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The Blending of Online and Real Life

It’s 2013, the Mayans were wrong, California has not broken off into the Pacific and the robot uprising has not turned our planet into a post-apocalyptic horror scape. Happy New Year!

It feels like eons since I’ve written one of these, as we’ve been working diligently on our blog conversion to our website, and we appreciate your patience as we improve on our blog for the coming year.

Every turn of the calendar brings 52 weeks worth of new possibilities and opportunities, and in a society that increasingly takes its cues from social media, there’s sure to be some exciting developments this year that we will discuss. In our staff meeting this morning, we had a conversation about the rapidly blurring line between online and offline identities. The two used to exist as completely autonomic entities, but we’ve experienced a coalescing of the Internet and real life, and it’s both intriguing and frightening.

In a story that made rounds at the end of last week, Jacob Cox-Brown decided it was a smart idea to go for an inebriated drive, pull a hit-and-run and make a boneheaded post on Facebook about it. Where did that land him? In the slammer, after police received an anonymous tip from one of his Facebook friends. From the advent of social media usage, we’ve been told to be wary of what we actually post on for the public to see. There’s been many documented cases of lost jobs and wrecked relationships due to Facebook and Twitter, but this, as far as I know, is the first documented case of an actual arrest stemming from a status update.

Remember kids – it doesn’t pay to drink and drive and post.

In a related story, Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M’s freshman quarterback and newly-minted Heisman Trophy winner, found himself in some hot water after releasing a picture on Instagram that showed him and a few friends flashing money in an Okalahoma casino. While it should be noted that the legal age to gamble in Oklahoma is 18 and there is nothing inherently wrong with the photograph, in an age where the NCAA is under the microscope for their recruiting practices, it probably isn’t a smart idea to display large sums of money online.

While social media was once an aspect of our personalities, it has now seemingly become an extension of them. Maintaining a squeaky-clean image online is something we must remain cognizant of, because one slip and you may end up unemployed – or worse – in handcuffs.

 

-Carter Breazeale

PR/PR Public Relations

 

 

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