Technology can sure make us do stupid things –or at least not make us aware we’re doing them. Take the e-mail that someone sent to the wrong person, or the people at work this person copied but who really shouldn’t have been. Check. That happened last week. Take the fact that some people post things in e-mails or sms that they normally wouldn’t say to someone face to face. Yep, happens pretty frequently.
Or the folks to get on their MySpace accounts and post pictures of themselves when they’ve passed out drunk with markings on their face. Or, in a personal case I know about, someone who felt he needed to share a pic of himself and a buddy smoking a joint. Wait until he has to apply for his first job and HR looks him up on MySpace and sees him in all his glory.
We either trust technology too much or assume that it won’t follow us around or hold us accountable. Young people feel this sense of invulnerability. Technology gives them a sense of immediacy and instant connection to others –even if it’s the very same people they just saw at school they are now texting on their Sidekick 3 at the dinner table.
So we now have the case of 18-year old Ashley-Paul Robinson. He has played professional soccer for Crystal Palace, an English football club, in South London (UK) for about five years. He is probably a decent player, a winger, fast. He was so good that he earned a try-out with a Premier League team, which is the top of the English football system –with Fulham, to be precise, this past Monday. Now, given that this is football, and given that a sport like this, especially in England has pretty ravenous fans, you’d think that, like any try-out, rehearsal or even a job interview (which is what this was), you’d try to keep this secret –you know, discreet.
But Robinson, you see, behind those flossin’ shades, has some rocks in his head. First, check out his scribblings and fine use of English spelling and overall syntax:
If i pull dis of im on dis ting!!
‘Ashley-Paul Is Travling 2 Bath With Fulham Fingers Crossed. (Im lukin 2 Get Sum Tips Of Jimmy Bullard He’s ON DIS TING NO HYPE LOL.
All this was done on Facebook, except instead of Ashley sending this delicate piece of information to his select 194 friends, guess who inadvertently sent news that he was trying out at Fulham to 2.7 million people, especially in England? The 194 friends would have been risky enough, but you could imagine the firestorm that erupted overnight since as of today, Mr. Ashley-Paul Robinson, has been yanked off his Crystal Palace team.
Said his club manager, Neil Warnock, he should “look elsewhere to further his career”. What’s the lesson here? Facebook sucks –naturally, right?. If Ashley-Paul was incapable of putting together a proper English sentence, how was he going to make sense of all the new and confusing privacy options that Facebook has saddled its users with? How’s a young footballer supposed to keep up?