Friday, October 20, 2006

Texting can be bad for your life

Another thought-provoking article from Bruce Schneier on the risks of electronic conversation:

Everyday conversation used to be ephemeral. Whether face-to-face or by phone, we could be reasonably sure that what we said disappeared as soon as we said it. Of course, organized crime bosses worried about phone taps and room bugs, but that was the exception. Privacy was the default assumption.

This has changed. We now type our casual conversations. We chat in e-mail, with instant messages on our computer and SMS messages on our cellphones, and in comments on social networking Web sites like Friendster, LiveJournal, and MySpace. These conversations - with friends, lovers, colleagues, fellow employees -are not ephemeral; they leave their own electronic trails.

We know this intellectually, but we haven’t truly internalized it. We type on, engrossed in conversation, forgetting that we’re being recorded.

It's particularly frightening to think that the kind of messages people send in their youth could come back to haunt them years later.

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