and its ashes spread on the wind. They lied. The other professor- I found him on something called Spock.com (beta). This seems to be one of the internet's endless directories, so I did what most people desperate to get the hell out of work and start a run in 40 mph wind would do. I typed in my own name.
Damn that guy in New Zealand that has been using my name his entire life.
But seriously, I found myself. And there was a link to my My Space page. This was news to me. I have a Facebook page, which is a weird collage, since I hijacked it from a college kid that was using my email address for it. Don't know why he did this, but when I started getting friend requests for people I'd never heard of in my work email, I used the lost password feature to hijack the account. My feeling was that if someone was going to be posting drunken, naked pictures to Facebook under my name, it would be me (just kidding- there are NO drunken naked pictures). Most of my 'friends' are people I've never heard of, who invite me to install apps that I have no time to determine the functionality of. But Bove is there...
I must have set the My Space page up at the same time to avoid further dilution of my trademark. There was a picture of me from IM Lake Placid. And I have a friend named 'Tom.' Funny, I only know a few Toms, none of whom live in California. I don't remember setting it up.
And this, this is the internet for so many of us. Footprints we leave in what we think is the sand. Only it's not sand. It's wet cement, and every step is recorded, preserved (until the IPO goes belly-up at least). The big sites- the Facebooks, the My Spaces, the Twitters, they are not going anywhere. Nor are the things you've put there. Oh yeah, like this blog. It's not a bad idea to remember that.
You know that advice your Mom or Dad or other adult authority figure gave you ? "If you can't say something nice..." Sometimes, it's okay to be critical, but before you open the floodgates of negativity, you might want to wonder about what you'll forget that will turn up in a search engine somewhere...