“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” may be a comforting thought for some of us, but what about online?
I recently attended a web cast with Clifford Lynch, a guru of virtual technologies and preservation where libraries are concerned. He discussed the idea of cultural memory and preservation, in other words, what do we as Americans consider part of our culture now and how do we preserve it for future generations? Librarians are concerned with both cultural preservation and privacy. Here are some things to think about:
When you go into a museum like the Smithsonian, you are viewing a part of our culture, preserved by archivists. Should what you do on Facebook or Twitter be archived? What happens if Facebook goes away? Look at it another way. If you are a student, how might this influence your professional life later? If you are a part of that professional world now, should what you do on Facebook be private? In five or ten years what might someone be able to find out about you online. Do you care?